HOME TOUR: Providence

The East Side Colonial of Little Sister and Rebelle Artisan Bagels owners gets a cheerful jolt from mid-century furnishings


Whether it’s rich cerulean blue walls (and pencils to match) backing an eclectic mix of everything from art to tile to IKEA wood shelving at her Puerto Rican-inspired cafe Little Sister, or jaunty striped awnings on the exterior windows at first-born Rebelle Artisan Bagels, Milena Pagán is skilled at creating a vibe. With husband Darcy Coleman, the industrious duo have outfitted their two eateries – and home – with as much visual flavor and warmth as the dishes they create and serve.

Pagán and Coleman have lived in a Blackstone neighborhood Colonial since 2014 “after HGTV brainwashed us into being homeowners,” Pagán explains with a chuckle. She recalls how they were instantly drawn to the East Side for its “pretty houses and well-tended gardens.” Says Pagán, “Our house was in great shape and a good value. It wasn’t 100 percent my style, but I lived in a ton of rentals and knew we could jazz up the style.”

And jazz it up, they did. Like their eateries, the couple’s home is furnished with pieces that make use of each room’s footprint and maximize space without clutter. Artwork and area rugs delineate zones, and tall leafy potted plants soften corners. “Living in Rhode Island and experiencing winter definitely makes me crave greenery all year round! We have a growing collection of houseplants all around our home,” Pagán says.

In the living room, pebble gray walls with white trim maintain a sense of the home’s architectural style while mid-century fixtures like a Sputnik chandelier and Vortex chairs are chic and playful. Simple window treatments like matchstick blinds invite plenty of natural light inside. “We use a lot of blue and gray in our home, which gives the perfect neutral backdrop for whatever wild stuff we want to add.” Pagán continues, “In small spaces like our half bath, we went wild with color (coral pink walls!) and texture for visual interest.”

Pagán notes that they both like to be practical about what they buy and keep for the home. “Everything has to have a purpose and/or not get in the way. We don’t have our bed covered in decorative pillows and we don’t keep things that people aren’t allowed to touch,” she says. “We enjoy a mix of high/low and objects from our travels – like a collection of framed photos from earlier in our relationship that bring me joy. We also do a fair amount of DIY with pops of bright and bold colors. It’s a perfect reflection of who we are and how we live: a bit messy, not too serious, full of life and color, and good taste, too!”


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