Transitional Style Interior Design

Michelle Radcliff
Transitional style room

Many homeowners and apartment dwellers that currently have traditional style rooms are now seeking to bring a more contemporary edge to their conventionally decorated homes. Transitional style interior design may be just what the doctor ordered.

Transitional Defined

As a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, transitional rooms feature an elegant, enduring design. This distinctive style radiates a comfortable yet classic feel that is growing in popularity. Color palettes are very subtle with an emphasis on ivory, taupe, beige, and tan. This simple color scheme is relaxing and uncomplicated. Wood tones from warm browns to chocolates are typically the only deep tones used.

To complement the monochromatic color scheme, accessories are kept to a minimum. Tasteful, signature pieces are displayed without much fanfare. Try using a single dramatic floral stem in a chunky, modern glass vase. Artwork and photos are shown in an understated way with basic white mats and simple frames with clean lines. The metal of choice is a brushed nickel or silver, which is used in frames, accessories, and fixtures.

Flooring is kept neutral as well, with the use of soft colored carpets or wood floors in warm tones. Texture in the carpets or rugs is important, so it's possible to see berbers and sisals. Window treatments are generally modest, solid color drapes which are shirred onto unadorned metal or word rods. When blinds or shades are used, they are either clean Roman shades or texture rich woven wood blinds.

Transitional Furnishings

The straightforward fabrics used in transitional style interior design make up for their lack of color with an abundance of texture and pattern. The texture combinations can range from uneven to smooth fabrics, with most rooms receiving a balanced mixture of several textures. Patterns are usually tone-on-tone designs or small scale graphic elements.

transitional style living room

Transitional style fabrics include:

  • Chenille
  • Corduroy
  • Mircofiber suede
  • Leather
  • Cotton
  • Twill
  • Denim
  • Raw silk
  • Tweed
  • Woven reeds
  • Woven rope

The lines of transitional furniture are typically straight with the occasional soft, sweeping curve thrown in for good measure. This furniture style creates a room that is not too manly and not too frilly, making it comfortable for all. An emphasis is placed on moderately scaled pieces that exude an unassuming, refined style. Because of the simplistic designs in the furnishings, Shaker style and Mission style furniture is often a nice match for transitional style interior design.

Transitional Style Interior Design Resources

The following links will take you to sites offering transitional style decor and furniture, as well as sites showcasing transitionally designed interiors, with advice from design experts:

  • HGTV Design Styles - Transitional interiors and colors.
  • RugsUSA - Rugs for transitional style rooms.
  • Lamps Plus - Transitional lighting collections.
  • Home Decorators Collection- Find a variety of products to fit any decorating style, including rugs, furniture, lighting and decor.
  • Houzz- See professionally designed interiors of transitional design with advice from interior designer Kerrie Kelly.
  • Interior Design Pro- Transitional decorating ideas and advice with photos from professional interior designers.

Embracing a New Style

Transitional decorating is a great way to update the look of a room by incorporating new furniture and decor styles with your existing furniture and decor. Go for something different and don't be afraid to embrace a new decorating style.

Transitional Style Interior Design