Debunking the Myth that Spring is the Best Time to Find Your New Home

Even though spring is the most popular time of the year to look for a new home, we like to stress to all of our homebuyers that getting a head-start in the less popular months can really put you ahead of the game! Miller & Smith model homes don’t close when a chill hits the air, so take a look at some of the reasons you should be visiting us right now:


Better chance of getting the home you want

Because springtime is hopping with homebuyers, there is more competition during that time of the year. In the Fall and Winter, you have a better chance of getting first dibs on newly released homesites and immediate deliveries than you would if you waited until the Spring. Beat the mad dash in April and May by bundling up and getting out now to visit our communities!


Your Way Homes

With our brand new Your Way Homes program, there are even more ways to find your home, sooner. Unlike our standard immediate delivery homes, with Your Way Homes, we halt the building process at drywall and allow you to add the features and finishes you desire, such as hardwood flooring, countertops, and light fixtures. This allows you to personalize your home the way you have always envisioned, while knowing that your family can move in just 61 days later. Find yours now, and move in shortly after the holiday season!


See a different side of a community

Our communities have beautiful qualities to them year-round, but we also know that the weather does not always cooperate here on the East Coast, especially in the winter. We recommend visiting our new home communities whenever it is convenient for you, and if the weather isn’t great, we know that you will still fall in love with the homes and locations we have to offer!


More attention from the professionals

It’s true – it is a slower time of year for the entire housing industry, but this means that you will be the center of attention! Realtors and other home-buying professionals will have more time to focus on you and your needs, which is also great for scheduling appointments and meetings around your other holiday-related tasks.


It’s a good time to put your current home on the market

According to US News and World Report, buyers looking to sell their home by the spring should put it on the market in November and December. The report says, “New Year’s resolutions help many homebuyers get into the house-hunting groove after the first of the year. If you like the idea of marketing your home at the start of 2019, reach out to real estate agents now to be sure you’re making all the right preparations to draw winter homebuyers to your property.”


Our last reason for urging you to visit us through the fall and winter, is that we have newly opened model homes waiting for you! We have just opened at West Village at One Loudoun, as well as our Knight House Square Townhome Collection at Embrey Mill! Keep up with all of our happenings and schedule a tour with us at


The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index for New Homes by Miller & Smith

Each of our Miller & Smith homes are designed with even the smallest details at the forefront of our construction plans. From start to finish we’re always planning ahead to ensure your home will run as efficiently as possible.  Some of our home energy efficient features we offer include:

  • Fiberglass exterior doors to help control your monthly heating and cooling bills
  • Low-E glass windows to help filter out harmful UV rays and keep your home cool
  • Weatherization barrier systems that prevent leaks and drafts in your insulation
  • HVAC systems designed specifically to benefit your home’s heating and cooling costs
  • Well-insulated roofing that improves your attic ventilation, moving hot air up and away from your home
  • Energy Seal Packages that help insulate all lower levels, keeping excess moisture out and warm temperatures in
  • Climate controlled I-level trusses and beams to ensure optimal strength and durability of your home
  • Flowguard Gold CPVC pipes and fittings, designed to bring cleaner water into your home (compared to copper pipes)
  • Environmentally friendly materials used throughout each home, as well as energy savings using ENERGY STAR® thermostats, refrigerators, and dishwashers

We make sure to incorporate these features in every home for one simple reason – we know just how important energy savings are to your new home experience. To find out how much of an impact ENERGY STAR® makes on Miller & Smith homes, let us take you through the HERS Rating and how it determines energy efficiency in your new home.

HERS stands for “Home Energy Rating System” and is used to rate the projected energy efficiency of a home compared to one that meets all of the requirements of the latest residential energy code (also known as the International Energy Conservation Code or IECC). When a home is rated, everything from the construction plans to onsite inspections and testing are taken into account and performed by a certified Home Energy Rater. The Rater inputs the results into an analyzing software system that determines projected energy usage. If your new home has an ENERGY STAR® certification, that means the Home Energy Rater worked with Miller & Smith directly to ensure ENERGY STAR® performance guidelines were met.

