Q&A with Casella Interiors: Designers Behind CityLights’ Interior Spaces

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Known for their work on award-winning projects like Etch Restaurant, the Adelicia Building, Twelve Twelve and Emma at the Trolley Barns, Casella Interiors is no stranger to beautiful, modern design.

Designers Laret Casella and Jessica Langdon sat down with us for a one-on-one interview about the inspiration behind Nashville’s newest downtown luxury condo building, CityLights.

Q: Describe the overall aesthetic of CityLights?

LC: It is a modern, sophisticated interior that is inviting to owners and their visitors.

Q: What inspired the spaces at CityLights?

LC: Nashville is known for being a welcoming city to visitors and new residents alike.  CityLights has great views of the heart of Nashville, and we wanted to try to capture that welcoming feeling Nashville is known for in the interior of the building.

Q: Tell us a little bit about the finishes you selected for CityLights.

LC: The finishes have a variety of texture, both visual and tactile.  The limestone inspired tile in the lobby combines with rich wood, quartz and a 3 dimensional wall tile to greet you as you enter the building.  The owner’s lounge has a beautiful wood floor and a rich wallcovering that counterbalance the glass exterior walls that capture the views that surround the building.

Q: What makes CityLights special from other projects you have worked on?

JL: One of the most unique aspects of CityLights is its location.  The building is in the heart of downtown and close to all the activity, from concerts to restaurants to Titans football.  It presented the opportunity to design spaces that will be used as an extension of Nashville’s vibrant entertainment scene

Q: As you know, CityLights is located on Rutledge Hill overlooking downtown Nashville. Did you draw any inspiration from the views and feel of the city?

JL: The surrounding areas and views provided excellent inspiration.  Elements throughout the building’s design reinforce the CityLights theme.  We incorporated materials and lighting that are abstract representations of typical elements found in urban architecture.

Casella Interiors, established by Laret Casella in 1997, is committed to providing the highest level of professional design services to all clients. The design experience of Casella Interiors encompasses a wide variety of project types and sizes, including large corporate offices, high-end residential condominiums, religious facilities, educational institutions, athletic programs, and even custom furniture. 

To see CityLights’ finish packages, visit http://citylightstn.com/finishes/.

Why Baby Boomers May Be Flocking to Condos in Downtown Nashville

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Downtown Nashville continues to see rapid, consistent growth. And according to the Nashville Downtown Partnership “Residential Report,” the percentage of baby boomers living downtown has contributed to that growth — rising by 5 percent in less than 5 years. Boomers make up 38 percent of downtown Nashville residents — more than any other age group. Additionally, thirty-four percent of residents have moved downtown from out-of-state while 32 percent have moved from outside the city.

This comes as no surprise, considering there are so many wonderful benefits to downtown living.

Here a few reasons boomers may be choosing to relocate to condo buildings in downtown Nashville:

Simplified Lifestyle Happy mature couple with cardboard boxes at new home

Urban condo living offers many advantages. While downsizing may initially seem intimidating, it can also be very liberating.  Studies have shown that simplifying your life can result in less stress and less clutter which can lead to a much happier life.

Less Upkeep

ConciergeImagine never having to worry about mowing your grass again. Condo buildings like CityLights offer services to help manage your life. With upscale services like a full-time concierge, maintenance staff, and a cleaning service for common spaces, you won’t have to worry about coordinating repairs to that leak in your basement or mowing the grass every Saturday.


john-seigenthaler-pedestrian-bridge-740According to WalkScore.com, downtown Nashville is “very walkable” and pedestrian-friendly. The stresses of driving are a thing of the past when you live downtown and convenience is key. Walk next door for your morning coffee, stroll Riverfront Park over lunch, and catch a concert at the Symphony Center in the evening

A Plethora of Downtown Activities 

Nashville, United States - November 12, 2009: Nashville Downtown scene with the Birth of Apollo statue and fountain on the left in the foreground and the Nashville downtown skyline, and trees and park area to the right. The Birth of Apollo statue is located near the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and was created by Casey Eskridge. Picture was taken during Autumn.According to Travel and Leisure, Nashville is one of America’s best cities because of its friendly vibe, accessible qualities, and of course the hot music scene. Nashville’s entertainment and cultural activities are unlike any other city in the U.S. From the Frist Center for the Visual Arts to the Ascend Amphitheater, there is no shortage of daily events and activities right outside your doorstep.

