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Why We’re Not the Design Firm for Everybody

Have you ever tried to make “everyone” happy? If so, I bet you’ve realized it’s a losing game. And more importantly, I bet you discovered that on the other side of people-pleasing — embracing what you love and do best — is where you and your dreams finally took flight.

This was absolutely the case for me, personally and professionally. After a harrowing experience at a traditional design firm, I started Coddington Design in 2005 with a vision for doing things differently. You can probably guess the rest… 17 years later, this mission is what sets us apart and keeps us thriving.

So, what makes us different? Why aren’t we the design firm for everybody? How can you know if you’re in the wrong place…?

Sign #1. You’re looking for a pillow-fluffer.

If you’re looking for a pillow-fluffer or decorator, stop right here because we’re not the design firm for you. We are highly trained professionals in all areas of renovation and product sourcing, and there is a certain level of responsibility and respect we expect from our clients.

We are committed to making sure your home reflects a high-level design, and you can trust us when we say that you will want that extra-tall storage closet for your cleaning supplies, or that the sofa with the 5-month lead time will be worth the wait, or that your dining table got damaged in transit but we will take care of it.

Our knowledge on renovating, constructing, and furnishing is as wide as it is deep — and that’s what makes working with us so valuable.

Sign #2. You want us to design in our style.

I’ve seen the design firms that ignore their clients’ wishes (“it’ll look great, I promise”), don’t collaborate, and prioritize their own creative vision. You won’t see that here. Our world-class, ego-free designers believe that your style is more important than ours.

We humbly acknowledge that you have your own great design ideas and know what is best for you and your spaces. We take those ideas, pair them with our 17+ years of experience, and give you the home that you want.

Of course, if you don’t know what you like just yet, that’s okay, too. We will spend time together exploring your inspiration photos together to discover the styles, colors, textures, moods, and memories you love. The point is, it’s about you. (P.S. You can get a head start with our style quiz.)

Sign #3. You only care about the look of your home.

There are plenty of design firms out there who will create interiors as art — look, but don’t touch! And that’s great for the clients who are into that. We just don’t do it that way. We’re not creating museums or magazine spreads that can’t be lived in.

We believe that functionality and longevity are equally as important as the overall look and feel of your home. There is no hierarchy; both must be honored. Yes, our clients are highly successful and living in multi-million dollar homes, but they have families, too.

That’s why our initial process involves deeply understanding how you use the home: daily routines, special occasions, whether you have kids, pets, or drunk uncles who visit. Then, we create magazine-worthy homes (yes, we’ve won design awards, if you care about that) that stand up to messy real life!

Sign #4. You don’t believe interior design can impact your wellbeing.

Our clients come from diverse walks of life, including Hollywood producers championing equity, founders building empires, parents raising real good humans, philanthropists effecting change, and more. They’re self-made, down-to-earth, and inspire others through leadership.

Safe to say, they’re busy people! And I don’t know a single successful person who doesn’t have a support team. Your home should be part of that team.

For example, imagine a primary suite that instantly relaxes you, a kitchen that energizes you to get creative when you’re feeling low-energy, a family room that brings you and your kids closer, or a tech-free reading lounge that helps you disconnect. It’s all about what you need.

This is another reason that we spend time getting to know you and your style. Sure, we could generalize and say “the color blue is calming” or “you want a cozy family room” — but maybe that’s not true for you. Together, we’ll discover and create a home that nurtures deep and lasting wellbeing. The best part? It will serve you well in your home and beyond it.

Sign #5. You’re looking for perfection.

Any other recovering perfectionists out there? Yep, I’ve been fighting it all my life. Fortunately, each passing year helps me let go just a little more. Because let’s face it, life happens, failure is information, and perfection is a pipe dream anyway.

Minor hiccups will always pop up during renovation projects, regardless of who or where you are. The problem is, if you strive for perfection, hiccups become devastating moral blows. If we expect these things to happen, then we can keep calm and carry on, rallying our 17+ years of experience and talented team to solve the problem quickly and efficiently. Done.

I also love that by not seeking perfection, we can embrace more creativity. If we can’t find what we’re looking for, we look somewhere else. If it doesn’t exist, we create it ourselves. To design truly special homes, we have to let go of perfectionism and embrace the potential of failure, iteration, and innovation.

That’s where the magic happens.

For all of these reasons, we thrive when working with homeowners who also know that perfection is impossible. Instead, our clients are flexible, fun, and can stay focused on their end goal — having the home of their dreams and doing whatever it takes to get there.

Sign #6. You want 24/7 access to your designer.

I’ve heard of designers allowing clients to contact them at late hours, on weekends, or even require them to pick up their morning coffee. If that’s what you’re looking for in a designer, it exists, but not here. We’re not your personal assistants.

We’re working professionals who observe the standard business hours of 9am-5pm Pacific time, Monday through Friday. If you’re a full-service or hourly client of ours, you’ll know exactly how to reach us and we’ll take excellent care of you, as aligned with our service agreement. You’re probably not asking, but why do we do it this way?

Because we are real people. We have unruly pets, children, and spouses. We experience sickness and loss, at times. And we fiercely protect our mental and physical health by setting respectful boundaries. I could say that we do this to show up at our best for you — and yes, these boundaries do allow for more focus, creativity, and energy for our clients — but the truth is that I believe life should come first.

We can provide a luxury service and be whole humans like you.

Sign #7. You don’t care about creating a long-term relationship.

If you’re an in-and-out kind of person, that’s okay. There’s a place for you somewhere. We simply do things differently here. We pride ourselves on building long-lasting relationships with our clients. In fact, we often sacrifice short-term monetary gains in order to create harmony and nurture lasting relationships.

That may sound crazy, but it’s the way I want to run my business. To me, it’s what makes our work meaningful, beyond the homes we create. Clients who align with our values and our way of working stay with us for years — and that’s how we measure success.

How do we create these great relationships? Not only because we are excellent designers providing a luxury service but because we are great listeners. We build a foundation of mutual respect, meet our clients where they are, and help them feel supported, guided, and/or in control every step of the way. In other words, we make it about you.

So, what do you think? Did you see more red flags or green flags on this list?

If you feel like we’d be a good match, why not book a complimentary discovery call with us? We would be happy to hear more about your project, introduce ourselves, and see if there’s a good fit.



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