Establish Your Style Series: Transitional

Transitional style marries Modern and Traditional style elements. Modern can be cold and Traditional can be stuffy, Transitional strikes the balance between them. Transitional style is light, warm and welcoming dotted with nods to culture and color all in perfect harmony. 

The mass majority of photos on the inter webs today showcase Transitional spaces, perhaps the most prevalent genre of all interior design styles. Unlike forward-looking Modern or past-embracing Traditional, Transitional lives in the now. 

Let us dive in to the elements of Transitional style: 

Tip#1: Symmetry: Traditional style snubs order and chaos, bringing structure and organization to the table. This extends into Transitional style through symmetry. Clean lines, furniture groupings that feel inviting and minimized decor and flourishes. Symmetry means predictability which feels comforting and calming to the eye. 

Transitional Living Room by Denver Kitchen & Bath Designers Exquisite Kitchen Design

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Transitional Bathroom by West Mclean Architects & Building Designers Lori Shaffer

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Transitional Living Room by Wayzata Interior Designers & Decorators DESIGNS! – Susan Hoffman Interior Designs

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Transitional Kitchen by Toronto Photographers Lisa Petrole Photography

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Transitional Dining Room by Winnetka Architects & Building Designers Robbins Architecture

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Transitional Kitchen by Toronto Kitchen & Bath Designers Braam’s Custom Cabinets

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Tip#2: Statement Lighting: Transitional style allots more stock in personality, cultural pieces and color then the narrower views of Traditional and Modern. This broadened character typically materializes through select pieces of decor and lighting (as decor is slim, so choose wisely). Light is imperative to this genre so ensure lighting reflects the feel of the space it lives in. 

Transitional Bathroom by Muncie Architects & Building Designers Tabberson Architects

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Transitional Dining Room by Dallas Home Builders Ellen Grasso & Sons, LLC

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Transitional Bedroom by New York Architects & Building Designers goodman charlton

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Transitional Kitchen by New York Interior Designers & Decorators Sheila bridges design, inc

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Transitional Bathroom by Cincinnati Home Builders Arthur Rutenberg Homes – Cincinnati, OH

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Transitional Kitchen by Denver Architects & Building Designers Ashley Campbell Interior Design

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Transitional Bathroom by Burlington Interior Designers & Decorators LB Design

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Tip#3: Neutral on Neutral: The crux of Transitional style is neutral on neutral palettes. Natural materials and blends of beige, cream, taupe, tan, khaki and gray with mixes of chocolate, espresso or black rule. Avoid a monochromatic look, make sure to find a good blend and use neutral tones to contrast such as cream and black or darker gray. Use honest materials such as brown leather or wicker chairs and naturally woven rugs to anchor spaces. 

Transitional Bedroom by Sausalito Architects & Building Designers Urrutia Design

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Transitional Kitchen by Scottsdale Home Builders Camelot Homes

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Transitional Bathroom by Menlo Park Interior Designers & Decorators Rebecca Loewke Interiors

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Transitional Kitchen by Atherton Design-Build Firms Jules Art of Living

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Transitional Kitchen by Austin Interior Designers & Decorators Five Star Interiors

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Transitional Dining Room by Annapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Dream House Studios

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Transitional Bedroom by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers Sutro Architects

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Tip#4: Preppy Patterns: Although neutral palettes reign supreme, don’t shy away from packing small punches. Transitional style embraces preppy patterns such as ikat, stripes, damask, eyelet and even polka dots and lives in the now (not the past like Traditional or the future like Modern). Avoid print overload, steer clear from animal prints and flowery patterns.  Use patterns through pillows and accent furnishings to set off the tone-on-tone palette.  

Transitional Family Room by West Newton Interior Designers & Decorators Jill Litner Kaplan Interiors

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Transitional Bedroom by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Martha O’Hara Interiors

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Transitional Bedroom by Boston Interior Designers & Decorators Rachel Reider Interiors

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Transitional Living Room by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Martha O’Hara Interiors

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Transitional Dining Room by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Mary Cook

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Transitional Entry by Portland Architects & Building Designers Alan Mascord Design Associates Inc

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Tip#5: Texture: Texture is promoted through neutral flooring such as carpet, natural wood, stone and tile as well as fabrics and select decor. Fabrics such as leather, velvet, sisal, burlap, chenille, rattan have a palpable feel. Tufted upholstery and woven rugs create depth. Blend matte and shiny finishes. Do not be afraid to throw in some small, metallic pieces or use select wallpaper with a subtle shine. 

Transitional Living Room by London Architects & Building Designers STEPHEN FLETCHER ARCHITECTS

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Transitional Bedroom by Nantucket Architects & Building Designers Sophie Metz Design

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Transitional Bedroom

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Transitional Bedroom by Sausalito Architects & Building Designers Urrutia Design

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Transitional Dining Room by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Amoroso Design

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Tip#6: Funky Secondary Palettes: Again, Transitional style should be current (but not too trendy). This can transpire through subtle punches like unique, secondary palettes that complement neutral tones. Proceed with caution. Typically these palettes permeate through upholstery and textiles. Rule of thumb: the lower effort and cost to switch out a palette, the better. Allow these colors to change with your mood or the seasons. 

Transitional Living Room by San Anselmo Interior Designers & Decorators Ann Lowengart Interiors

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Transitional Living Room by Brooklyn Architects & Building Designers CWB Architects

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Transitional Home Office by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Martha O’Hara Interiors

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Transitional Dining Room by Saskatoon Interior Designers & Decorators Atmosphere Interior Design Inc.

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Transitional Living Room by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Martha O’Hara Interiors

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Tip#7: Creative Storage: Like Modern style, Transitional spaces tend to have minimal accessories making creative storage critical. Ornamental pieces should be select and have an impact. Organizational methods should have clean lines like drawers or cubes and/or texture such as hand-woven baskets or metallic buckets.

Transitional Bathroom by Eagle Interior Designers & Decorators Studio 80 Interior Design

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Transitional Home Office by Hillsdale Interior Designers & Decorators Jennifer Pacca Interiors

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Transitional Kids by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

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Transitional Laundry Room by Grand Rapids General Contractors Scott Christopher Homes

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Transitional Bathroom by Ridgewood Kitchen & Bath Designers Ulrich Inc

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Tip#8: Straightforward Furnishings: Transitional style embraces its Modern inspiration with clean lines and straightforward furnishings. Furniture is simplistic with clean profiles, not full of baroque touches. Seating and bedding should be large scale, plush and inviting to encourage relaxation and conversation. Window treatments should be simple; use shades, basic panels or bamboo blinds. Transitional style, above all, should promote a feeling of rest and serenity. 

Transitional Bedroom by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Martha O’Hara Interiors

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Transitional Family Room by Edina Design-Build Firms Great Neighborhood Homes

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Transitional Bedroom by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Michael Abrams Limited

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Transitional Kitchen by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Shirley Meisels

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Transitional Living Room by Calgary Interior Designers & Decorators Bruce Johnson & Associates Interior Design

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Transitional Living Room by Austin Architects & Building Designers Cornerstone Architects

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Exterior styles: Check out some sweet Transitional exteriors.

Transitional Exterior

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Transitional Exterior by Dallas Interior Designers & Decorators Carolina V. Gentry, RID

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Transitional Exterior by Bellevue General Contractors DESIGN GUILD HOMES

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Thus far we have covered Traditional, Hollywood GlamEclecticContemporaryIndustrialRusticModernCoastalMediterraneanShabby ChicCraftsman and Farmhouse in the Establish Your Style Series. Next up: Asian style. 

Have a fabulous day! Until next time. 

Jenn

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