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Advice for DesignersAdvice for HomeownersBeigeColour lessonPrimary BedroomUnderstanding Undertones

How to Work with Bedroom Carpet You Don’t Like

By 01/22/2015November 21st, 201631 Comments

Recently, I had a consultation with Lori who wanted help with her great room, paint colours and her bathrooms.

She walked me through her house and we created a furniture plan for her great room, chose colours throughout and discussed her bathrooms.

In the first bathroom we were able to make the room look new (and save her brand new granite countertop) just by choosing the perfect tile to replace the old tile. In the second bathroom we simply had to rip out the brand new granite countertop which was installed strictly to sell the house, with no thought given to how it related to the actual bathroom it was installed in (that post coming soon).

She had beautiful hardwood floors throughout most of the house including the upstairs hallways.

And then we arrived in a guest room where she said, “We just need a colour for this room. We’re not changing the pink-beige carpet — I don’t like it, but it’s staying for now.” She also had a duvet on the bed that wasn’t originally chosen to go in this room.

How to Work with Bedroom Carpet You Don't Like | Maria Killam

“Great,” I said, “To get a colour that makes you happy for the walls, let’s start with finding a duvet.”

Notice that when you compare the pink-beige carpet with the existing beige in the skirt and duvet cover, you can see that they are a yellow-beige.

First, here’s a tip about bedskirts. Measure the drop of the bed frame. If you’re not sure exactly where to measure, look at my diagram (above).

Pottery Barn is one of my favourite places to find a duvet as they have lots of pretty bedding in coverlets and duvets.

How to Work with Bedroom Carpet You Don't Like | Maria Killam

Pottery Barn Duvet | Navy Bedskirt

We found this duvet that coordinated perfectly with the pink-beige rug. We didn’t want to paint the room the olive green, navy blue or red in the duvet, so I suggested we go with a pale pink-beige to pick up on the rug and pull the room together.

How to Work with Bedroom Carpet You Don't Like | Maria Killam

Navy Pillow Sham

Instead of using the shams that repeat the pattern in the duvet, we chose a navy pillow sham to repeat the navy bedskirt (above). The navy blue bedskirt and pillow shams also repeated the navy blue in the duvet and, of course, blue always works with pink-beige as I’ve shown you in this post.

How to Work with Bedroom Carpet You Don't Like | Maria Killam

Toile via Pinterest

How to Work with Bedroom Carpet You Don't Like | Maria Killam

{via pinterest}

I always recommend buying just the patterned duvet and then buying solid shams and a bedskirt to match. This way you won’t tire of the pattern. There’s something about matching patterned shams (unless you go with toile, above) that generally can look too busy, or you just get tired of it faster.

How to Work with Bedroom Carpet You Don't Like | Maria KillamHorchow

Here’s another duvet that would go with a pink-beige rug. Notice the area rug in the ad is actually yellow-beige and green — not fabulous with the pink-beige and blue bedding, but the upholstered bed displayed is a lot closer to being the right colour.

You could certainly choose a solid duvet without any pink-beige in it; however, If you have carpet that is this strong, it looks more intentional to include the colour SOMEWHERE in the choices you make in the room.

And I’m doing a poll because I’ve seen so much pink-beige carpeting in bedrooms. Which undertone of beige is your carpeting?

Hey, I need questions for my “Ask Maria” posts! If you have a question about the interior (not exterior) of your house for me, email me here with a photo. I can’t help without seeing a picture of the room.

PS: If you don’t have my How to Choose Paint Colours eBook,  Get it here.

Related posts:

What Everyone Should Know About Beige

When Pinky Beige Works on Exterior

How to Choose Carpet Colours: Before & After

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  • Donna Frasca says:

    Oh that darn pinky beige! No wonder blue is such a popular color for the home. It’s a great fix for pinky beige, looks great Maria

  • Lorrin says:

    We have pinky beige in carpet in all three bedrooms–ugh! The walls are painted shades of blue in two rooms, so it doesn’t look terrible, however I still don’t like the carpet. I’m choosing to ignore it since I have bigger fish to fry–getting rid of my honey oak cabinets!

