Diamond Shag Rug – Love it or over it?


Photo – Style by Emily Henderson Blog

Every now and then, a trend or product comes along that everyone gets excited about and splashes it all over their pinterest boards.  Well, this product has not just splashed, it has cannon-balled into people’s homes and taken over almost every decor blog and shelter magazine I read!  The Diamond Patterned Shag Rug.  Don’t get me wrong, I do love the look of this chic little guy, but jesus, I’m on overload right now.

I get it, it makes a great neutral base to build just about any room design around, but can we not mix it up a bit?!  I literally chose the images in this post out of the 50+ I pulled and I know there are a lot more out there.  I love the look of all these rooms, but I do find it entertaining when you can plainly see a product take hold of an industry and quietly sneak its way into every major designer’s library of products for the past year.  What do you guys think?  Still love it, or are you over it?


Photo – Just Jacket Attic Blog


Photo – Jonathan Adler


Photo – Setting for Four Blog


Photo – HomeDSGN


Photo – Home Polish


Photo – Lay Baby Lay


Photo – A House in the Hill


Photo – Popsugar


Photo – HomeDSGN


Photo – Barrie Benson


Photo – Desire to Inspire Blog


Photo – Home Polish


Photo – Dar Amina Blog

Samantha-Pattillo-heelsandahammer-Get-the-Look1. West Elm | 8’x10′ | $899

2. Rugs USA | 8’x10′ | $1,518

3. Restoration Hardware | 8’x10′ | $3,995

Jillian - Personally, I love the way these look. I ordered one for our living room during Rugs USA’s Black Friday sale and got a 9×12 synthetic version for around $300. So glad I went this route instead of ordering the super expensive real wool version I was also considering. We’ve had it for a few months now, and our dogs have thrown up on it three times. Not fun. It’s also looking pretty gray in the areas we walk on most. I don’t think I would recommend one to anyone with kids or dogs. Maybe a bedroom would be a better application.

Coffee Talk with Trey Jones Studio


I am so excited to get to share this tour with you today!  When I first saw the shots of this space I was blown away and had to jump on the chance to feature the makeover on my blog.  So here we are!

First, I want to introduce a very good friend of mine, Trey Jones.  Trey is the (very handsome) man behind this beautiful cafe you are about to feast your eyes on. He’s also the talent behind Trey Jones Studio based in Seattle WA.   The studio, a full service design house, has worked with furniture and lighting manufacturers as well as commercial and residential clients over the past seven years, making quite a name for themselves in the home decor space. Trey founded his studio in 2007 after graduating with a BFA in Furniture Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design…and that’s where we met…


“It was a beautiful spring day in the historical streets of Savannah when I first laid eyes on Trey”… well, not really.  It was more like “it was a sticky, humid day at a woodshop in Savannah, when I looked up from my lathe to see a kid with a mohawk setting up a project in the paint booth I had just reserved for my last shot at finishing my final project for Cabinet Class”… love at first sight obviously.  :)

Maybe not love, but definitely fast friends.  Trey is married to Melissa, one of the most amazing women I know.  The best part of traveling to Seattle (I go for work quite often) is getting to see my favorite couple in the whole wide world.  All three of us majored in Furniture at SCAD, bonding over beer, bad hair, and beautiful design.


I can’t help myself because they are just such a gorgeous couple, check out the shots of them below.  Even in college they were a match from the beginning in his and her leather jackets.  Awesomeness.

Okay, enough about me secretly wanting to be Melissa’s sister-wife and let’s get to the design porn shall we?


Broadcast Coffee Roasters was expanding with a third coffee shop in Seattle. They hired Trey Jones Studio to help freshen their brand with a new and contemporary cafe. Trey used a combination of materials and textures to create a warm and bright space to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee on a cold grey Seattle day.

The coffee shop was completed earlier this year in May.  You can see the blank canvas they started with below.


Trey’s primary role for the cafe was designer, but being the SCAD grad that he is, he couldn’t keep his hands out of it and did some of the woodwork himself.


The main bar looks absolutely amazing.  I love the mix of materials used: white ash, brushed brass, Caesarstone, and black accents. Keeps it light and bright without being boring.


