December 2, 2014
by Melanie Coddington

Au Revoir

This blog is defunct. I wish I could say that since I stopped blogging I run ten miles day, prepare all-organic meals for my family, and have finally found balance in my life. The truth is I’ve moved my digital design life over to InstagramFacebook, Houzz and occasionally Twitter. If you are curious about my interior design, check out, and if you want to see photos of what I’m drinking and what my family is up to, check out my personal Instagram.

Thank you, loyal readers for your kind attention through my blogging years. I wish you both all the best (hi mom!).



September 30, 2014
by Melanie Coddington

Moxie Files: Jenna Lyons

Hello faithful readers!  So motherhood.  My lack of blogging certainly hasn’t implied a radio silence in my life. Just the opposite.  It’s been packed to the brim with bleary eyed feedings, heartbreaking tenderness and, believe it or not, tons of inspiration.  I’ve been parenting, working, and feeling infused with energy from my latest Moxie File discovery:  Jenna Lyons.  You may remember a few of my other Moxie File inspirations such as the Olsen twins and Daphne Guinness.  They are powerhouses of fashion, decor, and unflappable flair. When I’m feeling drained or blocked of creative verve, I turn to these style icons for fuel.

Can we all just agree to stop saying “girl crush?!” To me, it’s akin to “lady doctor”. (As long as we are agreeing to the world according to Melanie, can we also stop karate chopping pillows?) Jenna Lyons is much more than a girl crush she is a full tilt design genius.  I first learned about Lyons and her keen business acumen in articles like this one brandishing her ability to transform the J.Crew brand from preppy polo shirts to a thoughtfully curated fashion line.  Lyons is the creative director of J.Crew but like most successful creatives, she’s more of a tsunami of talent splashing over into everything in her path.

Jenna Lyons was named one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year, she is a current judge of the very exclusive Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA Awards), and her creative hand is seen throughout the J.Crew line from clothes to the interior design within the retail stores.  I recently read a quote from her saying “spending $8,000 instead of $2,000 on a light fixture” is better for the shoppers and the J.Crew brand. That commitment to quality and conceptual vision exhibits a design integrity that I really align with.

Another aspect to Jenna Lyons that earned her a place in the Moxie Files is her earnestness.  She’s not frivolous but she can see the humor in fashion.  I take the same approach to interiors: we aren’t saving lives but it does matter.  Just as the extra time you take to put together a coordinated outfit can help you feel polished and confident, a well-conceived and planned room can help you feel relaxed, energized, or calm.

Jenna Lyons is a working mom, a former assistant who worked her way up the ladder, and has followed her quirkiness into the fashion mainstream.  Her unconventional and truly unique design perspective really speak to me and my design practice.  I value the personal qualities of each client and each house – there is no one size fits all. That’s what makes interior design so fascinating.  It’s not formulaic but unabashedly individualized to each of my client’s tastes, interests, and personal stories.

In an article for Into the Gloss, Lyons states, “I was talking to Anna Wintour about this when we were discussing the red carpets last year, both of us wanted to go and just mess people up a bit. Everyone was so perfect! Everyone’s tan and primped and coifed and there’s no ease.”  This couldn’t be more true when designing interiors.  Matchy-matchy will be the death of any space.  The most visually beautiful rooms always have one thing slightly off or unexpected.

To get a feel for how Jenna Lyons’ fashion eye has influenced interiors, take a look at some snapshots of her office from 2014.  I feel like her power animal is definitely a shiny pony.



 Her personal interior design is just as intriguing.  In fact, her last house which sold in 2012 was featured EVERYWHERE but here are few of our favorite shots.  I love that she turned her guest bedroom into a closet.

dining room





Rumor has it she is loft shopping in NYC with her girlfriend – we can’t wait to see what she does with the new place. Stay tuned!

May 14, 2014
by Melanie Coddington

San Francisco Decorator’s Showcase Reveal

The Coddington Design team and I have been planning, designing, and panicking over our San Francisco Decorator Showcase room since early February. With the hectic atmosphere of a major showcase, my goal was to create a calming space with a sense of relaxed beauty that would renew any guest who stopped by.  As you can see from the before shots, we had our work cut out for us. From the peeling wallpaper to the creepy vines, we needed to work some magic.  We started with sketches, a photo-realistic rendering, and a huge spark of creativity.  We are really excited to show you our finished design so without further ado, here are the glorious full-color after shots!

