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Interior Design: Transitional Style

Posted by Jennifer Andrews on June 5, 2019
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Part of creating an inviting and comfortable space in your home is understanding what makes things “work” together. We will be sharing links to Houzz.com’s series on understanding different design styles over the next few weeks, with some input of our own.

Transitional Design Style

What is Transitional style? It’s a style that’s in between traditional and contemporary. It’s not stuffy, but it’s also not minimalistic. Think greige or taupe for your neutrals, and for furnishings, they can still have stylings from traditional pieces, but they have cleaner, softer, more simple lines – without becoming too stark or plain.

It also means that you can get away with some more traditional designs like wainscoting and a few antiques scattered around without them looking out of place. Just don’t overdo the accessories – transitional does strive to keep things from becoming cluttered or messy. A few select pieces anchor your space, with a few accessories to make it yours are what Transitional is all about.

Transitional style is one of my personal favorites, because it allows so much freedom to add in pieces that you love!

Texture reigns in Transitional style – metal, wood, rattan, stone, glass, lacquer – these all work! Not having too many items allows those that you do have to shine. Mixing multiple textures together can bring warmth to your space while still resting in the background.

Color stays neutral, but they are warmer neutrals that allow a few well thought-out accessories to shine – and add a pop of color! Choose one or two large pictures rather than a gallery wall of 25 small to medium-sized ones. Choose a few pillows & a blanket to pick out key colors from the picture and tie the room together. In a kitchen or dining room, let a colorful flower arrangement be the focal point while everything around it stays neutral. Choose your pops of color wisely, and let them add to the room!

Keep your furnishings more on the simple side, with gentle, flowing curves and clean lines, but allow for one or two key pieces to stand out – they will become the focal point because they are a little more ornate. Choose classic patterns for your upholstery, but keep the colors intentionally neutral so that you can mix & match a few styles together without it being too confusing. Neutral is not an afterthought, it is the focus.

The thing I love most about transitional style is the ability to play with metals. Keep your metals matte or brushed, and you can get away with mixing a few together! I have a set of lamps that I picked up at IKEA that mix matte black with brushed brass, and they look fabulous. (They also come in white – check them out here!) Keeping the same softer finish means that you can combine brushed nickel with brushed copper or antique brass with a great effect – because they are still soft.

Transitional Design allows you to bring together pieces & elements from both classic and modern styles, and marry them together to create a space that is serene, comfortable, and uniquely you!


This is part of our Design Tips Series.


Here is the article from Houzz.com that sparked this series on design styles – enjoy!


What is your favorite design style?



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