Trey Jones Studio also designed the brass geometric lights featured throughout the space.  (no kidding, full service!) Dia, the light’s name, was inspired by the unique, skewed shadows cast by light coming through a window. When you flip the switch, the glow of brass and light emerges at each convergence of planes.  Dia comes in brushed brass or a hand applied patina.  Grab one at standardsocket.com


I love how the geometry of the Dia light compliments the Real Good Counterstools from BluDot.  All of the wood used in the space balances the harsh angles of the lights and barstools, giving the cafe a modern edge while still feeling warm and inviting. A difficult combination.


Notice the attention to all of the small details.


This is probably my favorite shot on the left.  All the light flooding into the space, I could sit at that window counter for hours blogging away all hopped-up on double espresso shots…


(The ball pendants are by Schoolhouse Electric)


From the mouth of a designer – “The pattern and texture of the wood wall was inspired by quilting. The intention was to create the appearance of softness with wood.”


Trey designed and built custom planters for the coffee shop as well.  The frames are solid ash surrounding a classic terra cotta pot.  The Frame Planters will be for sale in the future on the studio’s website.


And of course, like most wives, Melissa has influence over everything Trey does…including this project.  (but if I had a wife as hot as Melissa I would listen to whatever she told me to do too)  Melissa hooked it up with those fabulous Salt Chairs from DWR.  Did I mention that she works for Design Within Reach?…whole package people, she’s the whole package.


The lamp tables were custom made from ash and powder coated steel.  You can see the tabletops being built in Trey’s workshop below.


I hope you guys love this space as much as I do, and next time you are in Seattle please stop by for a coffee and tell them what a great job Trey did.  Show him some love and follow him on Instagram: TREYJONES_STUDIO and Pinterest.  Tell him I sent you!

Broadcast Coffee Roasters‘ Roosevelt Location: 6515 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA

{All professional photography by Jennifer Chong – check her out at blog.jchongstudio.com}

Tour Through Blogland

I am so excited to be part of the Tour Through Blogland this year.  The idea of the tour is to give readers of both our own blogs and those who are visiting from other blogs a glimpse inside what we do, why we do it, and how we do it.  I was invited by the super sweet Kirsten of Sweet Tea and Saving Grace blog.  I’ll admit, I am new to Kirsten’s blog.  I was introduced to her a few weeks ago at an event my Atlanta Area blogger’s group had.  She asked me to be a part of this little virtual block party and I jumped on board.  As a voyeur myself I love these sorts of things – letting you see behind the scenes of how each of us works through our process of blogging, designing, building, and crafting.  So fun!  So thanks Kirsten, make sure you go check her blog out after you read my little tour below. :)

Here are the 4 questions I am supposed to answer:

What am I working on?

What am I NOT working on is an easier question right now.  Jeez!  I’ll admit, I am actually writing this blog post sitting in the airport in Amsterdam waiting to catch my flight to Cologne, Germany for a trade show I’m attending for Indoor/Outdoor Furniture and Décor.  And in a few days I’ll hop over to Paris for another show.  Lately I feel like all I do is travel (and if you follow me on social media you would probably agree)

When I am actually in the US, my biggest projects right now are wrapping up my first season on my outdoor furniture line we launched earlier this year and kicking off the new line for next year.  From the time I started designing the collections, to traveling overseas for factory visits, to shipping the samples here for photography, to actually convincing the top US retailers to sell our amazing furniture (it wasn’t that hard ;) it has been about a year and a half long process.  It is amazing to see my designs on the webpages of Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, Sam’s Club, Amazon, and Wayfair.  If you are in need of some fashionable outdoor furniture I would love for you to stop by our website and see if anything strikes your fancy.  If it doesn’t, you obviously have bad taste.  www.aeoutdoor.com


Unfortunately I can’t show you any of the new designs I am working on for next season, all of the retailers require confidentiality.  But I can show you what a hot mess my office is as I pull fabric and materials together for the new designs.  It’s messy, but totally the most fun part.


How does my blog differ from others of its genre?