Alpert_Coddington_Showhouse 10499 (2500x1667)

One section of this large guest room, is devoted to the bedroom.  This shot highlights the grey-green wall color and similar tones in the bedding.  The antique commodes are 1910 Italian Rococo style in olivewood. The lightning includes mid-century ceramic lamps with gilded polka dots. We discovered both the commodes and lamps at Epoca.

The bed itself is a custom creation by Coddington Design with Hyland Mohair Velvet.  This mohair bed, from Christopher Hyland and Georgina Rice, blends effortlessly in a soothing shade of Oil Green 3142.  The natural wool and latex mattress is a California King (10.5”h) from McRoskey Mattress.

The Persian knotted silk and wool area rug has been quite popular!  We have two holds on it as I type. We found this beautiful piece at Niba Rugs.

Alpert_Coddington_Showhouse 10550 (1667x2500)

How does Coddington Design do traditional window treatments?  In green zebra, obviously. These relaxed roman shades include blackout lining and pleated panels with reverse decorative lining. They were handsewn by the fabulous Madina Aryeh Custom Sewing and the hardware includes brass with decorative hooks.

Alpert_Coddington_Showhouse 10599 (3) (1667x2500)

Because everyone needs a $28k albino turtle, amiright? This 19th Century Albino Tortoise Shell with Custom Bronze Plinth is from C. Mariani Antiques and the painting by Emanuel Bernstone is from Dolby Chadwick Gallery.

Alpert_Coddington_Showhouse 10575 (2500x1667)

This ottoman is going home with me, can you say BABYPROOF?! The custom sofa and ottoman are Coddington Design custom creations and the French celedon antique shagreen mirror is a beautiful addition from C. Mariani Antiques.  We chose this playful wallpaper from Osborne & Little, the chair is a vintage 1940’s Henredon cane chair, and the wool rug is also from Niba Rugs.

Alpert_Coddington_Showhouse 10609 (1667x2500)

We picked up a lot of fun accessories at Plantation in SF but we also love to pop into their Los Angeles store.

Alpert_Coddington_Showhouse 10591 (2500x1667)

One of our specialties is custom designs and this scalloped nailhead detail on our custom designed loveseat added a great sense of elegance and detail to the room.

photo (10) - Copy

Valspar’s new paint line definitely supplied the color inspiration for the room.  We used 50 shades (get it?) of grey green from Valspar’s new premium line of interior paints. Our color choices for the showroom included:

  • Winter in Paris in a matte finish for the walls
  • Smoke Infusion in semi-gloss for the ceiling
  • Beguile in semi-gloss was the color of the trim

This year’s showcase was such an inspired and energetic event and we loved every minute!  If you have any questions about our design or any of the pieces we used, we’d love to share our vision.



May 2, 2014
by Melanie Coddington

San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2014- Behind the Scenes with Melanie

To be honest, when I first saw the guest room I designed for this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase it was not love at first sight. As my junior designer, Adrienne, and I toured the house (with my two month old son napping alongside us) we cruised right by it thinking to ourselves “nope, way too large.”  I’ve been juggling the new role of motherhood along with a full caseload of clients and my goal was to find a smaller, more manageable space.  I was aiming to keep my time in check but also to preserve my budget investment. When it comes to showcases, a big room requires a big budget and designers use their own resources to create their space.

In case you’re not familiar with the protocol for showcases, designers are not assigned rooms, they bid on the rooms they want to decorate.  In this San Francisco Decorator Showcase, the designers bid on two rooms and the committee chooses their favorite. Just being invited to tour the showcase house is an honor but to design a room means you are mingling amongst the creative elite. And the competition is fierce! We’re talking America’s Top Model kinda fierce. So when the design committee asked me to take on a large guest suite, I took a deep breath, begged forgiveness from my clients, and got it done!

Before: once-white carpet and dated furniture

2014-02-12 12.01.29

Peeling wallpaper

2014-02-12 12.02.28

And ivy growing through the windows

The Showcase this year takes place in a gorgeous mansion surrounded by views of the Pacific and the Presidio. I decided to approach the historic architecture with a sense of timelessness guiding the design. I wanted the guest suite to be well edited but not sparse or cold.  I was going for inviting, pretty and liveable and if a side effect of my vision happened to shepherd a few new clients with old money to spend, I wouldn’t complain.


