Transitional style doesn’t announce itself as boldly as some other decorative styles, which are defined by a specific time or place; think Tuscan, or Mid-Century Modern. That means it can be a slippery thing to define.
But if you’re a fan of interior design magazines or blogs, you’ve almost certainly admired a transitional home. Their casual yet tailored look and seemingly timeless quality make them natural crowd-pleasers. Transitional is one of the most functional and family-friendly interior design styles. It’s perfect for spaces that need to serve multiple functions, while accommodating people with diverse tastes.
So, what is it? Simply put, transitional homes combine contemporary and classic design elements to create a look that foregrounds the best of both. A neutral color palette (think creams, beiges and natural wood tones) creates a backdrop that can handle anything. Ornamentation and bright colors are kept to a minimum, while lots of varied textures create interest.
To achieve a transitional look, think balance. Balance curves with straight lines, smooth textures with rough, masculine furnishings with feminine ones, and dark tones with light. Combine dark woods with pale fabrics. Offset a feminine kitchen with masculine bar seating. Accent hardwood floors with a thick, luxuriant area rug, like the Maltino.
Perhaps most important is the blend of traditional and contemporary elements. Furnish a period living room with a modern sofa set, like the Flynn Sectional Sofa by American Leather. Conversely, if your home is very modern, soften it with elements that hark back to the past. Some pieces seamlessly combine old styles and new materials, making them a great fit for transitional homes. Consider translucent polycarbonate furniture, like the Kartell Louis Ghost Armchair, or mirrored pieces like the Katie Mirrored Dresser.
As seasons and fashions change, it’s easy to freshen your transitional home by adding a small number of on-trend accents or accessories. Just don’t let them overwhelm the room! Remember, the goal is to create a comfortable, livable look that will endure, so focus on quality materials and thoughtful design.