Once construction plans are analyzed, onsite inspections are completed and typically include testing door, window and duct leaks. Results are then combined and used to generate a final HERS rating. This final number will range from 0 (most energy efficient) to 100 (least energy efficient). The reference home (or the home that meets all requirements) will always remain at a HERS rating of 100, so if your home has a rating of 85, it is still 15% more energy efficient than the reference home.

ENERGY STAR® and Miller & Smith work together to ensure your new home is energy efficient and has the best HERS rating possible. To learn more about Miller & Smith’s energy efficient homes, take a look at what’s behind-the-walls of your new home.

2019’s Forecasted Home Design Trends to Bring into Your Home NOW!

If you’re familiar with the world of home design and interiors, just like fashion, you know that the trends are constantly changing! At Miller & Smith, we work with award-winning interior designers to design model homes that keep up with these trends and speak to our homebuyers.


Some of the trends we are about to share with you come directly from the queen of interior design herself, Kerra Michele, who gave us the inside scoop. Below, take a look at some of the trends that you can expect to see more and more over the next year or two:


The Pastel: Lavender

This is a nice “Millennial pink” alternative and the newest pastel to join the trends. This shade, in our opinion, is more universal and a bit less feminine than pink, so it can be easier to incorporate into your home. Kerra suggests pairing it with some darker, more neutral tones, such as charcoal or cognac.


The Brights: Orange, Yellow and Teal

These colors pull from a 70’s inspired palette, but are resurfacing in more modern hues. The oranges seen on our radar are muted and reminiscent of natural clays while yellow is being used in a variety of tones depending on the season. If you are more into the cool color spectrum, try a dark teal-green hue, like the pillows and rug in the great room of our Mayfair model home.




In recent, this material has come back into the limelight thanks to local craftsmen and industrial style furniture companies. Kerra recommends starting small with a leather throw pillow on your bed and add a leather accent chair later if you want to showcase more of the material in your home.


The Tatton at the Garden District at Brambleton


Warm, light woods

Gray-toned hardwood ruled the scene for a while, but now a warmer, golden brown hardwood is resurfacing again. These wood tones bring a very welcoming and home-y feel to spaces like your kitchen or dining room.


The Allegro at Birchwood at Brambleton


Hooded stoves

Go with a classic metal look, or upgrade to a sleeker style to match your cabinets, like the one in our 1L model home at Upper West One Loudoun. More and more, homeowners are separating the stove from the microwave and moving these appliances around to make room for a hood.


1L at Upper West One Loudoun


Bold kitchens

If you’re still loving the crisp, white kitchen trend, we get it, because so do we! But, if you’re daring for something different, take a hint of color and splash it onto the walls, cabinets, or barstools. Pick whatever color suits your style best, but we are seeing a lot kitchens with bold blues in deep teal and cerulean.


Lots of plants

We are not sure how the jungle home trend came about, but we are on board! Not only are plants a nice natural touch to any home, but many indoor plants can significantly add to the quality of the air circulating throughout your home. Breathe easy everyone!


1LX at Upper West One Loudoun


Can’t get enough interior design inspiration? Take a look at which of our model homes recently won a GALA award for their stunning interiors and browse around for more photos on our website!






McLean, VA, (October 11, 2018) — Miller & Smith is thrilled to announce their outstanding success at the 2018 Great American Living Awards (GALA) Ceremony held Thursday, October 4, 2018 in Tysons, VA. Miller & Smith took honors in the following categories:


Best Design & Architecture in Detached Home (Lot less than 7,000 square feet and priced from $700,000 to $850,000)

  • Aria at Brambleton West Park


Best Design & Architecture in Attached Home (Priced from $500,000 to $600,000)

  • Mayfair at Brambleton Garden District


Best Design & Architecture in Attached Home (Priced from $700,000 to $850,000)

  • Belgrave at Brambleton Garden District


Best Design & Architecture in Attached Home (Priced more than $850,000)

  • 1LX at Upper West at One Loudoun


Award of Merit for Outstanding Living Space or Architectural Feature

  • 1LX at Upper West at One Loudoun Pied A’ Terre (4th Level)


Award of Merit for Architecture & Design (Priced more than $850,000)

  • 1L at Upper West at One Loudoun


Award of Merit for Outstanding Implementation of Innovative Design Concepts for a Product Line

  • Upper West at One Loudoun


Award of Merit for Sales Office, Rental Office, Information Center – Model Homes Sales Center

