Transitional Design: What it Means and How You can Achieve the Look

by Country View Woodworking Ltd on 2019-06-04 10:27:15

Have you ever heard someone describe an interior design or an individual piece of furniture as “transitional,” yet you weren't sure exactly what that meant? Perhaps you've been drawn to furniture labeled as transitional, or have seen a room design described that way in the media. Transitional style has been getting quite a bit of attention in recent years—and for good reason. It's a highly versatile design style that—when done right—can give you the perfect blend of traditional and modern. So in order to better understand transitional style, let's first briefly discuss traditional and modern.

Modern vs. traditional furniture

When shopping for furniture, it's relatively easy to identify and distinguish traditional and modern styles. Traditional items tend to be larger, heavier, and more formal looking than their modern counterparts, often featuring darker wood finishes and ornate or curvy woodworking. Modern items embrace minimalism with straight, clean lines, lighter wood finishes, and often mix wood with other materials such as metal, glass, plastic, or upholstery for a visually lighter look.

Modern vs. traditional design style

An overall traditional interior design would consist of traditional pieces of furniture, and would also feature elements such as:

  • Neutral color palette paired with rich accent colors
  • Detailed woodworking or built-ins
  • Generous window treatments
  • Classic artwork with heavy or ornate framing
  • Intricate patterns on fabrics such as window treatments, area rugs, or accent pillows
  • Ornate light fixtures
  • Abundant use of accessories

An overall modern interior design would feature modern pieces of furniture, and would also feature design elements such as:

  • Monochromatic color palette, often paired with one or two bold accent colors used sparingly
  • Minimal or no window treatments
  • Artwork limited to a few focal pieces that tend to be frameless or include simple, thin frames
  • Light fixtures that blend into the surroundings, or one focal fixture that makes a clean, bold statement in the room
  • Overall clutter-free look with sparse use of accessories and accents

Transitional design style

Transitional design style is a fusion of both traditional and modern styles.If you've ever felt that traditional seems a bit too formal, or that modern feels too cold, transitional might be the perfect in-between style for you. Transitional style can include furniture that is a mix of transitional, traditional, or modern for a look that is truly unique to the homeowner. Other characteristics of transitional style include:

  • Calming, neutral color palette, with accent colors or prints used sparingly on accessories
  • Focus on comfort and contrasting texture by adding area rugs, accent pillows, or throw blankets
  • Furniture sometimes used as a focal point to emphasize comfort or to stand out as an accent piece
  • Moderate use of accessories
  • Overall clean, put-together look, even though two styles are being combined

Transitional furniture

Just as transitional design consists of both traditional and modern elements, transitional furniture embraces both traditional and modern features. For example, a dining collection may feature chairs with curved backs and legs, but a table with straight legs and clean lines. A trestle table with curved legs—paired with chairs that have straight legs and backs—is another example of transitional furniture. A bedroom collection that combines classic inset panels and a traditional wood finish with  contemporary, clean lines is yet another example of transitional furniture.

Achieving a particular interior design style, whether traditional, modern, or transitional, doesn't have to be a challenge. Country View Woodworking has furniture in all those styles, with a variety of stains and finishes to coordinate with your current or desired décor. Visit the CVW retailer near you to get started!

Transitional Design: What it Means and How You can Achieve the Look


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