There were multiple challenges with designing this space.  The primary one was that we had to make the large room (600 square feet) feel intimate while, for practical considerations, allowing many people to tour the space at once.  Our solution was to reconfigure the seating area and the bedroom and essentially flip their locations. We completed a new floorplan for our design and worked out the best possible flow of guests without compromising our design goals.

Guest Suite Floor Plan

The final design showcases our signature mix of interesting silhouettes, pops of pattern and stylish designer details.  We think it’s relatable, approachable, and livable.  If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, please come for a visit and let us know what you think! Get the details here:

Stayed tuned for photo-packed Part 2 Behind the Scenes at the 2014 San Francisco Decorator Showcase!

Coddington Design - SF Showcase Guest Suite Rendering - FINAL

Rendering of our design

April 14, 2014
by Melanie Coddington

Moving into Modern: The Nursery

Dear Reader(s),

Here I am!  Thank you so much for sticking with me through my lackadaisical blogging.  While my love for design is as strong as ever, the latest addition to my life has a monopoly on my free time (hence the nursery post!).  I post more frequently on Facebook so be sure to catch up with us there.  If you are new to the blog, check out my post on my Girly Modern Cottage or my project for the Anchor Distillery Tasting Room to get a sense of things I love.




Moving into Modern: The Nursery

We are having a bit of a baby boom here at Coddington Design!  My senior designer in Los Angeles, Taylor Tanimoto, gave birth to her second little girl in February while I received my little bundle of baby joy, Theo, in December.  With babies everywhere, it seems fitting that we dive deep into the design of a modern day nursery.

With my plunge into the parenting pool, I now find myself involved in debates I didn’t even know I cared about like cloth vs disposable diapers or attachment parenting vs cry-it-out.   There is one hot topic that I can offer advice with certainty and that is how to decorate a nursery.  Should it be stimulating or relaxing?  Neutral or colorful?  Designed for the parents or for the kids? Is yellow gender neutral (not if you agree with the dad in Juno).  My take on parenting and designing is to RELAX.  Put your pregnant feet up, wipe the spittle off your shoulder, and take a deep breath.  I promise your child’s wall color is not going make or break whether he gets into an ivy league school or she becomes a professional athlete but the reward for a beautifully designed space for your kid does have definite benefits.

For Theo’s nursery, I wanted a colorful and stimulating room that allowed some longevity in design.  I wanted him to grow into the room.  I am having a pretty serious love affair with gray right now, so I started with this gray crib.


We painted his previously dark paneled walls a light neutral gray but really took some serious liberties in the traffic cone orange ceiling.  This mobile from the museum store floats gracefully with each little breeze (thanks Auntie Chelsea!).  We also decided on a geometrically designed light fixture to add a dash of modernity to the nursery.

MOMA mobile with ceiling color

light fixture

I spent endless hours searching for the perfect glider and I’m glad I did because I seem to spend a chunk of my life nestled in this piece of furniture.  I couldn’t find one that met all my needs so I told myself (and my wife) that I should design my own.  I decided to splurge on a custom vintage-inspired fully upholstered glider (it rocks and swivels).  It’s built to last and we plan to have it re-upholstered after the baby years for a more glamorous reincarnation.  For sanity’s sake and for functional design, it’s super comfy, hides spills, and lends great details to the room. I’ve become quite the expert on what makes the perfect glider.  The back needs to be high enough so that it catches your head when it drops back from sheer exhaustion and the arms need to be the right height to support your tired and weak baby-carrying arms. There are some beautiful ones out there and you can see some of my faves here.

custom glider


The window treatments are (gasp!) retail but a great value.  I dressed them up with custom hardware and mounted them so they just brushed the floor.  The Serena & Lilly etagere provides a ton of storage for bedtime books and toys (although Theo seems more interested in how books and toys taste at this stage of the game).  We also selected some seriously adorbs artwork from The Animal Print Shop.

