Yeah, the purple was not a good idea, and the original orange WAS pretty orangey, wasn't it? I also have too much stuff back there, but that's a project for another day. Here's a couple of "after" shots:
I did take a stab at pulling up the carpet, but need to get a smaller crowbar/wedge thingy to get the carpet strip up. It was as I suspected underneath, a layer of no-pile indoor/outdoor carpet that I'll lay the peel-and-stick vinyl tiles over. There was a sense of satisfaction involved in hooking my big crowbar under the carpet and pulling. It'll be nice to get the gross carpet out of there in favor of something that can actually get clean.
I took three coats of paint to cover that purple! I bought the "primer and paint in one" kind of paint and it covered for all the world like regular old paint. Oh well, it looks nice.