To Entertain Friends

ascendCondo living offers modern amenities like pools and rooftop terraces that encourage entertaining, not to mention downtown Nashville provides built-in entertainment.  According to a recent article in the Tennessean, Joyce McDaniel, a downtown resident, wasn’t surprised when friends called to ask whether they could sit on her apartment balcony and listen to the recent Jimmy Buffett concert at Ascend Amphitheater. “Everybody wants to come and hang out,” she said. With so many fun activities taking place downtown, it becomes a reason to entertain and have friends over.”

CityLights is made up of 71 luxury condos perched atop Rutledge Hill overlooking downtown Nashville. CityLights has a rooftop terrace, saltwater pool, and an in-house restaurant. Reserve your unit today: http://citylightstn.com/contact/ 

48 Hours in Rutledge Hill and SoBro

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Rutledge Hill and SoBro, south of downtown, are Nashville’s hottest new neighborhoods. Both areas continue to be revitalized, bringing in hip new businesses and urban condo developments like CityLights. The area flaunts some of Nashville’s coolest gathering spots, award-winning restaurants and premium live entertainment venues.

While we could fill up several days with exciting activities in Rutledge Hill and SoBro, we’re giving you a sample two-day itinerary to get you started.

Day 1

Start your morning at Crema on Hermitage Avenue for a cup of the best specialty coffee you’ve ever tasted. Crema serves artisanal coffee and snacks out of its airy, industrial space overlooking town. Grab a seat on the sunny patio for the best view of the John Seigenthaler Bridge and downtown Nashville.


Spend the afternoon exploring the south side of Broadway. Take a tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame and make your own keepsake Hatch Show Print when you tour the iconic letterpress shop.


Grab a drink and some shared appetizers at Pinewood Social in SoBro and take in the hip atmosphere. Try one of their seasonal cocktails like the “Tranquil and Serene” made with infused spirits and fresh fruit. Before you leave, check out the bowling alley, pool and bocce ball court.

Plan your weekend around a show at the Ascend Amphitheater, Nashville’s newest outdoor park and amphitheater. So many great performers are coming to Ascend this summer including: Journey, Ray Lamontagne, The Goo Goo Dolls, Meghan Trainor and Heart with Joan Jett. Pro tip: only low beach chairs or blankets are permitted inside the venue. No stadium chairs or tall chairs are allowed.


If you’re so inclined, stop for a post-concert fourth meal at the iconic Hermitage Café, Nashville’s best greasy spoon. The café, known for its breakfast food, burgers, and fries, is open until 1:30 a.m.

Day 2

Venture to  Husk to experience one of Nashville’s best Sunday brunches. Share the homemade biscuits and gravy and try Husk’s signature Shrimp and Grits with peppers and bacon. Or if you’re craving something sweet, try the buttermilk pancakes with strawberry compote and vanilla whipped cream — yum!

Shrimp and Grits

Walk off the calories you just consumed at brunch at Nashville’s Riverfront Park. Cross the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge for one of the best views of Nashville and the Cumberland River — the perfect way to cap off your fabulous afternoon in downtown Nashville.

Seigenthaler Bridge

Once you’ve walked off your brunch, change into your Sunday best to catch an evening show at the Nashville SymphonyThe Nashville Symphony plays concerts year-round at the exquisite Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

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SoBro and Rutledge Hill are two of Nashville’s most vibrant neighborhoods and continue to thrive. While 48 hours in these neighborhoods isn’t nearly enough time, it will give you a sense for their unique local flare.

