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All Hail the Burgundy and Gold Bedroom! Interesting tile, unique bath fixtures and paint make a powder room anything but a mausoleum!
Designing Dilemmas July 2007

All Hail the Burgundy and Gold Bedroom!

Dear Debbie: We recently purchased a new cherry bedroom set. Our bedding is burgundy and gold. I have purchased gold curtains but now do not know what color to paint the walls. Can you help? Ellen

Dear Ellen: If you lived near me, in the Washington, DC area, I'd say add a few Redskin pennants on the walls and you're ready for football! My husband would love it.

But chances are you're not turning your master bedroom into a Redskin shrine, so let's run through the colors that go well with burgundy and gold. Many colors in the mauve to cherry red families would work well with the gold and burgundy, but could come off a bit feminine. You'd have to choose carefully and get some sample colors to "test drive" in the room with your husband participating in the color test. Charcoal gray would be bold and dramatic- very sophisticated. But you need great lighting to keep the room bright and warm with such a strong wall color. If you've got recessed lighting, table lamps and lots of natural light, it's worth considering. A middle of the road choice would be a soft blue/blue gray color. Look through Benjamin Moore's Historic Colors and you'll find these softer blues that look great with warmer cherry wood tones. Look at "Wedgewood Gray", "Woodlawn Blue" and "Yarmouth Blue"

All of the above would work....You choose!

Choosing Tile That's Fit for a Bathroom

Dear Debbie: I am re-doing a small half-bathroom (I live in a townhouse) and want to tile it. But how can I do it without making the bathroom look like a mausoleum? Later, I'll re-do the other two bathrooms upstairs and I will have the same problem, though they are larger bathrooms. Thank you for all your help. Allamanda

Dear Allamanda: I've been asked for help in keeping bathroom tile from becoming cold, causing echoes and from becoming slippery when wet, but this is my first time at preventing a tile bathroom from looking like a mausoleum! I think I can help.

Simply stated, we use tile in bathrooms because of its ability to stand up to the wear and tear of moisture and water. In a half bathroom with no shower or tub, you won't have the same moisture issues and you do not need to use tile. So before I go any further, consider alternatives to tile in the half bath. You could use hardwood with a small area rug on top for flooring in the half bath. The walls could have a decorative paint or paper finish or just straight acrylic paint- either one will give you a finish that's hard-wearing enough to hold up to powder room use. These are not only durable alternatives to tiling the powder room, but probably less expensive too.

If you still choose tile, the options are literally endless. Use color instead of neutrals to keep the tile from looking cold. Choose unusual sizes, like 1 inch by 1 inch mosaics or brick size- which are rectangular in shape. Consider glass, stone, embossed or painted tiles or honed (matte) instead of polished surfaces. All of these choices will give your tile a unique, warm and artistic feel. Most importantly, get out and see your options in person. Beyond a large home store, there are tile specialty stores that carry unique tiles with matching borders and base trims and in interesting patterns you've probably not seen before.

Tile is low maintenance and long-lasting, but it's also expensive to purchase and properly install and seal. So know your options and see the many tile choices out there before making your final decision. Do your homework and there's no way a tile powder room will ever resemble a mausoleum!

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