    Love the choice of duvet. Fixed the “problem” beautifully!

    • Stacy Wiegman says:

      I solved the problem of my honey oak cabinets in my last house–I restained them myself with gel stain. Front and back of the doors and drawer fronts in java stain. Totally remade the bathroom. Alternatively, I have historically painted honey oak cabinets white but I wanted to try stain for a change to break up the monotony between pink/beige floor tiles, honey oak cabinets and cream countertops. Luckily, I have no pink/beige carpet!!

  • InfoDiva says:

    Love how you pulled that room back from the abyss, Maria! But I have to wonder about the wisdom of investing in new bedding AND a new (professional?) paint job if your client really hates the pinky-beige carpet. At what point do you just give in, replace the carpet, and get on with designing the room that you really want from top to bottom?

    As I’ve learned from you, why let pink-beige boss you around so much?

    • KA says:

      I’m guessing pink beige looked bad with the Tuscan brown yellow tones, but now with grey being the trend, one can get colors to work with the carpet or other pink beige items.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Because it’s a guest room. If all it takes is a new duvet to pull the room together, that is a bargain given the room would STILL need a duvet, etc even if the carpet was a different colour.
      Thanks for your comment, we just need a magic wand cause there’s definitely too much pink beige carpet in the world 🙂

  • Robin says:

    thank you for this post! I have been putting off purchase of a bedding for my bedroom with a pinky beige carpet. I love the duvet cover you recommended to your client, so I bought it 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Our sand colored carpeting leans slightly peachy which only shows in daylight. I wish it were a little more yellow, but I’ve been able to work with it because I’m so in love with the diamond patterned texture.

  • sherry says:

    I only have one room with carpet. It’s in a large 3rd floor attic conversion. It is also peachy and it’s days are numbered.

  • D.Gibbs says:

    BEIGE CARPET SHOULD BE BANNED! I have ab 2000sq ft of ‘builder beige’ carpet that goes up MANY stairs, into the attic, closets, several dormer spaces, closets, is half way into the guest bath (who does that???) and until I ripped it out, was even in the downstairs powder room. If It were just in our overly large bedroom, dressing area and multilevel clisets, I’d be overjoyed. The expense and chaos of tackling this ugly floor dilemma has paralyzed me. BTW, when the edges of beige carpet gather years of dirt, even the pros can’t get it clean. (This is a townhouse with a very bizarre floor plan.)

  • I love your tips for coordinating the bedding with the existing carpet, and love the paint and bedding choices too. We just got new carpeting for our three bedrooms, and because of you I knew not to get a pinky beige!

  • Karen says:

    Hi Maria – Data for your poll – I have pinky beige in the bedroom – the rest of the house is oak hardwood. I chose it before I knew about undertones but I was saved by the carpet salesperson who dissuaded me from an even pinkier ( is that a word!) carpet!

    Walls are painted a mid-dark very muddy ( ie lots of grey undertones) purple dusty rose – no yellow tones. Actually it looks great – takes the pink out of the carpet. I pair it with an assortment of duvets from a stripe with similar colour tones to the duvet you bought above from Pottery Barn to white matlisse. Sometimes I use a navy bedskirt and shams – sometimes white.

    Now I see undertones like they are screaming at me – thanks to your coaching. Like the pinky granite countertop mixed with the yellow undertoned backsplash our local Home Depot just put on display. Makes me cringe.

  • Joanne says:

    I have a yellow undertone in my beige carpet.

  • Renee says:

    I have pinky beige carpeting on the upper bedroom and loft area floor and on the staircase leading to it. Instead of replacing the entire carpet, I hope to find a subtle carpet with a blend of gray and beige for the staircase to transition the ground level hardwood and the upper floor’s carpet. I must admit, I haven’t looked for such carpeting yet and don’t know if it exists.

