A townhouse renovation inspired by a luxury New Orleans hotel

A townhouse renovation inspired by a luxury New Orleans hotel


With a purple kitchen and lush floral wallpaper, this Michelle Gage-designed abode brings a touch of Southern hospitality to South Philly.

Townhouse design East Passyunk townhouse makeover New Orleans

Colorful flowers in the walk-in closet and bedroom of this East Passyunk townhouse renovation / Photography by Brian Wetzel

When a former client contacted Michelle Gage to see if she was interested in breathing new life into a tired East Passyunk townhouse she was willing to buy, the Chestnut Hill interior designer immediately agreed. . This was a client who truly appreciated design and wanted the two-story, 2,300 square foot property to look neat. “She grew up in New Orleans and wanted the house to look like a boutique hotel called Chloe,” says Gage, who incorporated several rooms from the owner’s old house into the new jewel-toned aesthetic.

There were many factors to consider in this narrow space to make the house feel like a luxury boutique hotel. —Michelle Gage

A planned facelift was scrapped in favor of a complete bowel renovation. Gage says she really had to think about the transitions between rooms on the first floor: “The sight line extends from the front door to the kitchen in the back. You can’t make patterns too bold when you see six pieces at once.

The master bedroom

There’s nothing varied about the two-tone flowers on the House of Hackney wallpaper, with a bedspread by the same designer. Gage worked with Urban Loft for the window treatments.

The dressing room

The designer’s favorite piece was created as part of a new bedroom (complete with a custom coffee bar!). The owner’s existing Villa & House dresser and chair, along with the vintage chandelier and rug, were incorporated into the space. Gage got the mirror from Anthropologie.

The kitchen

Rowhome floral kitchen makeover

Purple rules—by way of Benjamin Moore’s Nightfall Sky—in the kitchen, which was gutted and outfitted with custom cabinets by Philadelphia-based Steven Kumpf Woodworks.

The living room

townhouse makeover

Interior designer Michelle Gage had to think about transitions between rooms on the first floor of this renovated townhouse.

The dining room was reimagined as an inviting living room, adorned with Brunschwig & Fils wallpaper and Benjamin Moore’s Blue Nose for the custom built-ins framing the center door. The wavy details of a Selamat credenza gently complement the oversized portrait hanging above.

Published as “Habitat: Southern Hospitality” in the May 2024 issue of Philadelphia review.