Mia Martin considers art and historic preservation her two abiding interests. Having grown up in the Virginia hunt country and having lived on an old Virginia estate, she developed her taste for historic architecture. She graduated from Foxcroft School and she attended the Corcoran School of Art. She traveled and studied widely in Europe including at Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland, John Cabot University in Rome and Sotheby’s in London. Mia Martin then earned a fine arts degree from American University in Washington, D.C. Her deep interest and respect for architectural and cultural heritage led to her active involvement in America’s heritage. She became a member of the Council for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and has been a former Trustee of Oatlands Plantation, a co-stewardship with The National Trust.
Mia Martin knows her period homes and has owned quite a few of them. Mia’s love affair with European architecture and decorative arts would continue throughout her life. Mia has always tried to incorporate her love of symmetry and visual balance in her houses. Mia Martin’s preservation and restoration project’s have included her former neo-classical, 1905 Edwardian Mansion designed by Marsh/Peter Architects on Embassy Row in D.C., which she later sold to the Embassy of Estonia. As the Washington Post’s Sarah Booth Conway wrote, “Martin had her heart on selling it to a Baltic Country” and she did. She followed her hunch that when the Baltic states broke away from the former Soviet Union the various countries would need their own Embassy in Washington. She later bought a classic Virginia farmhouse, (the former Phipps estate, which has a ballroom), and then her current Florida home, a Palm Beach Classic Regency-style gem of a house.
While Mia Martin feels that there is a time and place for different architectural styles, the Regency style is her favorite. “It is wonderful owning a classic one-story Regency house.” Not only is it in a great location, full of light with high ceilings and large open spaces with rooms of generous proportions but it is ideal for entertaining, both inside and out. “We did not need a house as large as our historic Virginia house as we tend to enjoy smaller and more intimate gatherings here. Mia Martin agrees with Real Estate agent, Paulette Koch’s view that property owners are downsizing from their larger houses up north to ones in Palm Beach. They are more manageable and easier to live in, particularly in a single-story house.