Habitat: A Pop of Color in Manayunk

A new-construction townhouse gets dolled up with punchy hues and playful patterns.

Living room: A jewel-tone velvet sofa from Anthropologie is the focal point of the entertaining space. To mellow its bright hue, Gage picked a brass-and-marble West Elm coffee table and a neutral leather chair. The hanging prints act as “color vehicles,” complementing the sofa and adding a hint of pink to the room. Photography by Brian Wetzel

Eclectic. Colorful. Patterned. Those are the words that come to Villanova-based interior designer Michelle Gage’s mind when she reflects on her task of bringing an unadorned, roughly 2,000-square-foot townhome in Manayunk to life. The up-and-coming designer was hired after a woman in her mid-30s, who’d moved into the property with her significant other, reached out online. Gage started dreaming up the design before ever stepping foot in the house: “She sent over her listing photos so I could have her walk me through.”

Over the next year — the project was completed in December 2017 — Gage discovered that her vivacious style meshed well with the client’s. To turn the open-concept first floor into a fun entertaining space, Gage chose bold pieces like a teal velvet sofa in the living room, a matching saturated wallpaper in the dining area, and trendy wall art to tie those spaces together with the kitchen.

Gage then transformed the third-floor master suite into a private oasis for the couple. In a house dominated by bright colors, she saw the top level as a chance to merge both masculine and feminine styles, basing its design in grays and neutrals. “It was a break from all the pattern,” she says, “a pause point from the chaos.”

Dining area: A lively blue patterned wallpaper connects the eating area to the rest of the main floor. Gage opted for a round CB2 pedestal table to maximize floor space. Leather bucket chairs add contrast.

Dressing room: The client suggested turning a spare second-level bedroom into a dressing room — and was on board when Gage proposed they spruce it up with a floral wallpaper from York Wallcoverings. She incorporated a daybed for guests to use.

Master bedroom: When the original bed her client ordered didn’t fit up the stairs, Gage hired Chairloom to custom-build and upholster a headboard that could be assembled on-site. Mint green sconces keep the mood playful.

Published as “Habitat: Color Pop” in the June 2018 issue of Philadelphia magazine.