A No-Frills Approach to Feminine Design


As much as we would like to believe that gender roles don’t exist, there is something to be said for a beautifully designed “feminine” space. Mind you, we aren’t talking about frilly spaces filled to the brim with crystal chandeliers. No, these are sophisticated spaces that evoke a relaxed and effortless modern style.  Think more Sade and less Nicki Minaj. This ability to create soft, feminine rooms is why San Francisco based designer, Melanie Coddington of Coddington Designs has thrived in a landscape dominated by mid-century modern and flea market chic.  

Melanie’s designs strike that perfect balance of color, pattern and texture, the three elements she states are necessary to create a perfectly modern feminine room. Her recent project in Palo Alto, California demonstrates how she deftly mixes the trio to create a modern adult feminine design.

Living Room

Using her “trifecta formula” Coddington incorporates texture using an antique rug and velvet pillows.  But the living room’s biggest feminine impact comes from repetition of the curved legs found on the client’s existing sofa and echoed in the rosewood bookcases and brass side table.

Family Room

In the family room, Coddington achieves a feminine balance by layering warm colors, avoiding staccato geometrics and opting for fluid patterns in the space, making the room feel more relaxed and comfortable.  “Avoid using too many colors,” says Coddington.  “However, any color can feel feminine if used in the right dosage, but really, I love to color with all the crayons available.”

Dining Room

The dining room features custom cabinetry and faux bronze ceiling.  The inclusion of the ceiling treatment turns a mostly traditional room on its ear, injecting a healthy dose of glamour and feminine charm showcasing Coddington’s rules of color and texture.

Master Bath

Where else but the bathroom would feminine shapes take center stage?  The curved backsplash of the bathtub echoes the laser cut floor tiles while the honey onyx accents and warm lighting from the Jonathan Browning sconces bath the space in a soothing and flattering light.

Following Melanie’s feminine recipe of color, pattern, and texture, anyone can imbue their space with modern, flirty, feminine undertones that will strike the right balance of sugar, space, and healthy dose of design spice.

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