I think it’s different because it’s from a furniture designer’s perspective.  I do the usual DIY project and occasional interior design job, but the meat of my blog is showcasing my process when I design furniture: my sketching, inspiration boards, how I render designs for presentations, behind the scenes at the factories I work with for manufacturing, prototyping, product failures and fixes, and really the truth behind this industry.  Furniture doesn’t just magically end up on a showroom floor, a designer and team of skilled people work hard for about 2 years before that design ever hits the retail floor. I like the idea that there aren’t a lot (if any) furniture designers lifting the curtail and showing you the whole product design process from start to finish with all of the dirty details in-between.


I want to take people along for the ride – I travel all over the world attending trade shows, presenting to buyers at all the top US retailers, and visiting my factories to make sure my designs are being manufactured like I intended.  Good design takes a lot of babysitting.


Why do I write/create what I do?

Honestly, I started my blog in response to so many people showing interest when they find out what I do for a living.  People are so fascinated to hear about my travel, see my designs, watch me sketch, hear me speak about trends, I figured, if all of these people close to me are that interested there must be other people out there too.  So, in a slightly narcissistic fashion, I decided to tell people about me, the uber fascinating and mysterious furniture designer…ooohhh ahhhhh.


Now that’s why I decided to start my blog, but the reason I do what I dooo is the reward of the feedback.  I love designing and building things to give to others that I care about.  Seeing their faces when you give them something that fits their style and makes their life better through design, or at the very least makes their home more fashionable.

These are a few of those ‘gift’ projects from this past year.


The other feedback that I am enjoying is from new customers that bought my outdoor furniture –  sending in photos of their spaces using the new furniture with wonderful compliments  about how much they love it and how it fits their style and their home perfectly.  There is not better payment for a designer than that.  Well, cash I guess…that is better.  But compliments are a very close second.

Here are a few that were recently posted to our social media.


How does your writing/creating process work?

A lot of people ask me that, where does my inspiration come from?  That’s a hard one to answer.  Honesty it’s part science, part organic. I work alongside my sales partner to analyze numbers, but design requires you to step outside of spreadsheets and look at the world around you.  I am constantly shooting pictures of things that interest me: activities, colors, patterns, people, and architecture.  When I go back through photos I never know what might spark something.  I don’t get my inspiration from just one place, and it is hard to force inspiration, though my job tries to everyday.  Ha!  Usually my best designs come to me naturally, I just start sketching and see what happens.  It sounds cheesy, but my pen guides me a lot of the time.  I like starting with one idea in mind and finding myself in a completely different place in the end.  I surprise myself sometimes.

That was specifically vague huh?  Sorry, that’s just a hard question to answer.  And I can’t really tell you where I get all my good ideas, can I?!  I have to keep some advantage here.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little tour.  I am totally lame and I did not recruit 3 additional bloggers to pass you to like we are supposed to.  With all of my recent travel I dropped the ball.  Sadly, my blog suffers when I have too much going on.  So please, type in Tour Through Blogland into Google and check out the other bloggers who have participated.  Thanks guys, see you back in the USA soon!

AE Outdoor-The Dawson Collection

It has been forever since my last post! But I have good reason, I promise.  You know that little thing called money that we use to buy things like food and electricity?…well, I have been working my tail off making some of this so-called-cash.  Many of you know my company, no, not my blog or design business, my outdoor furniture company AE Outdoor.  I own this company with my amazing business partner Eric and together we are taking over the outdoor furniture world!  Check out our website if you want some more info on us, but for now I was going to give you a little behind-the-scenes look at one of our 2014 collections that is out on homedepot.com right now.

AE Outdoor-Dawson Patio Collection-Alt-ArrangeSee, Eric and I have a great working relationship.  He handles all of the financial analysis, sales rigamarole, import/export logistics, and the general crap-piles that come with owning a business.  And I get to design pretty things all day!  See, a perfect balance, even steven. (read more about our roles here)

Since Eric’s part of the job isn’t über exciting or very visually stimulating, lets stick with my portion.  Below is a quick look at my sketching process when I started laying out the design for the Dawson Sectional.