  • Brambleton Garden District Sales Center and Design Gallery


Best Interior Merchandising in Attached Home (Priced from $700,00 to $850,000)

  • Belgrave at Brambleton Garden District


Best Interior Merchandising in Attached Home (Priced more than $850,000)

  • 1LX at Upper West at One Loudoun


Outstanding Sales Person in Attached Home (Priced from $550,000 to $700,000)

  • AnnTrisha Ramrattan


Outstanding Sales Rookie

  • Jackie Martinez


Best Innovative Land Planning  

  • One Loudoun


Best Integrated Marketing Campaign: Master Planned/Mixed-Use Community

  • One Loudoun


“We’re thrilled to be honored among some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies in the industry,” said Doug Smith, president of Miller and Smith. “This year was particularly exciting for Miller & Smith, and we are thrilled to see the GALA honors reflect our momentum.”

The Great American Living Awards (GALA) celebrates excellence in new home architecture, interior design and sales and marketing. The ceremony is presented annually by the Washington Metropolitan Sales & Marketing Council (WMSMC), the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA), and the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association (MNCBIA)



New Three-Level Garden Townhomes, Inspired by New York’s Gramercy Park, Arrive in Loudoun County

Miller & Smith, the Washington region’s most award-winning home builder and real estate developer, is pleased to introduce the West Village townhome collection offered exclusively at One Loudoun.


A neighborhood of 40 new homes, West Village at One Loudoun offers homebuyers views of West Village Square, One Loudoun’s secret garden neighborhood park which was inspired by New York’s famed Gramercy Park. The three-level West Village townhomes provide up to 2,900 square-feet of living space with 3-4 bedrooms and up to 3.5 baths. Features of the new townhomes include open floorplans, oversized windows with unparalleled park views, designer GE kitchens and seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces with a partially covered terrace.


West Village is located along Russell Branch Parkway just west of Central Park and near the heart of Downtown One Loudoun, where residents are steps away from shopping, dining, entertainment and local community events. Additionally, the close proximity to Route 7, the Dulles Greenway and Loudoun County Parkway, provides residents with easy access to Washington, D.C. and Washington Dulles International Airport.


“Our vision for West Village was to blend bold architecture and contemporary lines with classic elegance and endless amenities,” said Doug Smith, president of Miller & Smith. “Coupled with One Loudoun’s ability to provide a unique social hub, West Village matches city living with the serenity of a wooded oasis and a peaceful garden aesthetic.”


West Village townhomes start from the mid-$600s. The grand reveal and model opening is scheduled for October 13, 2018. For more information on West Village at One Loudoun, click here or follow Miller & Smith on Facebook and Twitter.


Media Alert (October 8, 2018): Miller & Smith, the Washington region’s most award-winning home builder and real estate developer, is pleased to announce its fall festival, “Octourberfest” at Tallyn Ridge.



WHEN: Saturday, October 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


WHAT: Join Drees Homes and Miller & Smith for a FREE, family-friendly fall festival. Attendees can tour and trick-or-treat in five brand new single family and townhome models and enter to win a $500 gift card. Kid-friendly activities include face painting, an inflatable bounce house, a corn maze and pumpkin patch, fall treats, plus pulled pork & pit chicken from Blues BBQ.


WHERE: Located just two miles from downtown Frederick, Tallyn Ridge is the county’s newest neighborhood and only parkside community with mountain views. “Octourberfest” will be held at 5600 Scott Ridge Place, Frederick, MD 21704.


For more information on Tallyn Ridge, click here or follow Miller & Smith on Facebook and Twitter.

About Miller & Smith:

Founded in 1964, Miller & Smith has been one of the Washington area’s top privately owned buildings and development firms for over 50 years. Active in both residential and commercial real estate, the company has earned a reputation for creating innovative and imaginative homes and communities. In 2017, Miller & Smith sold 113 single-family home and 185 townhomes. Miller & Smith has built 6,100+ single-family homes, nearly 9,400 townhomes and 2,200+ condominiums, and has developed approximately 13,770 homesites in 130 communities throughout Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. The company is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. The company is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. For more information, click here or follow Miller & Smith on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube.

