At the most basic level, transitional design is a marriage of contemporary and traditional design styles. Good transitional designs are a happy marriage that flawlessly blend classic elements with new ones, meshing two design styles in a single space to create a cohesive design.
Transitional design was the reaction against the stark contemporary and mid-century modern styles that emerged in the middle of the 20th century. It allowed designers and homeowners to combine modern elements with traditional features to suit their own individual tastes. Because it combines current design trends with classic ones, transitional design is a style that shifts and transitions with current trends and culture.
Chances are good that many of the spaces you like feature a transitional design style. Since it blends both the new and the old, it has something that appeals to everyone. Because it borrows from these other design styles, it can sometimes be difficult for the untrained eye to peg down a transitional space. Doesn’t raised panel cabinetry automatically indicate a traditional style? Or modern glass tiles make it a modern design? Not necessarily. Outlined below are some of the features of the transitional design style.
Tone on tone palette
A transitional design tends to feature neutral or monochromatic color palettes. Think grays, creams, taupes, and espresso. Or layers of one color like navy combined with robin’s egg blue, and cream.
While pattern isn’t outlawed in transitional design, it’s also not going to take over the whole room. Traditional stripes, damask, quatrefoil, or animal print patterns in the same tone on tone palette help add dimension to the space.
Mix of cabinetry styles
One of the most popular ways for our clients to incorporate a transitional style in their own spaces is to mix cabinetry styles. The kitchen may feature a door style with raised panels on the base cabinets, and flat panels on the upper cabinets. Or have the perimeter done in one style with the island done in another. This is a fun way to mix new and old, and is a contemporary way to blend different styles.
Clean lines and toned-down the accessories help a traditional space lean more contemporary. Keep accessories and decorations to a minimum – no curio cabinets here. Streamlined spaces define this style. Traditional elements you won’t see here are elaborate millwork or carvings.
Blend of masculine and feminine details
Curved lines, plush fabrics, and bright colors, considered more feminine touches, combined with the stark lines and rich colors of more masculine styles, are a hallmark trait of transitional-style spaces.
Transitional design is one of the easiest styles to implement in your existing spaces. If your kitchen cabinets are already paneled and colored with a heavy, traditional stain, try updating your countertops and backsplash tile to something lighter, reflective, and more contemporary. For a space that already veers toward the stark colors, straight lines, and hard surfaces of contemporary design, try layering in more traditional elements such as warm wood tones and upholstered furniture. With a blend of contemporary and traditional styles, transitional design has something for everyone to love.
Interested to learn more about how to update your space with a transitional design or are you looking for another style to fit your home? Contact Bella Domicile to meet with one of our talented designers today! Call (608) 271-8241 or fill out an appointment request form here.