AE Outdoor-Dawson Patio Collection-sketch process-Samantha PattilloI gave up drawing on paper a long time ago.  Now I draw on my Wacom.  I literally could not live without it.  I’ve talked about it before in other posts, but it’s so true.  So much so that now I have the Cintiq 22 HD for my office AND the Cintiq 13 HD for when I travel.  And no, they are not paying me to write about them, but god knows I would whore myself out for another one of these for my home – they cost a ton!

It’s just like drawing on paper, but it’s all digital using photoshop and the paintbrush tool.  Check out the final rendering below.  Free-hand bitches!

AE Outdoor-Dawson Patio Collection-final renderingThese were quick iPhone shots I took while pulling ideas together for fabrics and wickers.  You can see there are always tweaks along the way, and I like where we ended up with the blue-er cushion color and lighter wicker in the final photos. You?

AE Outdoor-Dawson Patio Collection-fabric swatchesThe sectional is huge and super comfy, great for a little afternoon nap-time in the sun.

AE Outdoor-Dawson Patio Collection-Main-1AE Outdoor-Dawson Patio Collection-BackAE Outdoor-Dawson Patio Collection-Pillow-DetailAE Outdoor-Dawson Patio Collection-WeavePull out the separate chair pieces and you can make a mini sectional with chairs for more ‘conversational’ seating.  Yes, brilliant, I know.AE Outdoor-Dawson Patio Collection-Main-AltHead on over to homedepot.com and get yours before we sell out!!

Joyce Glynn - I love you blue wicker patio furniture. I am in the process of having a round fire pit patio area in my backyard. Do you have a round-style type furniture – on the same idea as the blue wicker patio furniture on this website – that I can check out. Thanks.


Samantha Pattillo - Hi Joyce! Thanks for reaching out. Sadly, we don’t have any of that type of chair in the blue fabric, but we have great swivel round chairs in a red fabric. Feel free to see our whole line at aeoutdoor.com Hopefully we have some other designs you will love! :)

Reupholstery – How Many Yards Does It Take?

When I saw this quick little cheat sheet posted on my Instagram feed I just had to share!!  One of my fav bloggers and part of my ‘insta-family’, Cheryl of the blog Dwell by Cheryl, posted this after seeing her go-to upholstery guy getting fed up answering this over-asked question- “How many yards will it take to recover this chair?…”

Samantha Pattillo-How Many Yards to Reupholster

Isn’t it great!?! I now have this baby saved to my phone so I can get a quick understanding on cost when I’m thrifting at my favorite vintage stores.  Thanks for sharing Cheryl!

As always, no post should go without some eye candy, so here are a few fun reupholstery before and afters:

Samantha Pattillo-Chairloom 3 before-afterSamantha Pattillo-Chairloom 1 before-afterSamantha Pattillo-Chairloom 2 before-afterThese are all from the amazing designers at Chairloom.  Check them out for more cool reupholstery projects.

Samantha Pattillo-apartment therapy before-afterThis funky gem is from my always favorite before/after posts by apartment therapy.

Samantha Pattillo-Craftnik before-afterYou know I love me an Eames era chair…though this is not a real one.  Still cute though with its sassy denim chevron from the blog crafnik.

Samantha Pattillo-Just About Home before-afterThis little guy is so classic with its clean lines and turned legs, I love the graphic pattern Peg and Liz from Just About Home blog used to recover the chair.  This would add some punch to any room without being overwhelming.

Emily Hendersen for Oh-Joy-Studio-Chairs1I couldn’t find the before shot of this cute pair, but I still had to share these groovy office chairs.  Emily Henderson is one of my favorite designers, these are vintage chairs she found and recovered for her color savvy client Oh Joy Studio.  The combo tweed/plaid with the solid is so fun!

Happy hunting and reupholstering guys!

What’s Your Angle? – Pattern Inspiration

Lawdy, lawdy, lawd…are you all as busy as me?!  I feel like I can’t catch my breath I have so much going on.  My blogging has suffered, it gets pushed to the bottom of the list, after all the other things that help me get paid.  LOL  I guess thats how it should be though.  At least that’s what my animals think since my paycheck helps to feed them and buy them fashionable pets beds and fancy collars. ;)

Just to get back in the groove, here is the an easy ‘inspiration’ post for you.  I got such a fabulous response to my credenza upcycle post a few weeks ago that I thought it would be cool to show some other product on the market doing a similar angle theme.

