About The Artist

Imaginative, modern and witty are words that describe the work of Trout Studios, an innovative, dynamic design firm offering space design, decorative hardware and furniture to the retail and designer markets. The firm founded by Sallie Trout in 1989 bases its design philosophy on the integration of innovation and simplicity, and the creation of products and spaces with integrity and charm.


The company motto, “Founded 1989, quality since 1992”, is an example of Trout’s self-deprecating humor and commitment to quality. Her line has been distributed in the U.S. by more than 250 retail showrooms. Her corporate clients have included Patagonia, the Walt Disney Corporation, Jim Henson Studios, Fredericks of Hollywood, and Big Dog Sportswear, as well as thousands of interior designers, architects, and specifiers.


Born in Baltimore in 1964, Sallie’s curiosity about European art, culture and design started at a young age. Beginning her study of languages --French, German, then Italian, was a way to imagine different places. At age 18, sketchbook in hand, she apprenticed in the architectural firms of Columbia Design Collective, and with Stuart Macklin & Associates, while building furniture and designing spaces for her first clients.


In 1989, Trout moved to Los Angeles and established Trout Studios. In the first few years, the firm built limited edition furniture.  Trout learned to weld at L.A. Trade Tech., and took courses at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, (SCI-Arc) to experiment with wood, carving and sand casting. She studied with Morris Sheppard, (woodworking), Peter Shire, (product design & marketing) and Sam Maloof, (Furniture design and carving).


During that first year in Los Angeles, Trout established the first of many studio workshops and was selling to clients that ranged from private collectors in Switzerland to the Museum of Hong Kong.  In 1992 Trout Studios began to display furniture for the first time at the ICFF in New York.  Often asked if some of the handles from the cabinets were available separately, Trout responded by launching a line of 150 decorative pieces in recycled aluminum. In 1996, the first decorative metal tiles were added to the line.


Several of Trout’s early pieces were published, and articles about her designs have appeared in several hundred magazines from the United States to Italy and Japan. Trout has appeared as a guest on design television shows (House Beautiful, Christopher Lowell Show, Kitty Bartholomew and Designers Challenge) and has been featured in several books (100 Best Houses, Ultimate Bath, Outdoor Rooms and others).  While appreciative of critical success, Trout focuses on her insatiable curiosity and passion for exploring new ideas.


While the furniture line has greatly expanded over the years, Trout Studios has begun to design prototypes for much larger international companies. Considering the plethora of materials and fabrication techniques possible with the best of these companies, Trout observes, “They have better toys to play with.”