Tessa wrote us with a design dilemma hoping we could offer some help: “I am writing to you now with a problem of my own. We live in a beautiful 19th century mansion in Washington, DC. It is gorgeous and wonderful, but we rent it and are not allowed to paint any of the rooms. I am about to move into a different bedroom that is gorgeous, but painted one of my least favorite colors- burgundy. I hate burgundy! I tend to lean toward super bright hues (oranges, yellows, apple greens, etc.) when I decorate, and I am wondering (and hoping) that you guys might have some suggestions of what could possibly look good with this awful dark mess. Anything I have tried makes the room look like either a men’s smoking lounge or a cheesy Victorian salon. I haven’t seen you post many pics of burgundy rooms, so I thought you might have some cool ones hiding somewhere. Please help me out.”
I went through my photo stash and just as I suspected, no one paints a bedroom burgundy. 🙂 And I hate burgundy too!!! First, here are a few bedrooms that have dark walls (a couple burgundy-ish) that might inspire you to work with what you’ve got.
For alternatives, if you’re allowed to put holes in the walls, maybe you should consider finding some not-too-sheer sheers and hanging them from those wire systems (Ikea I think has it) around the room (if it’s not too big). Also, how about painting some really large pieces of foam core (if you can paint that stuff)/thin MDF and leaning it behind your bed, dressers etc. to hide as much of the burgundy as you can, or you can make a screen, like the one below.
And the following photo I thought was very inspiring and SO gorgeous. Now the walls are not burgundy, but imagine they were, and maybe the light shade of bluey-green that are used in the large upholstered pieces were a light pink. Sounds crazy but it could work to tone down the darkness, as they do in this photo.