Samantha Pattillo-Angular Inspiration-5Angular and/or triangle patterns are most popular on softgoods right now, they are everywhere!  I love this pillow featured on HGTV and this wood-cut blanket-TO.DIE.FOR.  Check out Elisa Strozyk’s rugs and textiles, there are too many amazing ones to feature here.

Samantha Pattillo-Angular Inspiration-2I love this little console table from West Elm and this outdoor furniture is interesting…not my style, but still cool.

Samantha Pattillo-Angular Inspiration-4This origami inspired lighting is amazing.  The pendant makes he think of a crumpled piece of paper. :)  And that lamp needs to go in my office!

Samantha Pattillo-Angular Inspiration-1Wrap your walls in geos too with this shelf, wall clock, and even this statement wallpaper.

Samantha Pattillo-Angular Inspiration-3And you know a trend has some staying power when it’s incorporated into architecture.  This funky window gives a modern home some pizzaz and this shade structure by designer Jamie Durie got lots of attention when it was featured on HGTV.

Braizen Design Studio – Makeover Part 1

Do you guys remember that amazingly talented graphic design team that designed my logo and website?!  (You can see my blog post about it here.)  Braizen was my first choice when I decided to hire a professional to design my brand, and I was blown away when they returned the compliment and asked me to redesign their studio.

They wanted a chic industrial vibe, with pops of their signature Braizen Red throughout.  Here is the mood board I pulled together to kick off the project.

Braizen-Mood-Board-Samantha-PattilloThey already had quite a few good pieces to work with in the space like these IKEA arm chairs and a beautiful handmade desk that the sexy Walter designed and made himself.  Working in those few items I started sketching…

Braizen-Ideation-Samantha-PattilloWe wanted to give them 4 workstations- 1 for Ashley, 1 for Walt, 1 for Amber, and 1 to grow! They also wanted a ‘chill zone’ using the cozy arm chairs where they could curl up with the company mascots: Choo Choo, Katie, and Chester, as well as a separate meeting room for Skype calls and a worktable for large project layouts.  You can see the floor plan below with the smaller meeting room at the back on the left side.

Braizen-Floorplan-Layout-Samantha-PattilloHere is the main studio now:

Braizen-MainBefore…and this is my plan for after:  Add curtains to frame those great windows and main entrance doors, move the ‘sitting area’ to the side wall with a great gallery wall behind showing off some of their amazing graphic design work.

Braizen-Living-Samantha-PattilloThe reverse side of the room with built in shelving for much needed storage, a custom reclaimed wood double desk cantilevered off the cabinets, a dropped pendant to add a focal point to the room and an awesome gallery wall on top of a chalk board painted wall-perfect for graphic design doodlers.

Braizen-Main-Samantha-PattilloBelow is the back meeting room where all of the top-secret brilliance will happen…. (see all that much needed storage?!)

Braizen-MeetingRoomBeforeTo continue that rustic industrial vibe I added a feature wall of weathered wood planks that the TV will be mounted against, a recycled glass light fixture, a metal shelving unit for more storage, and an awesome adjustable height work table with red stools.

Braizen-MeetingRoom-Samantha-PattilloWe are in the process of pulling everything together now: repainting, staining the concrete floors, installing light fixtures, and shopping shopping shopping.  I’ll keep you all updated on the progress.  In the meantime, what do you guys think of my renderings of the space?  Effective?

Jillian - Hi Samantha,

I love your design for the space, but I am really enamored with your renderings! I study interior and architectural visualization and teach it at the University level. I would love it if you wrote a post on your process for generating such beautiful work. I know my students would be so interested, since your renderings are different from anything I have shown them before.


Samantha Pattillo - Thank you Jillian! I will def put together some info on my rendering process, though it’s mostly just sketching by hand. I’ll shoot you an email when I post it. Thanks for reading!!