Meet 12th Table's Lead Floral Designer
For a long time, most people have known 12th Table as a rental company. We curate a collection of furnishings and details to elevate spaces and create beautiful environments. But creating a thoughtfully designed space goes beyond the foundational pieces you choose — it's also about the design elements you bring in to augment the space.
Earlier this year, artist Celeste Greene joined our team as Lead Floral Designer, providing another layer to the mix. Rooted in creativity, her designs are forward thinking, magical, and—to us—that finishing touch to truly transform a space.
Want to know more about this creative force? See more on our dear friend and flower whisperer below.
Let’s start at the beginning. What is your first memory of being creative?
I was born in Naples, Florida and lived on a little island outside of Naples, called Captiva, until I was six. We had a couple that lived on our property who would take care of my sister and I often. They were both from England and spent most of their time collecting sea shells, doing art, and advocating for the local turtle population.
Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in their sunroom in the early morning and Marge, the wife, helping me create a beach scene on a painted canvas — hot gluing found sea shells and netting onto it. I think I might still have this piece in storage somewhere.
What was your dream job as a child?
I never thought like that as a child actually. I don't have one memory of wanting to be something when I grew up. All the women around me were mothers, so I think I assumed I would just be that.
When did you begin designing florals?
In 2015, I moved to San Fransisco. I was doing wedding design and styling, and while working on a cover piece for Magnolia Rouge wedding magazine, I met Ivanka Matsuba. This was before Ivanka and Amanda started Studio Mondine, and Ivanka was doing florals on her own. She and I immediately hit it off and connected over our shared love of art, psychology, fatty foods and hard work. Once she started Studio Mondine, she asked me to help. I said, "I have no clue how to design flowers," and she said, “Oh, its not hard; you can do it. I’ll teach you.”
So that is what happened. I worked with Studio Mondine for the whole time I lived in SF, while simultaneously keeping up with my own styling jobs. Since our aesthetic and internal artistic motivation was so similar, we collaborated every chance we could and had so much fun doing it.
Who or what has most influenced your design style?
I take daily lessons from how things grow in nature. I notice that my designs are best when I’ve spent time outside, when I’m at peace internally, and when I am quietly relaxed. A rushed, stressed arrangement is not a pretty one to me. So, what influences my design style the most I would say is my own internal compass. I’ve been practicing meditation and yoga for over 15 years, and I find it is the best way for my senses to become clear and to develop the act of deep listening — to my natural internal draw towards beauty.
This is so important to me. I want to be a designer whose work is authentic. I see no point in re-creating something someone else did or someone else’s style. I push myself to create what I think is beautiful and to believe in that part of myself and that that part has something to say. I think it's important to stay aware of trends and to play with other designers' modalities, but creating something honest to me is the thing that inspires me the most.
There are so many talented floral designers. What is different about 12th Table’s aesthetic?
Yes, there are so many great ones! I really like to push the envelope of what I am used to and what could be. I have never liked boxes, so what makes our florals different is our ability to use unique ingredients in a elegant, natural way. For example, the other day I was designing an arrangement for Happily Grey’s dinner party at our studio. We have a big indoor palm in the studio and I went over to clip off some of its dying leaves. As I did that, I noticed how beautiful they were—interesting in shape and color after their green perky days were over. I set them aside and started arranging this very romantic draping piece and then I just felt like I had to add these dead leaves, and it made the whole arrangement just great.
I think whats cool about 12th Table’s brand is that it is solid and clear clean modernism, but it is always willing to push the boundaries. And that is what our floral department is about. Trying new things, playing with design, while still being classic.
Ideal playlist while designing. Go!
Haha! Actually, I prefer designing in silence! But, if I’m working on a big job a little 90’s R&B is helpful to get in the groove!!
What flowers and/or natural elements do you love working with most?
All the local growers here know that I am always asking what is the weirdest thing you have. I love using the weird guy; I especially love using grasses and weeds. On my dining room table right now is this beautiful dried up weed I picked on my morning walk the other day. I just think it is beautiful.
To what extent do you infuse local, seasonal flowers into your designs?
As much as I can—almost always. It's so important to support our local growers, plus I love the personality that local product has. The garden roses at Restoration Rose have so much romance, the blooms at Basil & Bergamot are always oozing preciousness, and the blooms from Green Door Gourmet are full of fun.
There is so much inspiration out there these days. How do you help individuals hone in on what they really want?
This is a good question! Pinterest can really overload a person with ideas and options, so I think it's important to look at what your natural, everyday style is — what are you drawn to in your home and in your closet? This tells me so much about your personality and aesthetic. Then I can choose blooms that are aligned with who you are, what you value, and what you want to say. Plus, it will be timeless. I'm really into that!
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
Every moment of every day is part of my creative process. For instance, I’m sitting outside on my porch right now and I just paused to watch a small white butterfly hover above a weed in my garden with beautiful pastel purple fuzzy pods at its tips. This moment is pure beauty to me and its the place I am always looking to re-create — that moment of awe, peace and ease.
I also really love the shopping for flowers part of my process—it's when the color pallete really comes together, materials start telling me what they want (how they want to be used and who else want be with).
What advice would you give to brides who are starting to think about florals and design for their wedding?
Don’t think too hard!
Celeste’s favorite local spots…
To eat: Woodlands Vegetarian Indian - they have a great lunch buffet!
To drink: A bottle of wine from Woodland’s Wine Merchant and my backyard. I’m allergic to most wine, but they have a huge selection of organic and bio-dynamic wine that doesn't make me sick! It's such an amazing treat to have them in my neighborhood.
To unwind: Laying in the hammock in my backyard — I’m obviously a homebody... but if I am out on the town I love grabbing a cup of tea at High Garden or looking at all the pretty things at Nomad Collective or Goodwin shop.
To be inspired: Reading about art, reading about artist’s lives, or reading poetry on nature found at my neighborhood library (Inglewood Public Library), Jane House’s yoga class at Ha.le Mind & Body, art talks at DLG, Julia Martin or Abrasive Media, listening to music at the original Basement, seeing art at the Frist… I could go on, but I'll stop there!
To connect with nature: Hike through Beaman Park, Percy Warner Park, or I love a day at Foster Falls!
Interested in booking florals with 12th Table? Set up a consult here.