A Candy-Colored, Island-Inspired Oasis in Radnor
Michelle Gage Interiors turned this historic Main Line home into a Caribbean-style escape.
Your home is your personal paradise — and for this young family of four (plus two cats), their Radnor abode is a tropical one, inspired by the wife’s birthplace of St. Croix. “Our palette naturally went there,” Bryn Mawr-based interior designer Michelle Gage says of the candy-colored hues. But it wasn’t just about the island vibes. The clients tasked Gage with making their 18th-century home more functional for their busy lives. Take the kitchen — the home’s “workhorse,” according to Gage. While the original was a good size, it lacked suitable storage for appliances that cluttered the counters. Gage reworked the layout, made the island larger, and added appliance garages and cabinetry.
The name of the game was getting the clients more color but also more function. It was an exercise in creating better storage and an easier living experience.” — Michelle Gage
Open shelving cleverly displays cookbooks, and an unused corner was transformed into a breakfast nook. In the adjacent mudroom, Gage installed floor-to-ceiling pantries across from the washer and dryer. There’s a bench with cubbies and a “massive” shoe closet. “The clients told me they have more storage than they know what to do with,” shares Gage. For a pop: pink cabinets. As for the primary bathroom? Formerly drab and brown — with counters that weren’t standard height — the room now feels plucked from a Caribbean resort, with handmade floor tiles, a soaking tub and an arched shower. An oasis, at home.
To ground the cheery Benjamin Moore Blue Toile cabinets, Gage left the island’s dark wood untouched and brought in subway tile with black grout. A brass pot filler over the oven is an efficient addition.
The home’s original structural posts flank the pantry. “We felt like it would be a sin to take them out,” says Gage. The plant-filled Abigail Borg wallpaper and green paint add to the natural aesthetic.
Wood cabinets were a must-have for the clients, so Gage complemented those neutral tones with cool blue tiles on the walls and in the shower. The overall ambience is “fun and funky,” she says.
Floral wallpaper (from an artisan source), a Trellis-print bench cushion by Schumacher, and durable black-and-white porcelain floor tiles make this a lively area for taking care of mundane tasks.
Published as “Habitat: Island Style” in the April 2023 issue of Philadelphia magazine.