With the combined creative talents of Celeste Green and Blaque Riley, their home was bound to be beautiful. And this bright 1930s home in East Nashville really marries their two styles in an inviting live-work space. Celeste's art studio sits just off the living room (in a room intended to be a dining room) and has a warm glow thanks to the colors of her paintings. Meanwhile, Blaque has converted the largest bedroom into her jewelry studio and chosen a smaller adjacent room (which is likely where an office would be) for her bedroom. It's quite clear where these two women's priorities are and their home is endlessly more interesting because of it!
While talking with Celeste and Blaque about their style and inspiration, they both hinted at duality. "I like to explore smooth transitions between two contrasting styles, modern and rustic," says Celeste. Blaque has "a soft spot for nature, the bohemian, the eclectic" but also loves "clean lines and sophistication." This juxtaposition makes their home feel loved, lived-in and carefree.
While it's clear that they share many of the same views and styles, Celeste and Blaque have created spaces of their own — perfect for their personal work and creativity. Blaque's studio reflects her organization, attention to detail and sentimentality while Celeste's has a free-spirited, organic flow. Their bedrooms also reflect those personal characteristics, but the rest of the house has an amazing shared energy. The kitchen comes alive as Celeste creates a cocktail for us to enjoy in the backyard and Blaque begins telling me all about the local CSA they've joined. Celeste's dog, Edge, wanders in from the living room and follows us outside to sit in the sun as we chat about what drives us all to live this crazy, creative life.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Celeste: Over the years as trends shift, I watch my style stay pretty consistent...I like to explore smooth transitions between two contrasting styles, modern and rustic. Ideally, I want my house to feel like a spa. When I walk in the door I want to feel like I'm curling up in the crisp clean pillowy covers on my bed…without actually doing that, haha. It's a process to find this softness everywhere.
I'm drawn to modern shapes and clean lines that offer simplicity to the eye, and for me they want to be paired with natural materials and earthy tones to bring in warmth. I have always felt strongly that "less is more" and I try to remove myself from the cycle of consumerism. I also don't want my house to feel like a museum, so I look for ways to blend minimalism with comfort.
I grew up in the woods 45 minutes outside of Nashville and I feel most at home amongst the trees. This house is the furthest from being in the woods that I've lived in a long time, so I am constantly finding ways to bring the trees to me — usually by clipping large branches from my neighbors' yards and finding a spot for them to shine inside the house.
Blaque: Eclectic minimalist…I'm not sure, that might be an oxymoron! My style is a constant (mostly positive) tension between my sentimentality and my desire for simplicity. This plays out in my personal life, my aesthetic and my jewelry line.
I was raised in Alaska but live in the city, so again there is a dualism in my style. I have a soft spot for nature, the bohemian, the eclectic — but I also love clean lines and sophistication.
I like to be surrounded by little reminders of the people, places and experiences that have shaped me, but I hate clutter. A few years ago I found my solution…a vintage mahogany printer's tray to hold all of the bits I have collected over the years.
Creatively, I like a clean slate, and that's where the minimalism comes in. It quiets my mind and leaves room for things outside of the daily noise. My studio is white on white on white, everything has its right place, and there's plenty of horizontal surface for working on.
Inspiration: Celeste: Water, spas, retreats, architecture, flowers, poetry, anything that is alive...large open landscapes and tiny buds blooming.
Blaque: Poetry + songwriting, lines + asymmetry, B&W art, jadeite milk glass, vintage thrifting, anything done on an artisanal scale
Favorite Element: Celeste: Currently my pottery bowl from Mexico — Blaque's mom drove us on a treacherous road two hours into the mountains outside of Todos Santos, Baja, to see a locally honored potter at his ranch. He has been hand building pottery for many years, and was taught by his mom who was taught by her mom…They don't have any electricity so these pots are made to cook their beans in over the coals. He showed me how he harvests the clay, how he stores it and the process of making each pot by hand. It's truly amazing! He would only accept $5 because it was used and cracked — in his eyes, imperfect!