serena and lily bookcase

The Animal Print Shop by Sharon Montrose

Buying rugs online is not for the faint of heart, but I was confident about this moustache rug purchase because of the many shades of orange.  It’s a seamless fit for the nursery’s orange ceiling and as a bonus it hides all kinds of spills.  Plus, my talented friend saw the rug and made this moustache themed quilt for Theo!

area rug 2

Photo Apr 10, 7 17 21 PM

One of the best features of a nursery’s design is all the creative and generous contributions our friends made.  Theo’s Native American auntie had her talented sister weave this traditional basket and his handy Aunty Jo sewed a hand crafted owl mobile from felt.  He loves to watch it when he’s on his changing table.

baby basket

Handmade mobile

We hope to have the room completed later this year and I can’t wait to share the finished photos!  Stay tuned peeps, I promise not to disappear for too long!

December 15, 2013
by Melanie Coddington

Moving Into Modern: How I Remodeled My Kitchen in Six Weeks





Ready for some radical honesty?  My remodel is taking longer than expected and costing more than I planned. Despite bringing my heavyweight design skills, my professionally developed bossy demeanor, and my blatant obsession for interiors, I was simply not prepared for the level of detail management, scheduling, planning and general sense of mid-level panic that accompanied this project.  This is quite typical and what everyone tells you to expect, but I kept telling myself certainly my remodel will be different.

Kitchens are the heart of a home and one of my favorite rooms to design.  I’ve written about the basics of good kitchen design here and here. This current and personal project is packed with meaning for me as it’s a time for true beginnings with this new home and our first baby on the way.  A few weeks ago I shared the before images and design plans for my kitchen.  This week, I’m excited to share my top five tips for a speedy kitchen remodel.

Tip 1:  Measure & Plan

Starting with a plan is de rigueur for interior designers.  Here is our final floor plan and detailed elevations for this kitchen remodel.  Even before the first original 1948 cabinet or the chipped tiles were removed, I had already planned and documented the exact height of the window sill, where every light switch would be located, and the future home of both the utensil and spice drawers.  A thorough design plan requires a lot of time upfront but saves you so much time during the renovation process.  As long as you hire a general contractor or sub-contractors who are willing and able to read your plans, then your time spent answering questions, running to the home supply store, and making important design decisions under the gun will be greatly reduced. Besides, it is much easier to move things around on paper than in real life.

Tip 2:  Make all finish selections at the same time

Once I had the floor plan and color scheme down for our kitchen (emerald green and copper), we set out trying to turn the vision in my head into a reality. To cut down on the guess work, you will want to get samples of all your tile, flooring and cabinetry decisions and carry them around with you when you are shopping.  If you’re like me, you’ll also carry them around with you when you’re not shopping because you never know when the perfect wallpaper might come waltzing into your life.  Your goal is to make sure everything has a sense of harmony and inclusiveness.  Most people tend to default to a white kitchen simply because they are afraid of making a mistake but color in a kitchen adds an amazing sense of energy and the finishes are a great place for a touch of color.  My finish decisions were made in the following order:

1. cabinetry style (white and modern)

2. backsplash (Ann Sacks bronze)

3. countertop (white quartz)

4. decorative lighting (copper pendants)

5. wallpaper (david hicks geometric)

6. flooring (porcelain tile laid straight)

7. sink (white farmhouse)

8. appliances

9. faucet

10. paint (always select this last because paint comes in every color while tile, backsplashes, and wallpaper have more limited palettes).

Tip 3: Purchase All Your Materials Well in Advance

You should have the appliances, backsplash, flooring, sink, even the faucet on site before demo if possible or, at least, scheduled to arrive shortly after construction begins.  Delays due to surprises during demo are inevitable but your schedule doesn’t have to be derailed by back-ordered items.  Also, open every box and inspect everything immediately when it arrives.  I painstakingly went through each backsplash tile and found a few damaged ones I was able to replace well before we needed them.

Tip 4: Edit, Edit, Edit

It’s tempting, I know, but don’t put everything you have ever liked into one room.  (This tip applies to all rooms, not just kitchens by the way.)

Tip 5:  Get Bids/Quotes Early

I was able to estimate most of my construction costs well in advance by getting early bids.  Unexpected costs are a given during a remodel but you can really minimize the damage and make smart choices by having a thorough understanding of the projected total cost.  Also consider the labor to install your materials.  Our flooring was relatively inexpensive porcelain tile (under $20 per square foot) but the labor to install it was probably just as much, if not more, per square foot.