  • sandyc says:

    Not everyone can do the obvious and rip out a carpet one hates “right now”, so how wonderful to have the “freedom” (your word, Maria) and your help in finding ways to be happy with alternate choices until you can change things.

    Interestingly, the original carpet in my 1986-built home is the best color “beige” carpet I’ve ever had in any place I’ve ever lived – because it’s thick and textured and has tiny flecks of caramel and charcoal (only could see this in direct sunlight), it has a very slightly terrazzo appearance which is pretty neutral, especially in the bedrooms with their original white walls. In the very open foyer to D’office/living room with the probable Dunn Edwards Jakarta yellow beige walls and the peachy pink foyer (and visible kitchen) tile, it takes on a greyed/green tone which works OK except for the miserably chopped up look (the dreaded #10 envelope with too much postage and cute stickers). My only hope is to replace the flooring throughout because almost every room connects. Unfortunately, one doesn’t change the entire flooring in a 1350 sq ft home overnight unless one has deep pockets and, until my ship comes in, I don’t. Meanwhile, you always seem to find solutions, Maria, and thanks for the invitation to submit Ask Maria questions – I always find this such a practical way to learn, even when a particular question is not my issue at the moment.

    P.S., I love the way you layered the new duvet pic on top of the client’s bed so you could see how they worked together. I need to develop more skills at this – seems a lot easier with satisfactory enough results than learning Photoshop or other high learning curve program.

  • Susan S says:

    Yellow beige carpet in (gulp) 3 rooms and up the stairs and hall! And wouldn’t you know, it’s held up too well and even on the stairs! In actuality, it’s worked out well in my current color scheme, but it’s all due for a makeover and though I still love the wall colors, it all needs freshened up!

  • Katherine says:

    Like you, Maria, I prefer wood flooring. However, we have a 2000 sf home. Downstairs is all oak floors, but upstairs, where the bedrooms are, is all pink beige carpet. If money was no object, it would be great to have wood floors throughout. But even if I did have the funds to put wood upstairs, I would have to buy area rugs. This is just not affordable. Alas, I only have the budget for carpet replacement (the carpet is old and worn, so it is time). I know others commonly share this dilemma. I know you have stated that no carpet is neutral, but if it is the only choice, what color(s) do you recommend? Do you prefer a certain type, such as berber, plush, etc.? Maybe this would be a good topic for a blog post? I loved your idea to put high quality laminate throughout your home, but since the downstairs of our house is already wood, I hate to cover it with laminate, and putting wood on the first floor and laminate on the second floor doesn’t seem right either.

    • megeranski says:

      Consider engineered wood, which is probably a perfect solution.

      if you HAVE to get wall-to-wall, i find that as a hardwood lover, i don’t want something clingy or “sticky”, as most carpets are. I like sleek and ‘gliding’ surfaces (attributes I like on wood floors), and find Berbers meet that criteria.

      There are expensive Berbers and cheap ones, and i have found them in green blue yellow and pink undertones. some are speckled, some are solid.

      Consider though, spending $XX money on a solution that will make you dissatisfied is not the best monetary decision. and you’ll have to experience that dissatisfaction for well over a decade, is a guess.

      XX+YY% more budget will lead to 1000% more satisfaction, over ZZ years.

      I am Scottish and hate spending money. BUT spending any money resulting in less-than-happiness esp for a long period of time is not a logical thing to do. 🙂

      Engineered wood flooring is a terrific ‘sweet’ spot. it will wear like hardwood, and is much better than carpet. It is not really ‘laminate’.

      Laminate typically means a photo of wood. “Engineered” means they used real wood. It is an honestly terrific product.

      If you get the best underlayment possible, you will never regret it! 🙂

  • Linda Fitzgerald says:

    Perfect solutions – good job Maria!

  • Janet says:

    My house’s wall-to wall carpeting is 20 yr old pinky-beige, except for a green-beige flecked berber in a family room. Still love the berber, especially how well it has held up, although I may go with hardwood when the time comes to re-do the room, for future re-sale. I’m afraid that going with hardwood on the other carpeted surfaces is going to be too noisy for us. Any thoughts?

