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Transitional Style Explained With Décor Tips and Ideas

Read Time (
November 15, 2022
Kallista Design

Transitional design is a versatile approach to interior styling that blends modern and traditional elements. With careful discernment and attention to functionality, you can achieve a tasteful and balanced result. Keep reading to discover the timeless beauty of transitional design style and get inspired to create your own unique space.

What Is Transitional Style Interior Design?

Transitional interior design retains the soft comfort of traditional style while implementing modern forms. A transitional style design approach is ideal if you prefer comfort and luxury with evolving tastes. It gives you the freedom to mix and match décor, experimenting until the environment feels just right.

Use Neutral Palettes as Your Foundation

transitional bathroom with black wall on left, tan tile wall in middle, and grey shower on the right. floor is herringbone tile

Neutral colors, such as gray, white, and beige, evoke a serene ambiance in transitional rooms. For a moodier result, consider dramatic neutral hues such as charcoal black and midnight blue.

Incorporate Thoughtful Pops of Color

While neutral tones serve as the foundation, transitional design style is far from monochromatic. In fact, transitional interiors often feature colorful accents. Striking rugs, pillows, chairs, and curtains can add dimension and character.

blue and white transitional style bathroom

Consider choosing one or two accent colors to complement your neutrals and layering them in varying shades throughout the space.

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Coordinate Textures & Patterns

bathroom with two wood vanities, two mirrors, and three vertical lights.

When it comes to furnishings, the goal of transitional style is to craft a sense of cohesion. Celebrate fine craftsmanship with wooden elements, such as an oak vanity or antique dresser. Patterns, whether on fabrics or tile, can add visual interest to transitional interiors.

Keep Accessories to a Minimum

wood vanity in white bathroom

In transitional style interior design, you should carefully curate your accessories and keep them to a minimum. Instead of overt ornamentation, transitional homes prefer a less-is-more approach. An area rug, potted plant, or framed photograph are all tried-and-true examples of how to accessorize a transitional interior.

Use Metallic Finishes

three faucets, from left to right in chrome, gold, and nickel finish

Metallic elements are important in any home, and transitional interior design is no exception. You can choose one finish—such as Polished Chrome or Unlacquered Brass—to be used throughout the space for cohesion. Alternatively, you can use a mix of metals for a more contemporary look.

Five-Star Resort Appeal

luxury hotel bathroom with marble tile shor and dark toned vanity

When looking for transitional inspiration, consider the style and décor of commercial properties. Renowned hotels hire the best designers to create desirable yet universal environments, and their techniques can easily translate to residential spaces. With a transitional design style, you can bring the compelling and timeless allure of grand resorts to your project.

KALLISTA is the leader in fittings and fixtures for the multi-unit and hospitality market. Our partnerships with world-renowned designers offer full-suite collections with a refined sense of style to create the most distinguished interiors.

Tips for Adding New Elements to an Existing Space

Shifting a room design from traditional to transitional is all about the details. If you currently have a traditionally styled interior, try adding modern elements—such as a large piece of contemporary art on the wall, or sleek brassware—to create an entirely new sensibility.

Conversely, you can convert a contemporary space to a transitional one by highlighting a classic piece, such as a mirror, table, or vase—anything you love that makes a welcome statement from a bygone era.

FAQs About Transitional Interior Design

What is the difference between transitional and traditional design styles?

Traditional design style is refined, comforting, and ideal for those who appreciate detailed antiques, symmetry, classic forms, and décor with a warm, inviting feel. Furniture and fixtures are often grand and ornate, including elements like carved wood details, tufted upholstery, or claw foot bathtubs.

How do I create a transitional bathroom?

For a transitional bathroom design, consider using traditional cabinetry and vanities with modern tiles in updated patterns and colors. Coordinate brassware finishes throughout your sink, shower, and bathtub, along with accessories such as towel bars and toilet paper holders.

What is a transitional kitchen design?

modern kitchen with three tall chairs at the countertop

When design planning for a transitional kitchen, start with a classic base, such as cabinetry in calming colors, stone countertops, and hardwood flooring. Consider installing glass subway tiles in a straight or herringbone pattern, and adding stainless steel appliances for a modern touch. Cabinet hardware and plumbing fixtures can also lend a modern elegance in striking finishes like Nickel Silver or Chrome.

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