Raising a Barn to Decorate the Home

Amy Rutherford stocks refinished antiques as well as new housewares at Red Barn Mercantile in Old Town Alexandria.
Amy Rutherford stocks refinished antiques as well as new housewares at Red Barn Mercantile in Old Town Alexandria. (Dayna Smith - Dayna Smith for The Washington Post)
Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shopping in Old Town Alexandria stores can yield a variety of home treasures, including collectible antiques, vintage chandeliers, linens, dishware and examples of urban chic. Red Barn Mercantile, the newest addition to the neighborhood, puts all that under one roof.

Alexandria resident Amy Rutherford opened her shop quietly in September and celebrated a grander opening last weekend, with customers sipping apple cider while browsing refinished antiques, contemporary furniture, picture frames, candles, bath mats and accessories for children's rooms.

Rutherford, who describes herself as a third-generation antique lover, collects sturdy, weathered pieces mostly from the mid-Atlantic region, and her mother does the refinishing. She has a good eye for new home furnishings and gifts, too. Red Barn is one of just two area retailers (Neiman Marcus is the other) that carry Frances Palmer's Pearl Collection of tableware in black or white ($45 to $275). We also liked the Sapling Flatware, which is $75 for a five-piece place setting and witty in a Tim Burton kind of way. (The handles look like twigs.)

For more information on Red Barn, at 113 S. Columbus St., call 703-838-0355 or visit http://www.redbarnmercantile.com.

Meaghan Wolff


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