A Quick Guide To Transitional Design

A Quick Guide To Transitional Design

Transitional Design is defined as a balance between traditional and modern styles. With cleaner silhouettes and more muted colors, transitional style takes the classic pieces of traditional design and updates them for a more casual feel. Wood tones are lighter and often lacquered, while fabrics are tonal and textured.

Transitional Design


 Transitional design focuses on comfort and balance. To create that warm and inviting atmosphere, this design style utilizes warm neutrals as its main color palette. When using color, a monochromatic palette can be used by choosing 4-5 tones of the same color. This keeps the space from pulling too much attention to one design aspect over the others. 

Transitional Design Color Palette


Because transitional design is a blend of traditional and modern, it blends patterns from both styles. While you may find the traditional motifs, they will be modernized by using a tone on tone color palette. Ornamental rugs will be in softer colors and have a more distressed pattern. 

Transitional Design Patterns


Comfort is key in transitional design, so the fabrics used in this style are an important element to accomplishing that. Often textural and plush, fabrics like linen, boucle, buttery leathers, brushed velvet, and cashmere work well together in these spaces to provide warmth.

Transitional Design Fabrics


 Transitional design mixes finishes to create a well rounded and cohesive design. The way to do this is by mixing metals, glass, and natural elements throughout the space. Textured glass, rattan, marble, brushed metal, and lacquered wood are all common finishes used in transitional design. 

Transitional Design Finishes

Architectural Elements

 Architectural Elements found in transitional design are often simpler versions of those found in traditional design. While traditional design features heavily detailed crown moldings, transitional design will use crown molding with simpler lines. Wall paneling will have a modern twist as opposed to those found in traditional design. Ceiling details will still be found, but with less ornate detailing. Arches are also common in transitional design- arched doorways, arched windows, and other arch details add to the soft, comfortable feel of this style. 


Transitional Design Architectural Elements

The furniture found in transitional design is once again a mix of traditional silhouettes and modern lines. Sofas may have rolled arms or tufted backs, but instead of the traditional skirt around the base, tapered legs help to modernize the piece. Rounded elements and deep seats are often used to give the soft and comfortable look. 
Transitional Design Furniture
Transitional Design features fewer accessories, and instead uses statement pieces to bring the space together. Impactful art, conversation starters, and pieces full of personality help bring interest. Crisp, classic drapes soften the room and are often floor to ceiling to help ground the space. Greenery and statement florals are used to bring a natural element into the room. 
Transitional Design Accessories
Interior Design styles often transform into other, similar styles. Transitional design is also similar to Traditional design, Modern design, and Mid Century Modern.
Shop our Transitional Design Collection here.

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