Reader dilemma…and my least favourite colour

Posted on Thu, 23 Apr 2009 by KiM

I need your help with this one folks. Lauren wrote us with this problem: “I am going back to school, and my friend is oh so graciously letting me move into his house (rent free!). So, I feel like I should not complain too much, but the room needs a lot of help. I attached a picture for you to see the bedroom, just to give you an idea of the wall-to-wall maroon carpet I have to deal with. He has taken down the wallpaper boarder and painted the room a buttery yellow, but I think it kind of looks like a nod to McDonald’s now… He actually just replaced the carpet (but kept maroon, I’m not sure why), so I have to live with that – and the room is pretty large: 16′ x 13′. But he did say I can paint, which is a good start. So, my question is, do you have any ideas as to what color scheme would work with this carpet? I am normally a “blue” person, but just feel like I can’t completely disregard the carpet color. I was thinking maybe repainting the room white, and doing an accent wall – possibly relating to the maroon carpet, but I’m not so sure. Any ideas would be much appreciated!”


When I see maroon/burgundy I practically break out in hives. So I’m a bit at a loss as to what Lauren should do with this. My only thought is getting sisal rugs and trying to hide most of the carpet, and maybe painting the walls a pink (on the pale side). That’s all I’ve got. I’m hoping our readers might have better ideas.

I would try to make it as light and spacious as possible (eggshell NCS 0507-Y maybe, should also be acceptable to your friend). I guess you are going to study in there, so don't make it too dark and womb-like or you will drop off when your readings get boring! Although a maroon fitted carpet would obviously not be your first choice, try to find colours that make maroon work for you.
My suggestion is light walls & simple, light curtains that don't take too much of the light during day, and how about accents of rich olive green and a hint of pink for your loose fittings/accessories. Also I have to agree that to de-clutter is really important! A Maroccian colour scheme would also work, with red, rust and orange. I am not so sure about blue & maroon, but try to put the colours together and find what works for you.

J. Fudo says:

You should paint the room bright white, with a gloss black trim bring in a sisal or other neutral toned area rug, go for a white duvet cover sheet and pillows. Add a green or yellow colored coverlet as accent. Use the same or complimentary colored accent pillows and an oversized piece of art or just a paint stripe (maybe black or green or a combination) as your headboard. Do something with a wall wide shear window treatment and swag panels (same color as accent pillows or coverlet) at the ends of the wall.

If you really wanted to cover the carpet you could go with FLOR tiles wall-to-wall. This would allow you to leave the walls as is and you’d never have to look at the ugly maroon stuff again.

We actually have that maroon color, too, and it has to stay. I happened upon the darker greenish-teal color and it works really well. But, if you like a lot of colors the idea some one had about jewel tones and morrocan feel would work also!

Ginger says:

Tell her to check out: http://twolia.com/blogs/dwellingsanddecor/2009/04/22/guest-post/

It’s post from Down and Out Chic about blue-red color combinations which might inspire her;)

RUGS! you could pile up a bunch or get a big one at a discount store, something funky, or even just plain and sisal. . you could even tell him you are SO thankful that he’s letting you live rent free that you really want to protect his new carpet! once you do that it’s fair game, you could go anywhere with the wall color. .

if you hate rugs you could treat the burgundy like a dark neutral? add brighter reds and chocolate browns so the burgundy just fades into the background, and then throw in pops of brighter colors? orange? or maybe turquoise?

good luck!

sarah says:

so, i’m thinking you can’t ignore, let’s call it the burgundy, and so i guess just try to embrace it. all colors come back around at some point anyway, right?!

i too first thought grey, but then thought of those horrid cars in the 90s that were grey with burgundy interior… so i’d say steer clear if you don’t want it to feel like a cutlas supreme or whatever they were.

I’m thinking go warmer… like a warm white ~ ivory almost ~ on all the walls. keep the white trim

take down the curtains and the blinds… do you need them? if so, go ivory~ same as the walls and hang one over each window and draw them to the outside of each window. then either hang a mirror or a very simple piece of art, modernly framed with ivory mat and frame, between the windows

next, all white bedding and duvet cover, tailored bedskirt. 2 big euro pillows to cover up the back of the headboard with two standards to set in front. Then see if you can find a charcoal grey wool or flannel fabric and place this half way up the bed as another layer.

then, matching nightstands on either side of the bed. matching lamps as well… perhaps again try ivory.

then declutter, declutter, declutter (well actually do this first)

finally if you have a say in furniture, i’d consider black. the bed might look cool black if you can paint it.

overall color scheme: white/ivory/charcoal/black with the carpet being a burgundy accent.

also, i was in morroco recently and stayed in a riad that had ivory walls in that amazing tadikt (sp?) finish and one of the rooms had burgundy accents with marrakesh style fabrics… it had a minimalistic simplicity, with a bit of warmth from the morrocan stylings… so this could be a good direction if you don’t want a tailored look.

anyway, good luck!

MamaChilanga says:

I’d go for very pale blue on the walls. Plain white trim, plain white sheers, plain white comforter, and accent pillows on the bed that are white with red trim or a red and white pattern. I’d also consider a white slip cover over the headboard.

Unless you want to go for a Moroccan spice market slash New Orleans brothel look, paint the wall a rich deep blue, get lots of brass things and some gaudy Victorian bits. If you paint the walls a light colour this will only emphasise the carpet. I’d go dark- chocolate brown or deep blue.

The first thing I’d do though is get rid of those curtains (assuming we’re not doing the brothel idea) and de-cutter. If you’re allowed to paint the dresser and the bed, do that too! Donate that bedding (is that plastic sheet I see?!) to thrift.

Personally I don’t have a problem with burgundy- I don’t actually own anything in that colour though as my best friend is obsessed with it, so if I do find something in that colour she just pesters me till I give it to her! It’s turquoise I can’t stand.

kristen says:

My two picks for wall color is Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray OR Marblehead Gold or for something with less gold tones, Livingston Gold which is more of a coffee tone. I would then stick with a very simple bedspread such as white, or linen colored and then some "pop" colors in pillows and a throw such as pinks, purples, and blues (keep these colors rich and bright) to draw attention to the bed and its contrasting wall color rather than the carpet. Then i would use a rug with a beautiful "henna" pattern in simple but bold colors, to draw attention to the area rugs NOT the underlying "maroon".

Put interesting things on the walls to draw the eye up.

good luck!

Leave a Reply to Ginger Cancel reply

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