  • Denae says:

    I hate to tell you Maria…but my bedroom carpet is….are you ready…..BURGUNDY RED! The sad thing is, the carpet is in glorious shape—so I am hard pressed to rip it out. It is a huge room—so I have had estimates to replace the carpet with a neutral grey-beige at $3000-$4000 dollars:-( What was the previous home owner thinking? Who has burgundy red carpet???? So loud! I am shocked that I can even fall asleep in there. LOL!

  • Carol says:

    I have 4000 sq ft of pinky beige carpet and tile. I picked all of this bossy flooring out before I had any knowledge of undertones. Now I’m hoping to win the lottery so I can replace it all.

  • Terry Marsella says:

    I hate pink – pink undertones – paint with pink undertones — why do people use these? it seems all paint has either pink or green undertones in it — Great job Marie as always……..

  • franki says:

    There’s that lemon to lemonade thing again!! Nice work! franki

  • We downsized last May, and bought an older home. It has many nice qualities, but the carpet isn’t one of them. All the carpet upstairs had been replaced before putting it on the market, but it’s a pinky mocha! Yeech. But, like your client, we just have to work around it for awhile since it’s not at the top of the list. Already had a toile quilt and shams that look fine.

  • megeranski says:

    Nothing but hardwood or tile. You could not PAY me to have ANY wall-to-wall carpet. Life is simply too short. I am quite sad for anyone who has to live with that stuff.

    INTERESTINGLY, however, I find that I am attracted to pink beige! At first I was confused by the realization that i like it — aren’t I supposed to DISlike it? I now realize, there is not one thing wrong with the color. As Maria would point out, it is the inept COMBINATION of this color with other colors that sets our teeth on edge.

    When I now see (through Maria-educated eyes) a well-pulled together room with pinky-biege, it is a true thing of beauty. The problem is, not many have Maria’s eye and cannot do it well.

    The problem is, people choose it thinking it is a non-invasive neutral, when nothing is farther from the truth. We might even be able to say it is the bossiest of the ‘neutrals’.

    It is as strong a color as the burgundy rug mentioned in the above-mentioned post, and needs to be treated as such. Some of my favorite designers use pink-beige again and again and again. But they do it so well, it never screams at you, rather, it creates peace and unity.

    No color alone, in and of itself, is ugh or icky. Only the way in which it is mis-used 🙂

  • anon says:

    I’m so tired of hearing how pinky beige is the devil incarnate! For heaven’s sake, go out in nature and see all the pinky beiges out there…and ya know, they actually WILL work with yellowy beige! I say, if you find it in nature, it can’t be all that bad. I’ve seen many instances of pinky beige with yellowy beige in nature….specifically in our river area in fall after green things have gone dormant. Now….with all that said, if you truly dislike trying to make the two beige factions work, then remedy the situation to one that does work for you on your budget. (ex: If you don’t like the pinky beige carpet but can afford to paint, do that. If you can afford to remove the pinky beige carpet and replace, then do so and build your color scheme from there.)
    Pinky beige is not the culprit many say it is. You just have to find a way to work with it.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Amen! And you are totally right! There’s nothing wrong with it when it’s not chosen automatically like it’s the most neutral beige. I recently saw a client who had picked up 4 big boards full of carpet sample colours and almost ALL OF THEM were pink beige. It’s the manufacturers who should be enlightened.
      Thanks for your comment!

  • Laura says:

    We have a light beige carpet throughout our entire upstairs that I had no idea leaned more pink beige until we started trying to find a new paint color for the. Edition walls and hallway walls. I had read your blog years ago and then it was like suddenly I could not un-see the pink undertone! In the bedrooms I have had to try to just ignore the carpet for the most part, but the hallway I painted a neutral color from your online color consult. The previous color had been a darker golden color with almost orange-ish undertone that I only seeemd to notice at night. What a huge difference since changing the paint color. The carpet looks a lot different.


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