Following these top five tips are sure to make any remodel a more organized and, dare I say, a more enjoyable experience. Prepare to spend portions of your day following up on the plan you’ve established. I had a checklist that I reviewed with my carpenter almost daily.  Be excessively clear in both your written and verbal expectations and let your contractors know right away if your expectations are not being met.  (Pro tip: being pregnant while remodeling makes this last step much easier.) Although our kitchen took longer than the four weeks I had budgeted, it was done before Thanksgiving and I am thrilled with the results.  Go forth, be brave, and use color!  You can do this.



During, Down to the Studs phase

During, Down-to-the-Studs phase

Drywall installed but no cabinets yet.

Drywall installed but no cabinets yet.


Cabinets and appliances are installed. No countertops yet

Cabinets and appliances are installed. No countertops yet

The calendar was our bible.

The calendar was our bible.


Wallpaper installed and new door.

Wallpaper installed and new door.


We have new countertops and backsplash.

We have new countertops and backsplash.







November 13, 2013
by Melanie Coddington
1 Comment

Moving Into Modern: The Kitchen

Remodeling is not for the faint of heart.  As I write this, I am 7.75 months pregnant waiting for my contractor, one of the three (!) plumbers, and the electrician to show up.  This kitchen must be done before Thanksgiving or else the world ends.  I mean, we take our food holidays seriously around here!  At Coddington Design, we have guided our clients through major remodels.  We always advise them to MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE during a remodel, which they are happy to do.  Unfortunately I’m not in a position to follow my own advice so we have turned our dining room into a makeshift kitchen with a George Foreman grill, microwave and lots of pre-packaged food and compostable silverware.  So far it has been 14 days without a kitchen and a mere 3 more weeks to go…

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have recently purchased a house and am deep into the process of fixing it up before the baby comes in December.   Even before we closed escrow I had contractors, plumbers and various trades people coming through the house to give estimates on pricing and timelines for the kitchen remodel since its original state reminded me of a motel kitchenette but worse.

kitchen before photo

That’s right, linoleum flooring, missing countertops, electric stove, no dishwasher, not even a garbage disposal. This was going to be a total gut job.  The design process evolved as the bids came in.  Part of my vision had to be shelved, such as mini-brick green ceramic tile, since they could not be found quickly enough for our aggressive timeline.  I had to start sourcing items that were in stock and ready to ship in order to meet my deadline.

When I design a room I always start with the floor plan.  I’m sharing Option 1 and Option 2 (there were actually five under consideration).  We decided to forgo the eat-in kitchen–we can always dine on the terrace outside or in the dining room–but we really need storage and counter space.



I also made the controversial decision to remove one window allowing for a large fridge and pantry stack on that wall.   Once the floor plan is set, the fun really starts with color and finish selection.  Designers can sometimes get overwhelmed by all the choices when designing for ourselves, but in my case I am lucky enough to have a wife that has strong opinions about color schemes.  She had her own vision of a copper and emerald green kitchen with the possibility of adding patterned wallpaper.

kitchen colors shot

We went ultra-modern and sleek with the kitchen cabinets and flooring but since this room is the heart of a home, we wanted to make sure it had a sense of warmth and charm.  We added patinated tile, emerald green paint on the walls and some great David Hicks patterned wallpaper.  Of course, once we had finalized the design and ordered the tile, we saw this post.  Sigh.  A green and copper kitchen designed by decorating legend Kelly Wearstler for an A-list celebrity.  I swear we did not copy them!  Regardless, I am really looking forward to getting through this remodel.  Here is the current sad state of the room:

kitchen demo shot

 Meanwhile, I’m keeping my eye on the prize.

