Creating a cohesive transitional room can be challenging. Here are some ideas for mixing transitional elements room by room.
We all know that transition means moving from one place or thing to another. But what does it mean in reference to interior design? The term “transitional design” is often used by interior designers to reflect a room’s meshing of modern and traditional elements — essentially, combining two styles in one space, resulting in a cohesive design.
Items that promote comfort are an obvious choice. Think about using lots of area rugs, throw pillows and blankets. Bonus points if these items include a bold pattern that still fits within your neutral and clean color scheme.
This transitional bedroom displays a mix of masculine and feminine details. Image Source: Amy Elbaum Designs
Bring comfort into your home with transitional design. Image: Landmark Building Contractors LLC
As you can see, transitional design can bring together two opposing styles into a cohesive room design when done properly. If you doubt your ability to do this on your own, then consider hiring a skilled interior designer to help you.
Stay neutral with your color choice, allowing the lines of the furniture to take center stage.Incorporate textural elements such as wood, glass, lacquer, rattan, fabric, steel and metal.Limit the use of accessories; you are adding artful details through your mix of furnishings and fabrics, and you don’t want to confuse the eye.
Choose impactful art, but use it sparingly. In most cases, one large piece on the wall is better than an arrangement of small pieces.
Transitional design refers to a room’s meshing of modern and traditional elements. Image Source: Clarum
This is no easy feat to pull off — but Freshome is here to help. Here’s a primer on transitional design, as well as tips on how to mix seemingly disparate styles into a look that works for you.
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Choose colors to create a soothing environment. Image: Element Home Builders
When you do add pops of color, make sure they drive home that serene feeling. Blues, in particular, are a great option because color psychology has shown they have calming connotations. Softer shades of greens and purples also work nicely.
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As far as décor items are concerned, it’s really up to you. Try to stick to pieces that have those trademark clean lines from contemporary styles. This helps drive home the room’s modern edge and keeps it from feeling out of touch.
In the dining room: Use a modern dining table and chairs, but upholster the chairs in a traditional fabric. Alternatively, use traditional furnishings and offset them with modern lighting, such as steel pendants with exposed lightbulbs.
Classic wood wainscoting can be another traditional feature in an otherwise contemporary dining space.In the bedroom: Upholster a tufted, curved headboard (a traditional element) with a steel-gray fabric (a more modern element).
Or flank a traditional headboard with modern cube side tables and sleek metal lamps.In the kitchen: If your kitchen cabinets are already traditional in nature and you don’t want to replace them, use a stronger hand with modern accessories.
Consider adding contemporary pendant lights over your island, or replace the island with a lacquered piece. Steel countertops can also add a contemporary look to an otherwise traditional kitchen.In the bathroom: Use glass, metal, ceramic and wood for a modern touch.
If you have a traditional clawfoot tub, install modern floor tiles, or arrange traditional tiles in a chevron pattern.In the living room: If you have traditional architectural features such as trims and moldings, add clean-lined chairs and sofas, keeping fabrics warm yet neutral in color.
Successful transitional design is achieved by seamlessly combining a mix of modern and traditional. While there are many interpretations of this style, here’s a list that will help you achieve a well-blended transitional look.
This bathroom cohesively mixes traditional and modern elements. Image Source: LB Design Studio
As usual, you want to start with a neutral base. However, opt for subdued shades this time. Choose soft grays over harsh blacks and warm tans rather than harsher, deep browns. In fact, don’t be afraid to mix and match. If you’re a fan of neutral shades, go ahead and use them for both your dominant and secondary colors.
Since a lot of transitional design is so neutral and a key part of the look is keeping things simple, the accessories you choose will need to pack a punch. They need to be bold enough to create visual interest in the space without distracting from its overall feel.
It might seem difficult to achieve a cohesive look when mixing such opposing styles. Let’s look a bit deeper into how to properly mesh them.
Use transitional design to blend comfort and style. Image: Salt Marsh Contracting
While this kitchen has a modern feel, its warm wood floors and cabinets lean traditional. Image Source: Photoklick
Let furniture play a central role in your design. Image: Shannon Crain
Stick to a few, purposeful accessories. Image: Jennifer Pacca Interiors
Transitional design is a mix of traditional and contemporary styles. Image: Cranberry Hill Kitchens
Transitional design is an example of timeless style at its best. It combines the comfort and lived-in feel of traditional styles with just a touch of modern, contemporary flair. If you’ve been searching for an aesthetic middle ground, this post is for you. Keep our tips in your back pocket so when it’s time for your next redesign, you’ll find your ideal style.
Transitional design marries curved furnishings with straight-lined, lacquered finishes, resulting in a room that is equally masculine and feminine in nature. It is not a scattered, eclectic mess; rather, it is only lightly adorned with accessories, a clean room with added texture and a neutral color palette.
It’s a common design conundrum: For some of us, ultra-modern looks feel uncomfortable. They’re too stark and sleek to feel homey. Yet, if we focus solely on livability over style, we can end up with a room that feels like it belongs in grandma’s house. It’s easy to find yourself searching for a viable middle ground.
Why should we care about transitional style? Because it’s a hot trend. Designers are seeing a drastic increase in the number of clients who want to toss the rules out the window and merge traditional elements (such as wainscoting or antique furniture) and modern, clean-lined furnishings.
The key words to keep in mind when dealing with a transitional style are “clean” and “serene.” Here, your goal should be to create a room that feels like an oasis, a respite from the hectic nature of everyday life. Selecting a calming color palette should be your first step.
As we touched upon, transitional design is a modern mix of classic and contemporary. You can think of it as simply a new take on an old classic, or a younger, more punchy version of traditional design. It’s especially popular among the millennial generation, as they want to venture out and create their own stamp.
If you’re one of those people, we have your answer. It’s transitional design. This style embraces comfort with a modern twist. Below, we’ve outlined why it works and how to pull off the look in your own interiors. With these tips, you should be able to solve the comfort vs. style debate once and for all.
What do you think of transitional design? Will you be bringing it into your own interiors? Tell us in the comments below.
As the name probably suggests, transitional design came about by combining two opposite styles. It’s sometimes referred to as “an updated take on the classics” because it acts as a middle ground between the best elements of traditional and contemporary looks.
Defining a Style Series: What Is Transitional Design? (It’s the Perfect Middle Ground)
Staying neutral with your colors allows the furniture to take center stage. Image Source: Sheridan Interiors
In transitional design, furniture truly takes center stage. These pieces are often larger and take up a commanding presence in the room. Ideally, they form the basis of your design and the rest of the room is built around them.
As far as what you’re looking for, concentrate on pieces that exemplify the clean lines found in contemporary design. They should also be plush enough to make the room feel cozy and welcoming.
Once you have the furniture in hand, focus on placement. Create lots of groupings like the one shown above to ground the space and facilitate conversation. Then, leave lots of negative space in the surrounding area so your pieces become the room’s focal point.
On the one hand, you have the warmth, comfort and balance that comes from a traditional aesthetic. Rather than being bogged down by the ornate details that can sometimes make traditional spaces feel outdated, transitional looks borrow the clean lines and simplistic nature that defines contemporary design. At it’s best, this style feels timeless with a modern twist.