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Meet Your Designer – Dana Feagles

Image: Dana with her recently departed doggie and office buddy, Carmela.

Coddington Design’s team of interior designers is small but mighty. Last month, we got personal with Taylor, our experienced Senior Designer and extraordinary CAD drafter. This month, we’re excited to announce that after almost 6 years with us, Coddington Design’s other Senior Designer, Dana, has been promoted to the role of Design Director, where she will oversee the day-to-day operations of the company, promote our brand, and continue to manage projects and do what she loves as an interior designer – designing comfortable, functional, and beautiful family-friendly spaces.

Dana started with Coddington Design in 2015 and quickly established herself as a thoughtful and meticulous interior designer. As a dog-friendly workplace, she was happy to bring one of her senior dogs to the office to help out with carpet durability tests (Dana is known to adopt senior dogs and can tell you the best and worst rugs to buy).

After getting her B.A. in Art History and working an uncreative, unfulfilling desk job for a few years, Dana completed the Interior Architecture and Design program at UC Berkeley Extension in San Francisco before joining Coddington Design. She now lives in San Rafael with her family, including a toddler and an infant, which makes her well-equipped to design for our busy families on the go. Let’s get to know Dana!

How did you know that being an interior designer was for you?

What else is an Art History major supposed to do? I kid! My intention was to get into museum curatorship, but after I graduated, to be honest, I was kind of lost. I loved the idea of curating galleries and museums but it just wasn’t the right fit for me. I’ve always been the creative type and have a huge appreciation for furniture as art. One day, I suggested to a friend that she rotate her sofa to make her tiny studio apartment feel bigger, and she said, “I never thought of that! You should be an interior designer!” And it just clicked with me – oh yeah, I can curate people’s homes! I think I looked up interior design programs the very next day.

What do you wish your clients knew about interior design?

Many design “rules” are arbitrary. You can mix metals, woods, patterns. It can be done tastefully and craftily. You don’t need a plant to tie a room together. Who has time to take care of plants? You don’t need tons of throw pillows on your bed to have a put-together space. I see clients getting stuck on these generalized rules, and I love to break the rules.

What item brings you the most joy in your home?

With two small kids at home, order and organization bring me a lot of joy. This is going to sound so anticlimactic, but I love a media console that I repurposed into my toddler’s toy storage. It’s the perfect height for her, it has shelves and drawers, and it was a cheap piece of furniture so I don’t mind if she scribbles on it. It may be one of the smartest things I’ve done as a designer and as a parent! I can’t find any kid’s furniture pieces that function the same way.

Image: a repurposed media console. Not shown: the mess in the rest of the living room

What is the strangest/most awesome thing you have designed for someone?

I worked on a project that included a panic room with bullet-proof, hermetically sealed doors. That was definitely memorable.

What is the most embarrassing thing in your own home that you would NEVER recommend for a client?

When my kids were newborns and I was waking up constantly throughout the night to feed them, I found a camping chair to be more comfortable than my carefully-researched rocking/nursing chair. So, for months and months, I had one of those foldable camping chairs set up in my bedroom. You gotta do what you gotta do!

Image: another embarrassment – some fake sticks on Dana’s WFH desk

What design blunder still makes you cringe?

Not hiring a plumber to unhook a dishwasher. Water sprayed all over the kitchen (that had hardwood floors), and the homeowners had to have industrial fans running in their kitchen for 2 or 3 days to mitigate the damage. Lesson learned!

What do you wish your clients knew about you?

I am a proud introvert. We don’t get enough credit! I am much more skilled at writing, observing, and listening than speaking, and I think this makes me a better designer. We are in the business of listening to our clients and translating their needs into something tangible and visual. I am acutely aware of the details of my environment wherever I go and how they impact my mood, and I think I bring that awareness to my projects.

Thanks, Dana, for speaking your mind and sharing your design truths with us!


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