Transitional Design: The Decorating Style that Stands the Test of Time

Transitional Design: The Decorating Style that Stands the Test of Time

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Candi Randolph

When renovating our home, we want to ensure that our design and furnishing choices stand the test of time. The problem is that home design trends are always changing.

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of following the latest styles, only to find that your home interior looks outdated after a few years have passed and fashion has moved on.

What’s the key to making your home look modern and stylish in a timeless fashion? Transitional design.

It is a budget friendly decorating style that works for so many lifestyles and generations. It is clean and simple, with just the right touch of traditional and contemporary married together. DIY decorators will love this tutorial!

Here are some tips for you to create a Transitional design in your home along with some basic advice to create a space you’ll love.

Transitional style is a marriage of traditional and contemporary furniture, finishes, materials and fabrics equating to a classic, timeless design. Furniture lines are simple yet sophisticated, featuring either straight lines or rounded profiles.

Think Like a Minimalist

Transitional Design in a Home Office

Minimalism is popular in modern design, and it’s not a passing trend because there’s a practicality element to creating a minimalistic layout; it makes your home more spacious, tidy, and inviting.

Our living environment has a huge impact on our mental state. If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your home then you might want to look a look at the rooms in your house and ask yourself whether your abode is overly cluttered.

Simply getting rid of old possessions you no longer want or need could make a massive difference to your home. There’s often more available space in a household than people realize. Put your space to better use by cutting down your belongings so that you’re left with essential design elements and sentimental items.

When you have completed this task your home is awaiting the elements of Transitional design.

A Neutral Color Palette

Neutral Color Palette in a Transition Family Room

Neutral colors are almost always the foundation of a Transitional style home interior. Think wall color, fabric, wood finishes and other pieces that anchor the space.

See how neutrals are combined with textures in the photo above to create an interesting, calm, relaxed and inviting Family Room. You see a bit of accent color in the wall art, along with natural greenery.

You don’t need a big, bold splash of color in this style of decorating.

Keep the Lines Straight

Transitional Living Room

In Transitional design styles you won’t see much in the way of embellishments, curves, rolls and the like in the furniture.

Instead, you will find shapes like rectangles, squares and circles, with a hint of a curve here and there. Of course, there are always exceptions, and in this style of decor, a nod toward the traditional will sometimes introduce beautiful curves in a particular focal point piece. More on that in a minute.

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Statement Pieces & Focal Points

Transitional Style Master Bedroom

You’re probably going to err on the side of contemporary, updated design when it comes to renovating your home, but it’s important to maintain balance if you’re trying to achieve a Transitional Style throughout your household.  Resisting trends is important, but resisting any sort of design can have the equally-detrimental result of making your home appear stale and devoid of personality.

Remember to incorporate the personal tastes and history of you and your family. Perhaps a bold statement piece that draws the eye and showcases the bold and bright personalities of the people living in that home. Maybe it’ll be some intriguing animal ornaments on shelves if you and your family are fans of wildlife, for example.

You might have a living room with white walls and sleek leather sofas but a classic chandelier hanging from the center of the ceiling. I love that look!

There could be a beautiful antique piece that is a family heirloom incorporated into your style. It could be something as simple as an old painting in the hallway or a vintage chest of drawers in your bedroom. The point is that statement pieces add some character to the design of your abode.

Conversely, your Master Bedroom may have the  main elements of a Traditional style, with a dramatic contemporary statement piece of wall art as the focal point. It’s all about balance between the two components of the style.

Keep It Light

Dining Room in Transitional Design

An essential component of transitional design is lighting. Much like minimalism, this is something that’s becoming increasingly important in today’s homes, but isn’t a fleeting trend because it’s highly practical.

You want your home to be well-lit; it creates a refreshing and welcoming atmosphere in each room. But it’s particularly important in a household with both classic and contemporary styles at work. You don’t want the aesthetic to become too cluttered, chaotic, or stuffy.

Lighting can help to ensure that this doesn’t happen. For starters, you could paint your walls (one of the many shades of) white. This is a neutral shade that reflects light, and it’ll help to brighten up your house.Although the trend is away from this step, painting the ceilings a bright Ceiling White will help ensure that your space looks as light and bright as possible.

If you think your windows are to blame for the lack of light permeating each room then you could look into window replacement options. Better windows that are appropriate for the style and structure of your home can really make a difference to the amount of light you let into each room.

The real secret to nailing transitional design is to ensure that everything is balanced and connected. If you separate the classic and contemporary stylistic pieces in your house then everything will feel disjointed. Make sure that each area of your home has some combination of both traditional and contemporary styling, and the look will be fabulous…a Transitional design that really does stand the test of time!

Shop Transitional Style for Your Home

Find the perfect Transitional pieces for your home! I love the ease of shopping with, and can find just about any style, size, shape and price point. Here are some simple selections I curated for you that would work in a transitional design. Some pieces are more traditional, others are contemporary:

Coffee tables for a Transitional Style home

Quan coffee table | Lemington coffee table | Montrose coffee table

Accent chairs that would look great in a Transitional Style home

Zubair armchair | Kayla armchair | Garren armchair

Table lamps that would work in a Transitional design

Ragland table lamp | Wilder table lamp (set of 2) | Mathias table lamp

Like This Post? Share It!

Transitional Design is a simple, budget friendly style that works for so many lifestyles and generations. It is clean and simple, with just the right touch of traditional and contemporary married together. DIY decorators will love this tutorial! #transitionaldesign #decoratingstyle #DIYhomedecor #budgetdecorating

4 thoughts on “Transitional Design: The Decorating Style that Stands the Test of Time”

    1. Thank you, Christina. It really is a simple, clean and easy to design type of style. I use it all the time with staging and design clients.

  1. Hi Candi can you please visit and help me decorate our apartment that we are moving to in a couple of months? Thanks for your ideas and I’ll be sure to refer to your post before I make any further decorating boo boos. Have a great weekend and thanks for sharing on the ST60 & Beyond – Let’s Thrive Facebook Group. xx

    1. I would love to come and visit you, Sue! Wish it was possible. I know you’ll do a great job with the decorating! xo

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