Planning For Guests With Dash & Albert!

Some of my favorite posts are to design a room for a fictitious home I don’t have in order to highlight an upcoming sale. They give me the chance to stretch my creative muscles and design something I think would be fun. It allows me to live vicariously through an imaginary me. With Memorial Day coming, that means a Dash & Albert and Pine Cone Hill sale where we will be taking 20 percent off in-stock and special orders (custom-sized rugs not included)! That gives me the opportunity to throw a little something together for you.

My fictitious home is in sunny California with bleached, wide plank oak floors, rustic beams, big windows overlooking a verdant backyard, and crisp white walls. The room is a guest room for all the family I haven’t seen in a year who are finally coming to visit. Let me give you a tour.


Shop the room: 8×10 Cotton Rug, $608, Sale price, $486.40; Mirror, $405; Ceramic lamp, $575; Iron lamp, $639; Saddle Leather Oval Chair, $1600 available here; Solid Coral Euro Sham, $56 each, Sale price $44.80; Printed Linen Standard Sham, $72 each, Sale price, $57.60; Queen Trio Coral Duvet Cover, $352, Sale price, $381.60; Arabella Queen Bed, starting at $4350; Vino Barrel Side Table, $945 each; Clark 6-drawer Dresser, $4343


As always, I start with one piece that really inspires me.  For this design, I started with the rug. It is a rug sale, after all! Intentionally, I set out to use a cotton rug because I wanted to demonstrate how much impact you can get from such a simple rug. Plus, it’s a guest room – or a child’s room or a room in a second home if you prefer – so I don’t want to break the bank on a room that’s not used regularly. The Serape Coral caught my eye for its simple stripes that are cheerful and fresh but not overly so.

With that jumping off point decided, I went straight to the bedding.  I knew I wanted to keep it quiet with a hint of drama. The white duvet cover is cozy and simple, with a touch of color that coordinates with the rug. (Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert make it easy to coordinate. They are practically Garanimals!). Solid Euro shams in the same coral color give the bedding a base of color on which the printed linen shams can rest and give us that bit of drama. The shams also introduce another color that I then sprinkled in the room.

The chair is one that I have been obsessed with for ages. It’s from a store in Texas called Garza Marfa, and I just love it. Effortlessly cool, the simple design brings in leather (which I like to add when it makes sense, and it definitely does here) and the subtle aqua color found in the pillow shams. While that color isn’t in the rug, it complements the rug colors beautifully and is tied to the room through the shams. I really wanted to play off the rug name and give this space a feel of Mexican travels and culture without totally appropriating it.

To further bring in that style, I went with a rustic reclaimed wood dresser with heavy iron pulls and the reclaimed wine barrel side tables from Cisco Home. Both feel very earthy and weathered like the sands of time, and the desert has had their way with them. This room uses natural materials, which feels authentic to me. The Cisco Home Arabella bed would be upholstered in a slubby linen. Paired with the leather, reclaimed wood, cotton bedding and rug, and iron and ceramic lamps, this room feels organic without screaming at you.

All told, I think my guests would love this sweet guest room, don’t you? If you’re in need of rugs or bedding, then join us May 27 to June 1 for our annual Dash & Albert and Pine Cone Hill Memorial Day Sale. Don’t forget, you can always borrow any of our 2’x3’ rugs to try out in your home before you commit to the larger size. There’s no better time to get started designing your little guest room – bedroom, living room, dining room, etc. – oasis than today!


  • The latest from Amy
Owner Amy Rutherford started Red Barn because she wanted to deliver a service — to provide both old and new in one place. No longer will busy shoppers be limited to reproductions or forced to shop multiple flea markets for the look or gifts they want. The trick in blending old and new, vintage and modern, classic and quirky, is balance. And Amy’s knack for mixing rustic antiques with urban chic has created a look that is both fresh and familiar.

Red Barn Mercantile opened its doors in September 2007 with a single vision in mind: providing old and new to offer our customers signature whole-room designs at great prices.

We’re more than a furniture boutique and provide more personalized service than a big box retailer. We work hard to bring you the highest quality furniture and gifts, the most unique conversation starters, wall hangings and accent pieces, whether they come from off-the-beaten-track flea markets, or the latest designers.

1117 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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