CityLights is perched atop Rutledge Hill and is walkable to downtown Nashville. 

Rutledge Hill area offers peaceful downtown living

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Joyce McDaniel wasn’t surprised when friends called to ask whether they could sit on her apartment balcony and listen to the recent Jimmy Buffett concert at Ascend Amphitheater.

“Everybody wants to come and hang out,” she said.

Since moving from the Whitland Avenue neighborhood, McDaniel says she has gotten accustomed to such requests. Her apartment is in the Old Metro General Hospital building on Rolling Mill Hill on the south side of downtown. The amphitheater is at the foot of the hill.

McDaniel was one of the first tenants to move into the building five years ago. Since then, the surrounding neighborhood has rapidly redeveloped, with the construction of additional apartments including Ryman Lofts, City View and Nance Place. Terra House, a 194-apartment luxury building, opened at the end of 2015.

More development coming

McDaniel is about to get more new neighbors. The Rutledge Hill neighborhood next door will be the site of the city’s newest multi-story condominium. Developers expect to break ground soon on the seven-story CityLights building at 20 Rutledge St.

Residents are expected to move in by early 2018. Prices for the development’s 71 residences range from the high $500,000s to $3.2 million, said Ted Pins, a Realtor with Village Real Estate.

While Buffett played at Ascend, Village hosted a party at the site to give future residents and prospective buyers a preview of living on Rutledge Hill. One advantage is the neighborhood’s location close, but not too close, to the downtown entertainment district, said Pins.

“You’re perched above the city with a view of downtown, but you’re not in the middle of the congestion and noise. We’re too far up the hill for pedal taverns,” he said.

Read More of this story here

Start Nears for CityLights

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CityLights developers are expected to begin grading very soon, as the the building is almost 35 percent sold.

The 71-unit project will offer a rooftop terrace, lap pool, and fitness and yoga center.

Read the Nashville Post article here.

Party Attendees Have Best Seat in the House for Buffett Concert Atop CityLights

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Thirty minutes prior, there had been a torrential downpour. But at 8:00 p.m., as if on cue, the clouds parted and, the rain stopped and a cool breeze blew through patio. From atop the CityLights sales center, there was a clear view of the Korean Veterans bridge lit up in rainbow-colored lights, and in the distance, a clear view of the Ascend Amphitheater where down below Jimmy Buffett was expected to take the stage any minute.DSC_0394

More than 80 developers, buyers, REALTORS®, and interested parties attended the outdoor event. Fresh-off-the-grill “Cheeseburgers in real estate paradise” and margaritas were served while Jimmy Buffett played greatest hits like “Boat Drinks” and “Margaritaville” in the background.


“CityLights is the perfect location to experience Nashville urban lifestyle,” said Danielle Hasley, CityLights sales team member. “One of the benefits to buying at CityLights is the close proximity to downtown entertainment, restaurants and more. And who can beat this view!”

DSC_0347The 7-story, 71-unit development is slated to start building very soon, as the building is almost 35 percent sold. The building will have a rooftop terrace, saltwater pool, and fitness and yoga area.

To learn more about CityLights, contact our sales team here.


10 Uniquely Nashville Spots to Check Out This Summer

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The longer days and humid nights signal that a Tennessee summer is right around the corner. Summer is one of the best times to live in Nashville, and there are several warm-weather spots that you must not miss!

1. Bobbie’s Dairy DipBobbie's Dairy Dip

Bobbie’s is a true Nashville staple, especially when it’s sweltering out. A trip to Bobbie’s is like traveling back in time to a 1950’s drive-in restaurant. Order a dipped cone, chocolate sundae or specialty shake and experience true ice cream bliss.

