Upholstery + Rug Sale Design Inspiration, Part 3: Alison Giese Interiors

First, let me just get this out of the way, all Dash & Albert rugs, rug pads, throws, and accessories will be on sale 20 percent off from February 14th to the 20th. Okay. Now, that that’s done, let’s discuss how to use Dash & Albert rugs and Cisco Brothers upholstery (also on sale!) in a really wonderful design. This week, Design Collective partner Alison Giese of Alison Giese Interiors shares her secrets to creating a soulful room using neutrals. Spoiler alert: the key is texture.

Using the same three pieces as our other designers (see their designs here and here), she has created a sophisticated room with unpredictable details that feels very fresh and modern, while not veering far from timeless. In Alison’s words, “This room is for the person who loves an overall organic vibe and natural palette with plenty of texture.”

Keeping the sofa neutral in a beautiful textured fabric like nubby cotton or linen is the starting point. Then adding the black side table as opposed to the white version for depth and dimension. Repeating the black from the side table in the organic black abstracts from John Derian creates balance. The cool shape of the floor lamp makes it stand out against the neutral palette, and the metal finish adds another textural element. Speaking of texture, the Twiggy wool and jute rug from Dash & Albert is one of my favorites. With two organic materials mixed into a subtle stripe, it adds so much.

Did you know that blue is considered a neutral? The layperson might have the tendency to keep to black and creams with all the accents in the room, but that might make the room feel flat. A skilled and talented designer doesn’t let that happen. Adding in blue instead of keeping it to black and cream is a small stroke of genius. It makes the room interesting and lively and keeps you on your toes.

Now, how about that coffee table? It is, dare I say, inspired. She has taken a classic design, one that can transcend the sands of time, and hit it with a thoroughly modern bolt of lightning. Talk about unpredictable!

Using the blue and that gorgeous coffee table (a friendly reminder that all the items you see here are available at Red Barn Mercantile), Alison has taken a lovely room to a well-designed, highly curated space that one would be proud to call home. It’s this thinking and decision making that make it so worth hiring a designer.

If you’d like to take advantage of our semi-annual upholstery sale and the Dash & Albert President’s Day sale, then stop by the store today to get started. And, if you’d like to work with one of our talented designers, then email us now at hello@redbarnmercantile.com. We look forward to working with you!


  • 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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your daily dose of all things fashion, beauty, fitness, and design. Locally sourced and locally styled!