Creative Genius: Samantha Pattillo on Finding Your Personal Style

When Kelly and I met furniture designer Samantha Pattillo in Atlanta earlier this year, the connection was immediate. The Made + Remade team gets really excited to meet people who get just as excited as we do about living the DIY lifestyle, and Samantha totally fits that bill. Growing up in Alaska making custom furniture for her Barbies in her dad’s cabinetry shop, you might say that Samantha was destined to build cool stuff.

But if you talk to her, she’ll tell you that what really revealed her path was a visit to SCAD her senior year of high school. She had been looking at schools and considering a degree in architecture when she and her parents stumbled across SCAD’s Furniture Design building. Four hours later, they walked out of the building, and she knew exactly where she was supposed to be. “It changed my whole world,” she says.

Samantha worked as lead outdoor furniture designer for Lowe’s for several years out of college, but recently decided to break out on her own. Along with Eric May, she started Ace Evert International, and their line of furniture will debut this Spring. I can’t wait to see it!

I also really love following all of Samantha’s projects on her blog. She is one stylish lady (her logo is a stiletto & a hammer), she has a gift for upcycling (a subject close to our M+R hearts), and she shares her blog with an adorable shop dog named Tucker. With a little DIY and her designer intuition, Samantha works with clients to create spaces that are personal to them.

So naturally I had to ask this stylish Creative Genius how she helps clients discover their own style. Here are her tips that may help you find your own style, too …

Tip #1: Look in your closet. 

We all have color palettes that we lean toward. If you’re having trouble finding a color palette for a room or a project you’re working on, look at your favorite clothes. You may find that you tend to surround yourself with soothing neutrals or that you have a proclivity toward pink.


Tip #2: Check out those shoes.
(Samantha is all about some fabulous shoes!)

Here’s a little secret. The shoes you choose may tell more about you than you think. Do you have a closet full of stilettos? Maybe you’re a little more willing to sacrifice practicality for a fabulous style. Although, you shouldn’t sacrifice one for the other – you can have both fashion and function.


Tip #3: Reading material can tell a lot about your
personal style.

What magazines do you subscribe to? For instance, do you read Traditional Home each month? Your style may mirror the magazine’s name. A fan of Dwell? You probably are inspired by clean lines and have a tendency to rid yourself of extra clutter. Love Southern Living? Your home may be a mix of heirloom treasures with a few newer pieces. For example, modern artwork can totally jive above an antique credenza from your mom – it’s just about investing yourself in the creation of a space that’s just for you.


Thanks to Samantha Pattillo for the advice and the fabulous images. Stay tuned for more projects and style ideas from Samantha here on Made + Remade, and be sure to check out Samantha and Tucker’s latest DIY projects on her blog.

If you’re into refinishing and upcycling furniture like Samantha is, we’re sure you’ll like some of these furniture and art upcycling ideas from Do any of them fit your personal style?

The Creative Genius series on Made + Remade features fabulous DIYers and makers who inspire us. Meet more Creative Geniuses and help us share the spirit of DIY!

14 Responses

  1. new year says:

    I am thankful for the article.Really looking forward to read year 2016 happy new year 2016 ml

  2. Gina says:

    Watched Samantha grow up and admired her creativity and talent from the time she was very young! So excited to see her happy and successful in her dream profession.

  3. Susan says:

    Interesting pics. Love that she reclaims other pieces. Does she do any designs that aren't so rustic…maybe transitional in style or contemporary?

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  6. Beverly says:

    Such an insightful article – I'm a Southern Living type and never knew! I look forward to more articles on this very talented young designer.

  7. Bunny says:

    Wonderful ideas, she needs her own HGTV show!

  8. Pam says:

    I always knew Sam was destined for huge success! Her energy and love of life is contagious, and more great ideas in a day than I may have in a lifetime. So SO proud of this young woman, but surprised? Not at all. :)

  9. Suzi says:

    Loves her work and the passion and energy with which she has always approached a project shines right through from the tips of those high heels to that sparkling smile.

  10. Kristink says:

    Ignited inspiration…great designer and true to her work! hugs

  11. Kelley G says:

    Great tips! Such a talented and passionate designer. Cant wait to see more from this lovely lady!

  12. Rob says:

    Samantha is one of the most positive, passionate, and engaging designers I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Working with her on any project immediately makes you feel at-ease, and everyone just seems to understand that she wants and designs from a passionate, but intelligent place.

  13. [...] ever!!  We officially closed on our new house (ahhh!) and I got word that I am being featured as a Creative Genius on DIY Network‘s amazing new blog Made + Remade.  Deep breaths…hehe-hooo [...]


About Hannah B. Slaughter 


I’m a graphic designer for HGTV and DIY who loves taking something old, making it new and then adding sparkle. Weekend activities include thrifting with my handsome husband, writing for ...

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