A most excellent advantage to burgundy carpet is that wine spilled on it will never show. Sangria, port, merlot, pinot noir, vins de bourgogne -- toast with gusto and never mind a splash. The color, as rich as oxblood and aubergine, could be gloomy without careful balancing, and it isn't a simple warm hue. Burgundy has a lot of blue in it, so pick it apart before you decide how to match it with the rest of your decor.
All in a Color
Mix burgundy from red -- permanent magenta and permanent rose are reds with a lot of blue in them -- with very small amounts of viridian, a green, or ultramarine. A bit of violet, a clear blue, or an off-brown like burnt sienna will also give you an approximation of burgundy. The color, like the wine, isn't a precise hue, but deconstructing it gives you exact ideas for accents to flatter your carpeted floor. Turquoise and teal in patterned drapes and upholstery are refreshing with burgundy underfoot. If the rug itself is patterned, try solid silk turquoise drapes to the floor for a serene, elegant contrast. Light shades make intense hues pop, so work in some white or cream -- in the fabric patterns in the room or in the paint scheme.
Butter and Honey
A burgundy that tends toward garnet is a warm color -- the mix has some yellow in it. Paint walls a light honey gold with linen or cream trim and ceiling to bring out the gleam in a burgundy oriental carpet. With that combination, you can layer eclectic furnishings and textures in a convivial space -- warm natural wood dining table and chairs, or russet or tobacco velvet sofa and jade lampshades in the living room. The buttery softness of chamois is another winner for the walls that could help to tame hard-edged steel and glass modern furnishings and serve as a neutral enough backdrop for a string painting or an ethnic tapestry. A touch of charcoal or black -- in the fireplace surround or a carpet border -- grounds the sunnier reds and yellows and keeps the colors from reading as too "floaty."
Bedding With Butterflies
Ivory, cream, bone and white make the colors in a bedroom come alive. In color theory, whites and pale neutrals "rest" the eye and allow strong hues to display true, not muted. Take advantage of a burgundy carpet in the bedroom with a milk-white ceiling and drift of sheer curtains; cloud-white wallpaper spangled with vivid cerulean, fern green, turquoise, and burgundy-and-wheat butterflies; magenta, navy, forest-green and white chevron toss pillows against wine-red and linen velvet or satin Euro-shams; and a graceful copper or ebony bed frame. The splashes of rich color against the pale shades pull the rug color up into the room without overpowering it, and the overall effect is elegant, relaxed and airy.
Benna Crawford has been a journalist and New York-based writer since 1997. Her work has appeared in USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and in professional journals and trade publications. Crawford has a degree in theater, is a certified Prana Yoga instructor, and writes about fitness, performing and decorative arts, culture, sports, business and education .