Blaque: A pair of vintage glasses (gold rims + bamboo shoot detail) that I found at a thrift store. These glasses have traveled far with me, and shared many drinks with close friends. Also, high ceilings + tall windows + lots of natural light.
Biggest Challenge: Celeste: Not having a proper bathtub.
Blaque: The biggest challenge for me, as a renter, is how much time and money to invest in making this space my own. I'm typically reticent to invest in anything temporary, but Celeste takes the opposite approach and really goes for it. She's definitely teaching me something about living in the present, and creating a sense of home.
What Friends Say: "It's so big!" "You have such great light in here." "It feels like the start of something, all the time." People who visit get really inspired by how comfortably our workspaces are integrated with our living space. I think they enjoy seeing our creative work in progress. Up until a few months ago, our good friend Andrea Behrends had her home and photo studio in the mother-in-law unit. It was a fun little creative cul de sac we had going!
Biggest Embarrassment: Celeste: curb appeal
Blaque: The kitchen is a love-hate relationship. Ornate '70s linoleum (browns, harvest gold), periwinkle blue cabinetry and country floral wallpaper to tie it all together. We didn't really have any choice but to lean into the kitsch.
The mudroom used to be the worst part of our house. The prior renters had left it boy-dirty, and when I first walked in I was like, "Nope. This is not the place." But now it's arguably our favorite room — we've filled it with greenery and the afternoon light is particularly special.
Proudest DIY: Celeste: Oh gosh…. putting my IKEA console cabinet together, haha.
Blaque: I used fishing line to suspend my paper supplies and leather hides —the effect is sort of a floating installation.
Biggest Indulgence: Celeste: The rug in my bedroom. I had been looking for just the right rug for years and finally found this one from an interior designer who couldn't use it for the job she bought it for, so even though it was a big purchase I ended up getting it at a great price.
Blaque: Pablo Lamp…More and more in my life I am interested in getting the right thing or no thing. This was one of the times when I got the right thing.
Best Advice: Celeste: Live in your space first before you start filling it with furniture. Learn to be okay with the unfinished; this will allow your house to grow with you. Let your house and your lifestyle dictate how you fill it — it will feel much more comfortable and more personal this way. I do the same thing with my paintings. It's a constant practice to live with the unfinished/the unknown, instead of trying to figure it out too soon. My work is showing up, being quiet and sensitive enough to hear what the canvas (or home) wants. Truly listening is a skill I continue to cultivate everyday.
Blaque: If you can find a clear way to cultivate living by your values, do it! Recently we joined Rosie Belle Farms CSA; it has simplified my life and brought a lot of joy.
Dream Sources (Celeste): March SF; Etsy Vintage Modern Furniture; Spartan Shop
Sofa — Craigslist
Pillows — Atomic Garden , Nashville Flea Market
Rug — Target
Chair — Craigslist
Paintings — Celeste Greene
Coffee Table — West Elm
Stools — Christian Fecht
Side Stools — UAL, TJ Maxx
Molecule Candle — Andrej Urem
Lamp — TJ Maxx
Artwork — Celeste Greene
Workbench — Craigslist
Cabinet — IKEA
Office Chair — Mid Century Monger
File cabinet — CB2
Easel — Craigslist
Lamp — EQ3, Pablo Lamp
Work Lamp — Amazon
Sheepskin — Overland Sheepskin Co.
Lamp — Pablo
Candle — Maison Louis Marie No 4, Elizabeth Suzann
Desk — Ikea
File cabinet — CB2
Stacked Drawers — IKEA
Workbench — home depot
Couch — craigslist
Chair — thrifted
Woven throw — Market in Istanbul, Turkey
Pillows — Mary Mooney
Sheepskin and Leather Hides — Tandy Leather
Poetry — hand typed (mostly Mary Oliver, Joni Mitchell)
Drawings/Watercolors — Blaque Reily
Bed — Craigslist
Bedding — Wayfair
Mid-Century Modern Desk — Craigslist
Magazine Stand — Craigslist
Lamp — Antique Store (Durango, CO)
Towels — Anthropologie, Italian Linen