Design Essentials

Traditional & Timeless

As a designer, the number one question I’m asked is this: What color do I choose? I get it. Color—whether it’s on the ceiling, walls, or floors—is a major commitment. And the wrong choice can result in a total design disaster. So how do you avoid the potential pitfalls that come with color selection? It’s easy. Keep it traditional.

I’m all for taking a risk and trying the next best thing, but there’s a reason traditional design looks beautiful year after year (and era after era). If your main concern is creating a fail-proof design that’s going to remain timeless, even after the next big trend hits, let traditional rooms be your guide, particularly when you’re choosing flooring materials.

Super dark floors were really popular in early 2000s. They’re beautiful, but they can show dust, debris, and pet hair, so keep that in mind if you choose a darker floor. On the flip side, mid-tone browns work well in just about any room and are far more forgiving.

Featured Floor: Maison Oak Planks, Envique Collection

Featured Floor: Maison Oak Planks, Envique Collection

If you want a floor that will really go the distance, look for a brown that doesn’t have a red undertone. Unless you’re all about bright primary colors, red woods (like cherrywood) can be a bit limiting.

Featured Floor: Pearl Maple, Q-Wood

Featured Floor: Pearl Maple, Q-Wood

Mid-tone browns are far more design-friendly and can be used with all kinds of color palettes. You can layer a variety of shades on top and mix woods and other materials without having to worry that the colors match perfectly. And best of all? It’s a totally timeless look. So what color do you choose? Mid-tone browns are always the right answer.


Erinn ValencichErinn Valencich is known for her unique style has designed homes for numerous celebrities around the globe. In addition to her interior design business, she has introduced her own line of furniture and blogs at Erinn V Style. She has hosted a number of specials for HGTV and appeared as a contestant on NBC’s American Dream Builders. Erin’s designs have been featured in leading design publications, including Élle Décor, Town & Country, House Beautiful and Better Homes and Gardens. 

Get More Color Inspiration:
Color Journey: Delicious Chocolate Floors
Back to Black: My Favorite Flooring Trend
Create a Palatable Palette
Design isn’t just Black and White. It’s Many Shades of Grey!

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