Kitchen 3D Rendering - Viewpoint 1


 Kitchen 3D Rendering - Viewpoint 2

exterior before photo

November 5, 2013
by Melanie Coddington

Moving into Modern: My New House

Since my last post I’ve been busy: buying a home, selling a home, cooking a baby (due in late Dec) and remodeling and redesigning the new house! My old house was an adorable Edwardian Cottage (cottage in real estate lingo = tiny) with quaint period details and tons of charm. My new house is mid-century, built in 1948 by a gentleman who enjoyed dark wood paneling and, according to my contractor, using LOTS of nails.

mid-century_paneled bedroom

We (meaning myself and my lovely wife) fell in love with the tree lined street, the friendly neighbors and the great schools. We LIKED the house, it fit our budget, and it hadn’t been fixed up, flipped, or otherwise tainted like many of the houses we saw. We beat out 10 other offers on the place and our dream house became ours. I personally envisioned a home with ridiculously high ceilings, a formal entry, perhaps a rambling old neglected charmer like this…


It took me a minute to become comfortable with the idea of buying a mid-century modern house, especially when it needed as much work as this one.

exterior before photo

But, once I saw this unfinished basement, I was on board!

basement before shot

An additional 1,300 square feet of pristine, untouched living space we could do anything with (see: Mariah Carey style closet)

mariah carey closet

So, time to look past the peeling paint, the wall to wall carpet, the dark paneling and start designing! In the next few months I will be tackling the living room, dining room, master bedroom and nursery. Up first, the kitchen, which will be done before Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to share photos.



Master Bedroom

August 6, 2013
by Melanie Coddington

Saying Goodbye to a Girly Modern Cottage

[Confidential to my readers: I’m constantly giving unsolicited advice to my assistant, Adrienne.  Little gems like “never get a dog. They ruin carpets, throw up, and make you shell out $800 so the vet can tell you your dog has a tummy ache.”   Similarly, I constantly tell anyone who will listen “never start a blog.”  Basically, you spend hours dispensing free advice, agonizing over the perfect photo or turn of phrase and as soon as you post, the blazing speed of the interwebs makes it a day late.  No one could say I post too often (or even regularly) but this last absence has been pretty appalling, even for me.  I’m sorry.  Please read on to hear my really good excuse. You can always check out our Facebook page for steady updates.]

In my daily life, I work hard to bring my clients’ aesthetic to life. The primary focus of my job is to translate a client’s vision into a tangible space. An important part of that process is staying open and objective, keeping my personal tastes in the background. I listen diligently and filter their needs, desires, hopes and fears about their space into a cohesive plan that ticks all the functionality boxes plus adds a little design magic.  If a client comes to me and they want industrial minimalism, I make sure that’s what I deliver.  So when it comes to my own home, it’s definitely an oasis of my own tastes and styles but it’s never a static haven.  I’m always half-joking about how everything in my house is for sale. The staples in my living room have been the sofa, the shades, and the wallpaper while the chairs, lamps, and tables get shifted constantly. I’m not afraid to send some of my favorite pieces out to pasture while I scoop up a new treasure that has been on my wishlist for years.  I believe design has to keep growing and what better place to practice that ideal than my own home.  My fiance has finally stopped the eye rolling.

"Living room as published on CH+D/Living room as it is today."

Living room as published in California Home + Design / Living room as it is today.

When I started this blog back in 2011, I made a commitment to being authentic in this space.  Girly Modern has been a place for me to indulge my feminine side, to unapologetically talk about everything girly and glam. It’s been a creative outlet that has infused my overall design vision and allowed me to explore new ideas. Designing my own home has been a valuable and passionate extension of this freedom.

Kitchen nook with cute seating that no one ever sat in / Kitchen nook with practical bar seating we actually use daily

Kitchen nook with cute seating that no one ever sat in / Kitchen nook with practical bar seating that we actually use daily

Two years after I started my own design firm, I was able to purchase my first home.  I immediately set about painting the walk-in closet two shades of pink, hanging crystal chandeliers liberally and generally making a two story girl cave.  My friends loved it, design magazines loved it, and I loved it. (Take a tour here!) Fast forward a few years and my girl cave feels a little…less me.

Dining room on a budget / Dining room with Italian horse chandelier and Baker table / Dining room as it is today

Dining room on a budget / Dining room with Italian horse chandelier and Baker table / Dining room as it is today

As a designer, I’m often invited into my client’s lives during a moment of transition: new marriage, (or divorce), new baby, new town, or new house. Each life event offers an opportunity to be present, embrace change, and start creating a new phase of life. Today I find myself in the same position as my clients. I am thrilled to share that I will be expecting my first child in December! My girlfriend and I, who have been domestic partners for years, will be getting officially married later this year.  We are putting our home on the market and searching for a new one. Needless to say, things are changing.