2. Pinewood Social Pool DeckPinewood Social Pool Deck

Outdoor public pools in downtown Nashville are like unicorns: you’ve heard about them but you’re not sure if they really exist. Pinewood Social, one of the hippest gathering spots in town, has you covered. They have two dipping pools complete with an airstream that serves beverages and a full menu.

3. Nashville Greenways

Nashville’s public greenways are some of the most beautiful trails you will find in the state. Walk, jog or bike the trails that connect more than 80 miles of green space around town. Travel the Cumberland River Greenway downtown to get the best views of downtown Nashville, SoBro and Germantown.

4. Mas Tacos Por FavorMas Tacos Por Favor

We always leave this place wanting more, hence the name “Mas Tacos Por Favor.” Although the line is sometimes long, the food is well worth the wait. Try the elote (grilled corn on the cob), chicken tamales, and homemade specialty frescas.

5. Retro Sno Shaved Ice TruckRetro Sno Shaved Ice

As a kid, remember when the highlight of your summer was visiting the shaved ice truck and selecting your favorite tropical flavor? You’re in luck! Retro Sno is Nashville’s original shaved ice truck and can be found at various landmarks around town. Check their daily schedule on their website or twitter page.

6. The Harpeth RiverThe Harpeth River

The perfect outdoor retreat awaits you less than 30 minutes outside of town: canoeing the Harpeth River. No need to be an expert — canoeing the Harpeth’s shallow, smooth waters is perfect for beginners and kids. Pro tip: Pack a lunch so you can stop along the way for a picnic on one of the many small islands.

 7. First Tennessee Park: Home of the Nashville SoundsFirst Tennessee Park

Baseball is summer’s favorite sport, so you have to make at least one Sounds game this season. The Sounds play at the brand new state-of-the art First Tennessee Park and regularly host themed nights and beer specials. Pro tip: stop for a drink and a round of cornhole at the Band Box. 

8. Gabby’s Burgers and FriesGabby’s Burgers and Fries

Consistently voted one of Nashville’s best burger spots, Gabby’s Burgers & Fries doesn’t disappoint. Try the Seamus and sweet potato fries or Gabby’s Burger if you’re extra hungry. Pro tip: if you become a regular, you may even be privy to the “secret menu” for VIP guests.

9. Frist Fridays at the Frist Center for Visual ArtsFrist Fridays at the Frist Center for Visual Arts

Art, live music, and wine — sounds like the perfect summer night to us. The Frist Center in downtown Nashville hosts live outdoor concerts every summer, dubbed “Frist Fridays.” Frist Fridays take place on the final Friday of the month in June, July, and August from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Center’s Turner Courtyard. Pro trip: remember to bring your stadium seat or blanket.

10. Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4, Downtown NashvilleLet Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th

Nashville’s summer events culminate with one of the most exciting celebrations of the year. Experience one of the country’s best fourth of July celebrations right in your backyard. The lineup includes musical performances by Sheryl Crow, Maddie & Tae, Erin McCarley and the Nashville Symphony, complete with one of the biggest fireworks displays in the U.S.

Get out there, Nashville, and have a little fun in the sun!

Luxury downtown condo hit tipping point this week

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By the end of this week, Mark Deutschmann expects to have collected enough five- or six-figure deposits from condo buyers to land a bank loan to build what would be downtown Nashville’s next condo development. Click here to read more!

CityLights will be in mere walking distance to the new, amazing greenways!

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Metro Parks Director Tommy Lynch says the parks department is in the process of updating the $260 million Countywide Parks and Greenways Master Plan to accommodate more urban greenways. Read about the new goal: A greenway within 1 mile of every neighborhood here

CityLights, a short walk from the #2 “Coolest Bike and Pedestrian Bridge” in the US!

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CityLights will have exquisite views of the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge- which was just named the #2 “Coolest Bike and Pedestrian Bridge” in the US! The bridge is considered a near-perfect spot to capture photos of the Nashville skyline and allows cyclists to cross the Cumberland River and ride right into the heart of downtown. Click here to read more!