Grant Park mansion’s halls are decked with boughs of holly, Victorian style 

When the Miller family purchased the Burns Mansion in Grant Park, they took on more than just a piece of property. 

“With a house like this, you inherit not just the house, but the stories as well,” said Erin Miller.

The home, built in 1868 by former Union Army Capt. James Burns, has undergone numerous changes in the past 150 years. It was turned into an apartment building after the Great Depression, then back into a single-family home. Most recently it was a bed and breakfast until the Millers purchased the home and its legacy in 2010.

Matthew and Erin Miller (center) live in the 1868 Queen Anne-style home with their children, Baikal, 13, Rybolt, 11, and Garvin, 7, and their Saint Bernards, Atunda and Angus. Erin's cousin Ben Rybolt (left), his wife Kat, and their daughter Olive, 3, also live with the Millers. (Text by Kat Khoury/ Photo by Reann Huber)

The Millers host many community events, and every other year, including 2018, have participated in the Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes. It takes 420 candles and about half an hour to light the mansion, and Erin works with florist designer Alvin Moore to create a holiday look that reflects the home’s Victorian style.

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Snapshot

Residents: Matthew and Erin Miller, children Baikal, 13, Rybolt, 11, and Garvin, 7, and their Saint Bernards, Atunda and Angus. Erin’s cousin, Ben Rybolt, his wife Kat, and their daughter Olive, 3, also live in the home.

Location: Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood

Size: 8,450 square feet, seven bedrooms, six bathrooms

Year built/bought: 1868/2010

Architectural style: Queen Anne

Favorite architectural elements: Turret with cedar shake siding, decorative molding, 12 fireplaces, original windows

Renovations: They recently added a home gym and library with a hidden bathroom. Among the more unusual changes by the previous owners included uncovering a well in the kitchen that had been covered up by an island, cleaning it and placing a granite and glass top with decorative lighting to showcase the piece.

Design consultant: Carl Mattison Design

Interior design style: Victorian

Favorite interior design elements: Victorian-style wallpaper from Bradbury & Bradbury. The couple said they had an unwritten rule when they purchased the house that they wouldn’t change the wallpaper, which was installed decades ago. “It’s an investment and it lasts and it’s so unique to the home,” Erin Miller said. “To take it all down and set up a blank wall would really hurt the character of the house.”

Favorite holiday features: This year, they had four Christmas trees, which included a traditional Victorian tree, one in a peacock color, one for their kids, and another tree decorated with medals from sports events, a tree skirt made out of the kids’ old uniforms and garland out of their swim ribbons.

Resources: Scott Antique Market, Sarah Cyrus Home, Kudzu Antiques + Modern and American Period Furniture

Decor tip: When purchasing an older home, look for historic collections of paint colors. They used Sherwin-Williams paint throughout the house. For example, they used the same mustard and deep purple hues on the fence and treehouse.

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