Celine & Justin’s Colorful Midcentury Home

By Jenn Rose Smith

photographed by nicole mlakar • celine would like to thank boozer construction and articulated design for work on her home

Celine and Justin are my favorite kind of people — absolutely uncategorizable. Sure, they’re both busy being successful physicians, but why should that stop them from being top-notch decorators with impeccable taste for vintage design as well? When these two aren’t saving lives, they’re usually tinkering with the next big home renovation project (Storage shed converted to pool house? Done. Rooftop bar with ivy walls? Check. Airstream trailer painted to match the main house? Obvi.) Celine chronicles the ongoing renovations on her blog Aquahaus, and ever since we stopped by the Ord’s place back in October for a progressive dinner party we’ve been dying to come back for the full tour. Prepare yourself for a big dose of house envy and follow our orders precisely: take two trips through the entire slideshow, and one more at breakfast tomorrow.

We love your signature “aqua” color. Was the home already painted this way when you purchased it? What drew you to this certain shade of blue?

The whole house was actually a light aqua, and the eaves were the present darker aqua color. It was actually too much and a friend joked about our “taco shack” of a house. We had the house painted white, but kept the aqua eaves as a nod to the original spirit and architecture of the house. It’s just fortuitous that’s it’s my favorite color. I love the modern yet fun nature of the color. It’s mod without being cold.

Nice airstream! Does she have a name?

Well, she had a name, but then she got a paint job, so I’m considering a new name. Any suggestions? She’s a 1979 Airstream Argosy. And yes, we are renovating ourselves. We like to road trip and camp. I’m planning on some serious tailgating this coming football season too!

Did you and Justin work together to design the space, or it mostly your domain? How does his taste factor in to the home?

Ha, it’s mostly my domain, but Justin definitely gets veto power. Fortunately, we have similar tastes; my taste in general is pretty masculine (cowboy wallpaper). So, we don’t clash too much. I’m not allowed to buy anything anymore though. He says I bought out Round Top. Boooo.

We love the leather circle chair in your living room. Cool that the legs are painted blue to match your house! Is it from Garza Marfa?

Yes, it’s Garza Marfa. I love the chair not only because of its inherent beauty and craftsmanship but also for sentimental value. My husband bought it for me as a gift to commemorate the end of my residency. We had taken a trip to Marfa, and I loved the piece so much upon seeing it at the Garza Marfa showroom, especially after chatting with the makers. Every time I see the chair, I think of that trip, those memories, and have such a sense of overwhelming happiness and gratitude.

What do you love about your neighborhood?

It’s eclectic. There’s a mix of hippies and families and young professionals. People are so low key and nice. Our neighbors are some of our best friends (see progressive party). Plus, it’s so central and close to everything.

It looks like your living room is set up for some serious game watching! Tell us about Justin’s recliner. Where did you get that piece? How do you guys like to use the living room space?

We picked up that piece on Craigslist. We are avid sports fans and watch EVERYTHING here. We also host karaoke night not infrequently.

How would you describe your overall decorating style?

Eclectic. Adventurous. Impulsive. Masculine.

We are in love with your Roy Rogers wallpaper. Where on earth did you find it?!

Spoonflower!! I love Spoonflower. So easy to hang this paper.

Tell us about the cool macrame wall hanging in the record room. So amazing. What’s the story behind that piece?

The macrame wall hanging is by none other than Trilby Nelson, an amazing local fiber artist. She is so sweet and talented. She made the piece as a backdrop for Blogshop Austin, and when it came up for sale, I knew it was the perfect piece for that room.

Give us the scoop on your dining room suite: that table is out of this world. Love those chrome legs. Where did you score it?

The table is from Craigslist. The gal I bought it from is now a good friend. Ha! The light fixture is the Mobile Chandelier from West Elm. I think it’s a great low price alternative to a Lindsey Adelman fixture… one day though!!!

Your kitchen is so bright and airy. Do you guys spend much time in that space? Do either of you like to cook?

We do spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen, but mainly to make drinks. We both like cooking, but haven’t refined those skills yet. 2016 NY resolution. Ha! Justin is amazing on the grill though!

You have this interesting little window cut into the kitchen wall. How do you use that space? Do you serve drinks through the window?

That strange nook was already there. I have no idea what it’s for, but we use it to peek through to see who’s at the front door. We also store the dog leashes there.

Tell us again about the staircase in your home. I think you said it originally didn’t have railing?

It didn’t. We added the steel railing. One of the most amazing things is that the treads are made of plain plywood. I like the use of ordinary materials in an extraordinary way.

Who typically stays in your guest bedroom and what were you thinking about when you designed the space?

My mom most frequently stays in the room. There wasn’t really a design plan. It’s just a mish mash of leftover stuff. Like the flag beaded curtain. I originally bought it to use in my trailer, but didn’t feel like shipping it back, so I just hung it on the wall. And I like it there.

What do you love about your master bedroom?

I love the skylights, and the feeling of separation from the living space. It’s fun to retreat to the lower level away from the rest of the house.

Tell us about your colorful bedding:
The patterned headboard is from West Elm. We custom ordered it. And the brightly striped fringe pillow is a vintage find from Round Top!

Looks like Justin has a pretty sweet reading chair. Is it an Eames chair or some other design? What’s it’s story?

It’s a retro design, and we got it in a vintage store in Portland. We were about to move to Austin and when I saw the burnt orange color, I thought it was a sign.

Your master bathroom is simply amazing. Did you do any renovations to that space?

Yes, we designed it. It had a different footprint. We put in the walk-in shower and designed the concrete sink top. I bought the marble floor tile off ebay.

We’re a little bit jealous of your rooftop bar. How do you typically use the space?

We usually go up there in the late afternoon or evening and have drinks. I love the view of the trees; it feels like being in a treehouse.

How long have you lived in your home and when did you know it was the one?

We bought our house about 3 years ago. The original bungalow was built in the 1950’s; the addition was done in early 2000’s. The house had such great bones and we knew it was the one when we walked inside.

Okay! Now about this poolhouse… Did you build it from scratch or was it pre-existing? How do you like to use the space?

The space was pre-existing, but as a storage shed.  I did a makeover of it last summer. It’s a nice respite from the sun when poolside.

Tell us about the bar with the pennies on top: so cool! Where did you find that or did you make it yourself?

I made it myself. The cabinets are simple base cabinets from Home Depot. I glued pennies onto a piece of MDF, trimmed it out,  and then epoxied it. The cups above are mint julep cups and Moscow mule mugs. I like to have the appropriate drink vessel for each cocktail… it’s a vice.

Um, that drum coffee table is everything. Where did you score that?

Round Top of course!

Do you entertain often in your home?

We do entertain often. We have people over all the time. The house is built for entertaining… there are so many different spaces. Nothing makes us happier than having people over to hang out and laugh with.

Thank you, Celine and Justin, for inviting into your magical midcentury abode! We just might have to pour ourselves a drink and stay a while…

follow Celine on instagram: @aquahaus