Master Bedroom

In addition to changes in my personal life, my design taste is also always exploring and evolving.  At Coddington Design, we are lucky enough to be exposed to some of the most innovative and inspiring design which, of course, makes me want to redecorate constantly.  So as we outgrow this house, we begin the hunt for the next home/design lab.  One of the reasons why I love my job so much is that I still get that nervous excitement when I start a new project, and my own home is no exception.  While I’m sad (really, really, really sad but honestly that feels kinda hormonal) to be leaving my girly modern cottage, I’m so excited for all of the wonderful adventures ahead for me and my family. I look forward to sharing my new home with you all!  Be on the lookout for before and after photos of the new place soon.



my version of a man cave

my version of a man cave



May 6, 2013
by Melanie Coddington
1 Comment

Girly Modern Guide to Kitchens: Part Two

Kitchens, there’s so much to say!  This week we take a look at ways to design your dream kitchen so that it fits into the rhythm of daily life.  We also have a few tips for bedazzling the room that often gets overlooked in the glam department.

First, let’s talk about the work triangle.  While it may sound technical and potentially boring, it’s actually an easy tool for getting a functional blueprint of your new kitchen.  The work triangle was formulated about 70 years ago when appliances started becoming more mainstream causing kitchens to undergo a major transformation in form and function.  The main concept of the work triangle is to design the sink, refrigerator, and stove in a triangle pattern that is spaced fairly close together (not too close!) for greater cooking efficiency and to streamline the space.


The specifics of the work triangle state that the invisible lines connecting the sink, fridge, and stove should be at least four feet and no more than nine feet.  If the triangle is too short, you’ll feel buried under the appliances and if it’s too big, you’ll be running back and forth just to boil water.  So when planning your dream kitchen or redesigning your existing one, grab a piece of paper or a use that cocktail napkin to sketch out a few ideas about how to:

  • position your sink, fridge, and stove so that they create a functional work triangle (don’t be afraid to bust out the tape measure)

  • design the cabinets so they don’t interfere with your work triangle in a major way

  • develop the seating and prep areas so that they steer clear of the triangle zone

If you’re thinking your kitchen space is too tiny to form a line nevermind a triangle, don’t throw in the dish towel just yet. There are a few design strategies for cramped quarters that can rescue small kitchens.  One way to maximize every inch of kitchen space is to splurge on custom cabinetry.  Custom doesn’t have to mean budget-kill, by sticking to standard sizes with custom cabinets you’ll be able to save some kitchen coin. Here’s a great example of a bright and compact kitchen by designer Miles Redd.

Miles Redd

Kitchen by Miles Redd

Another kitchen space saver is to design a full height appliance wall.  This will free up counter space and keep daily appliances neatly tucked away.  Take a peek at this appliance wall, it includes a refrigerator, microwave, oven, warming drawer, built-in espresso machine and a hidden appliance garage.  An appliance garage is a pull-out shelf to keep appliances like blenders and toasters plugged in but out of sight. Ingenious.


Coddington Design kitchen

If it’s not so much your kitchen that’s small but your design budget, focus on one fantastic feature like decorative tile behind the stove.  We built the color scheme for the kitchen around this hand painted tile.


Coddington Design kitchen

Sometimes kitchens just need an infusion of fun after all that planning around function. An easy way to add character in your kitchen is through accessories.  A bright, fun color can add spice to an otherwise bland kitchen and make it a welcoming meeting place for your family at the end of the day.



Stools from Matt Blatt | Photo by Jody D’Arcy | Home Beautiful

Another way to energize your kitchen is by using different materials for countertops and different paint colors on the cabinetry.  In this Coddington Design kitchen, we made the island a different color and used butcher block for the countertop.


Coddington Design kitchen

If you’ve got a ton of kitchen ideas and you want to bring a little cohesion to the entire room, consider adding a matching panel to your refrigerator.   That’s exactly what we did with this Coddington Design kitchen.  The large refrigerator blends in seamlessly with the rest of the cabinets and the appliance wall retains it’s polished and organized appearance.


Coddington Design kitchen

We could go on and on about kitchens but we would love to hear what you think!  Got a question about kitchen design?  Let us know!  We love to talk kitchen.

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