Take Ten with Melanie Coddington

California native, Melanie Coddington started her namesake firm Coddington Design in 2005. Based in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Coddington Design has mastered timeless design with a unique mix of color and texture. Named one of House Beautiful’s top designers to watch, Melanie Coddington gives us insight on her upcoming projects and tips for creating the stylish spaces she’s known for!


How did you get your start in design?

MC: I was lucky enough to be selected for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase months after launching my business. I thought I designed a really sophisticated guest bedroom, but people kept walking in and calling it a little girl’s room! I designed three green girls’ bedrooms that year for Pacific Heights moms. I was eventually able to branch out into full-scale remodels.

What was your previous profession or expertise? Professional or educational training?

MC: Interior design is my second career. My first career was a recruiter for tech companies. It paid the bills but was not fulfilling. I became a receptionist for a high end residential designer, went back to school for interior design, and talked my way into promotion after promotion until I was a designer.


Can you tell us a little bit about an upcoming project that you're proud of?

MC: I really love this new build beach house we did on Nantucket. The architecture is classic Nantucket but the interiors are gorgeous mix of California casual, early American and Scandinavian mid-century. The clients are a total delight to work with. We are looking forward to finishing up the guest house in 2018.

What design trends are you most excited about and/or wish would go away?

MC: I keep hearing that wallpaper is” back”. I love wallpaper and use it liberally so it never went away in my mind. Also, California has been leading the way on eco-friendly design but I feel like the rest of the country is catching up and I’m happy about it.

When a client steps into a Coddington Design space, how do you want them to feel?

MC: I want my clients to feel supported in whatever it is they want to be doing. If it’s a TV room, it should be comfy and inviting. If the space is an office, the desired feeling is productivity. While some designers create very dramatic focal points, I tend to very intentionally bring the eye to all parts of the room equally. This creates a more calm, welcoming space.


What inspires you to create the elegant yet approachable interiors that you are so well-known for?

MC: I simply design rooms that I want to be in. And I never want to repeat what I’ve done for another project.

Outside the world of design, what inspires you? Where does this inspiration come from? (Be specific. Ex: color, pattern, art, travel)

MC: I take inspiration from fashion and nature equally. Fashion is about the pop, the trend, the interesting mix. Nature is about giving my brain permission to rest and be calm.

What are your thoughts on the future of design?

MC: I spend a lot of time wishing the design world would catch up to where I see it going! We are ripe for some disruption in the arenas of sourcing, lead times, and shipping. I can’t wait until we have virtual reality room designs in real time.

Please tell us 3-5 fun facts about yourself!

  1. I’m a total bird nerd.  I can identify most birds of prey by call or sight.

  2. Unlike many designers, I do not have free reign at home. My wife’s opinion on furniture and wall colors has equal weight to mine. Sigh.

  3. I am a volunteer mentor to people who need business advice through an organization called StartOut.

DesignTricia Kerr