Meet Our Sales Manager at the Stafford Collection at Embrey Mill: Debora Flora

Debora Flora has been helping families smoothly navigate the purchase of their Miller & Smith home for over five years. When Debora isn’t working, you can probably catch her watching a football game. She’s eagerly awaiting the official kickoff of fall so she can draft her fantasy football league. Fall is also Debora’s favorite time of year to show families the magic of Embrey Mill, home to nearly 300 acres of parks and open space.

Q: What’s one thing that people are surprised to learn about you?

A: When I say I know what homebuyers are going through its because I once moved 19 times in 19 years. I’m a real life army brat, and I definitely perfected the art of moving. While I’ve been settled in the Washington area for over 30 years now, I still remember what it’s like to be in that transitional time of life. It’s why I always guide my clients through the process of home buying so that they always feel cared for. For me, job one is to help people feel rooted in their community, and of course, their beautiful Miller & Smith home.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

A: The most rewarding part of my job is that I get to help people take a big leap towards their dreams. It’s pretty neat I can say that’s what I do for a living! Getting to the core of what a family envisions allows me to help them create a home that excites them today and continues to work well for many years to come. Whether it’s a young family looking to grow, or retirees looking for a home base between travels, I love showing my clients all the ways Miller & Smith at Embrey Mill can work for them.

Q: What’s makes your homes such a great value at Embrey Mill?

A: The open floor plans in the Stafford Collection are stunning, but one of my favorite features is the way our garage shifts create unique indoor and outdoor living spaces. We’re the only builder doing this in Embrey Mill and it’s such a great design feature. It allows for so much usable private backyard space, perfect for a large patio that lives like an outdoor family room. I also have to mention the amazing community events offered to residents. Movies on the lawn, concerts in the bistro, live animal shows, outdoor yoga, stargazing, fun runs, and more. Time and again I hear from homeowners that their favorite part about Embrey Mill is the one of a kind community perks and amenities.
Stop in to say hi to Debora today at our brand new Hartwood model home, just steps from Embrey Mill’s newest amenities coming soon!

Meet Our Tallyn Ridge Sales Manager: Jackie Martinez

Jackie Martinez may have been born and raised in Virginia, but she has fully embraced her Miller & Smith home away from home in Frederick, Maryland. She loves being part of Tallyn Ridge and helping people discover what she herself discovered about Frederick. This town rocks! Some of the coolest, most creative boutiques, cafes, coffee shops and wine bars line the streets of downtown Frederick just two miles away. Jackie can’t wait to tell you about her favorites, so stop by and say hi today.

Q: What are people surprised to learn about you?
A: I think people are surprised to learn I have a degree in Biology. They wonder how I went from the studying life and living organisms to becoming a sales manager for Miller & Smith. For me, the thread that ties them together is my curiosity. I ask lots of questions. I enjoy getting to know people and learning what makes them tick. The best part is I get to help them create a home I know they’re going to love because it truly fits them and their personality.
Q: What are people surprised to learn about Tallyn Ridge?
A: The land here is special. It really is. I think people are surprised the first time they drive into the community and start looking around. Tallyn Ridge is up on a perch so there are views of the mountain valley. We’re also literally connected to Pinecliff Park. In fact, we have trails from the community that lead to acres of open space, ball fields, a boat launch on the Monocacy River, even picnic pavilions which people can reserve for family events. People love it.
Q: What’s your favorite design feature in your Townhome collection?
A: I think you’ll find our townhomes at Tallyn Ridge have all the features people expect from Miller & Smith. They feel very open and modern inside. Amazing kitchens and Great Rooms. Spacious Owners’ Suites. And plenty of storage. But what really makes them special is how they capture the beauty of our setting. Large windows fill every level with natural light and indoor/outdoor living spaces let people enjoy the beauty of Tallyn Ridge from the comfort of their home.
If you are interested to learn more about Frederick County’s most sought-after new home community, just steps to Pinecliff Park and Tallyn Ridge’s future pool, give Jackie a call at 240.439.4665.

Meet Our West Park at Brambleton Sales Manager: Eric Hansen

Eric Hansen is the consummate real estate pro, and for over 11 years now we’ve been fortunate to have him on our Miller & Smith team. This lifelong Virginia resident has a particular fondness for the beach, water, and all things outdoors. Which is one of the reasons he’s excited to be working at West Park at Brambleton. From the nearby trails, ponds and parks, to great outdoor community events, there’s so much to enjoy. For the full story, stop by Eric’s model and say hello today.


