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At Home: Miller’s Crossing

Miller’s Crossing isn’t your average furniture or antique store, and its devoted customer base is a testament to that. “I’ve shopped here for years,” says Don Buesy. “Everything here is always different. Every two weeks, it changes out. It’s never the same store.”

The constant evolution of Miller’s Crossing is a direct result of enthusiasm and effort on the part of owner Bernard Miller, who handpicks every piece that goes into his two stores, located just a few yards from one another in the heart of Asheville’s antique district along Swannanoa River Road. Miller does his research—he knows the history of every item, an impressive feat considering there are thousands. “I know my product,” Miller says. “I know every piece, where it came from.”

The stores feature antiques and gently-used pieces, but Miller can also attend to the needs of a customer seeking something newer. “Customers come to us for new stuff, used stuff, architectural stuff—we just have that mix, and it goes together,” he says. “Finding tomorrow’s antiques for today’s customers—that’s really what we do.”

The road to owning Miller’s Crossing has been a long and winding one, but Miller has spent a lifetime developing his taste. He was a buyer at Macy’s before moving over to the manufacturing side, making fabric. “I did that for 10 years, learning from a Japanese man all about how to weave and how it works,” he says.

He’s lived in New York City, where he worked with big names like Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Perry Ellis. Then he started his own company making garments, which thrived for a decade. “So I’ve been around the block and my taste was pretty good, I found out,” he says.

About five years ago, he opened the original Miller’s Crossing at 172 Swannanoa River Road, followed a few years later by the furniture warehouse at 130 Swannanoa River Road. More recently, Miller has expanded from curation into creation. “I got this piece six months ago and I thought it would be a great bar for somebody, but I couldn’t find anybody to make it,” he says. “Then Paul just stopped into my store down here, we hooked up and the Ranucci was born.”

Paul is Paul Giuseppe Ranucci of Giuseppe Woodworks. The pair have been working together for a few months now: Miller finds the piece and creates the design, and Ranucci makes it a reality.

The bars are often made from antique Victrola cabinets, but also from wardrobes, Art Deco glass cabinets, and other statement pieces. Ranucci adds fabric, removable serving trays, lighting, sliding shelves and other bar features. “We can’t keep these in stock and we just started making them,” says Miller. “I want a Ranucci in every apartment, every home.”

It’s clear that Miller truly wants people to have access to beautiful, long-lasting pieces for their home, and he prices the items in his store accordingly. “I don’t have to mark it up to mark it down,” he says.

For someone with such distinct taste, Miller is very non-judgmental about people’s choices and style. “You can take these chairs and put them with that table, mix and match, whatever you want,” he says. “We give you that flexibility. It’s not like buying something as a set.”

Coupled with a vast inventory and careful curation, Miller’s supportive, can-do attitude makes for a pleasant shopping experience. “I have the best customers,” says Miller. “A stranger walks in and they become a friend. I am so fortunate.”

Visit both Miller’s Crossing locations at 172 and 130 Swannanoa River Road, Asheville. For more information, visit Miller’

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