Easy Elegance


 Designer Melanie Coddington creates sophisticated interiors for a San Francisco Craftsman.

Balancing polish and approachability is the inspiration behind all of Melanie Coddington’s interiors. Her firm’s latest project, designed for a couple with three young boys in San Francisco’s Laurel Heights neighborhood, is no exception. Plush yet durable fabrics, low-slung furnishings, strong color and pattern, and an abundance of brushed brass metal finishes evoke refined glamour while remaining livable and true to the home’s gracious Craftsman architecture. 

In the living room, Lawson-Fenning lounge chairs covered in cotton-velvet by Calvin Fabrics surround a coffee table by Made Goods. The bold drapery fabric is by Fabricut.


To start, structural fixes—helmed by William Duff Architects and Upscale Construction—included a major addition that created a new basement level, as well as expanded living spaces on the ground floor. In the library, the designer took color to the hilt with Benjamin Moore’s dark navy Polo Blue in a high gloss. In the living room, vintage zebra fabric from Schumacher covers a lounge chair while fun geometric-print drapes from Fabricut enhance the mid-century look. “The clients wanted a sophisticated, family-friendly space and they were not afraid to take risks,” Coddington notes. Here, she explains how she crafted a space to meet the homeowners’ refined taste and their practical needs.

Metallic accents seen throughout the home began in the kitchen with standout mosaic tiles by AKDO, cabinetry hardware by Schoolhouse Electric, brushed brass pendant lighting by Robert Abbey and custom Wisteria stools upholstered in faux-leather fabric by Kravet.

How would you describe the aesthetic of this project?
I’d say overall it’s very glam, but we had variations on that. One of the Pinterest boards I made for the client was called “husband-friendly glam.” There is a lot of gold and brushed brass, which brings a strong ’70s feeling, but we included enough vintage pieces from other eras that it’s balanced.

William Duff Architects designed a new outdoor space for the family to enjoy indoor-outdoor living.

How did you bridge the 20th-century Craftsman architectural details with the contemporary furnishings?
We incorporated historic references. We worked closely with the architect to design a built-in shelving unit for the library that complements the dramatic coffered ceiling in that space.

the custom headboard, upholstered by Attard in Donghia fabric, adds a hint of color to the serene master bedroom, which also features custom shades by Best Line in Kravet fabric and a side table with scrolled detailing that nods to the home’s period architecture.

Tell us more about the synergy with the client.

I’m accustomed to saying “Trust me, it’s going to work out,” but the wife was all-in every time, so it was really fun to make bold choices like the polo- blue lacquered walls in the library with plum-colored chairs and blush drapes. It sounds a bit crazy, but it all works together beautifully.

What was your thinking behind the distinctive window treatments?
Windows can either match the walls, which creates a peaceful look and takes the eye outside, or they can be a feature. In the shared spaces, we injected color with bright-blue shades in Pindler & Pindler fabric against white walls while the windows in the bedroom are more neutral and quiet.

Burnished gold and statement pattern continues in the powder room with wallpaper by Osborne & Little.

Tell us about the family-friendly elements.

We used luxurious commercial-grade fabrics wherever possible. The barstools in the kitchen are covered in faux-leather from Kravet, for easy cleaning. The custom dining chairs look very adult because we added the decorative part of the fabric by Calvin on the back, where hopefully people aren’t touching them too much—although that wouldn’t stop my kids!



-Benjamin Coffee Table by MADE GOODS


Maxim Pendant by Arteriors


-Apollo by STARK; Stark Showroom San Francisco, 2 Henry Adams Street, Suite #155; starkcarpet.com


-Allure Radiance Calacatta with Bronze & Pewter Mirror byAKDO; allnaturalstoneinc.com


-Salvaged Wood Trestle Dining Table by RESTORATION HARDWARE