Q: What are people surprised to learn about you?
A: Well for starters, I’ve owned more boats than cars in my lifetime. I’ve been water skiing since age 12, and I really enjoy being active outdoors. So to me, Brambleton’s appeal goes way beyond the Town Center or convenience to the Dulles Corridor. If you like spending time outdoors, you’ll love the miles of trails that wind throughout the community—including a new section of trail that’s under construction right by West Park. And be sure to tell your dog about the new dog park that’s coming soon.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: I’ve been working with Miller & Smith homebuyers for well over a decade, in communities throughout Virginia and Maryland. I definitely enjoy the process of going from first meeting to final home design and seeing people fall in love with their new home. One of the best parts of my job is running into past customers. Reconnecting and learning what they’ve been up to is really rewarding, and proves that buying a home is so much more than a transaction. I’ve been fortunate to create some really great relationships with people during my time with Miller & Smith.
Q: What makes your homes unique and appealing to families?
A: When people tour our decorated model for the first time, they’re often surprised by just how large it is. In fact, with some available extensions and a finished lower level, you can have up to 4,200 square feet of living space. The kitchen center island can include a built-in tabletop to comfortably seat six people. Even the garages are large—24 feet wide, which means plenty of room for your own boat, and all of your other recreation gear. And if you want to create a studio suite over the garage, for an in-law or college grad, we can accommodate this too. It’s really flexible and perfect for families of all sizes.

A Day with Kerra Michele: Interior Design Pro

If you haven’t heard of Kerra Michele Interiors, then you are in for a treat! This gal is a super talented interior designer, but what many of you don’t know if you have not met Kerra, is that she’s also a very pleasant and genuinely nice person. Her down-to-Earth personality, cool girl style, and passion for her business make Kerra a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps, these are just the very reasons why she has been so successful!


It was a hot summer day in July when Kerra met up with us at Cayden Ridge before her design consultation with the winning homeowners from our One Visit Experience. Just to give you an idea of how awesome she is, this day happened to be her first day back from vacation, and her idea of the perfect vacation was a road trip through the Midwest with her dog.


Before her meeting, she so kindly agreed to sit down for a LIVE Q&A video with us so we could pick her brain and let you all get to know her more. Before the Q&A, we chatted with her about her road trip adventures, her cute as a button dog, and how excited she was to get started on this next project. Kerra is very easy to talk to and it definitely shows in our video! (See the full interview here.)


From a young age, Kerra could be found creating, but mostly she remembers frequently playing with building blocks and Lincoln logs as a child. She says, “From day one I was destined to be doing interiors or building in some way and just continued to live my life in a creative space.” As she went to school and grew into her career, she started a design blog to get her “creative energy” out there in place of settling for an unpaid internship, and eventually, her blog generated clients and that grew into her own business.


Today, Kerra would be getting to know our One Visit Experience winners, Brianna and Sean Chitsaz, to begin helping them design their dream home at Cayden Ridge. Her favorite parts of designing for her clients are firstly, getting to know them, and secondly, revealing her work to them at the end of the process.


First, Kerra sat down with them and went through the floorplan of their new Hedgebrook home. She had the couple pull out all of the samples that they had previously chosen with our team, including countertops, cabinets, and backsplash, to get a better idea of their style and what the spaces will look like. They then went through the plan to talk about how Brianna and Sean would envision each space.



The next part was very exciting, because they got to go into our Hedgebrook model home for a walkthrough. They went from room to room, talked about the best ways to use the spaces, what styles they liked, and everything in between! Kerra says, “My favorite part is getting to know the people who come to me. Getting to know their style and their personalities, and then translating that into the design of the space.”

After the three walked through our model home, they went a little bit further into details of the interests, colors, and styles that Brianna and Sean want in their home. We won’t give away too much about that just yet because we hope to share some of the “big reveal” later on!


Thank you so much to Kerra Michele and huge congratulations to Sean and Brianna for winning a design consultation with her at our One Visit Experience! Check out Kerra’s portfolio at and learn more about our new homes on our website.