How to Decorate with Transitional Style

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When designing a space, often the very first question that homeowners are faced with is: what is your style? It can be a difficult question to answer. Before you can think about all the little details, it’s a great idea to take a moment to figure out what your style is. Some people will say either traditional or contemporary. But what if your style lies somewhere in between?

Transitional design is a design style that is not that well-known outside of the interior design world but it’s probably the category that most homeowners fall into. Transitional interior design happens naturally when you take the best elements of two design styles and combine them together in an elegant way. That might sound easy to do – and sometimes it can be – but there are definitely some guidelines you should adhere to when creating a transitional space.

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Here are seven key points to think about when decorating a transitional style space:

1 – Think carefully about your colors. A neutral palette is the most popular choice for transitional design but don’t be afraid of color. Try using soft and soothing colors like lilac or powder blue mixed with lots of neutrals like white, cream or taupe. Furniture in dark colors like espresso or gray acts a counterbalance and helps to anchor the space.

2Transitional furniture needs to be chosen with care. Choose furniture with simple lines and elegant curves. Try to choose pieces that are not overly masculine or feminine. Some details such as tufting or piping can be incorporated to add interest. Wood finishes tend to be dark in chocolate or espresso and lately we are seeing the rise of gray. Some simple furniture styles such as Asian, Mission or Shaker lend themselves nicely to this look.

Ave Six Curves Hourglass Chair

3 - It’s also important to think about texture when choosing upholstery and fabrics. Try to include a few different types of texture such as linen, silk, velvet, chenille or cotton twill. This will create dimension and add interest to your room. Fabrics tend to be solid or tone-on-tone but some graphic patterns will work beautifully.

4 – If you are designing your space from scratch, try to incorporate flooring that will work with the transitional look. Espresso stain or walnut hardwood flooring is a great choice but off-white or pale grey carpet that is low-pile (like a berber) can work in some spaces, particularly bedrooms. Rugs tend to be neutral with a tone-on-tone pattern or a texture like sisal.

Steve Silver Orbit Cocktail Table with Casters in Zebra Veneer

5 – The classic lighting choice for transitional design is the white linen drum shade. This works just as well as a pendant light as it does on a table lamp. Other choices include sparkly modern versions of the traditional chandelier or lamps with chrome or silver metal details.

6 – Window coverings should be kept fairly simple. A nice shirred drape on a simple rod with plain finials would look great. Other suitable options include Roman shades and textured woven blinds.  Stay away from ruffles or any other excessive style.


Stanlely Furniture Elliots Wingman Upholstered Low Profile Bed

7 – Accessories should be kept to a minimum. Style your bookshelves with a few white sculptural vases or small stacks of books. To add interest, try to incorporate a few pieces that sparkle like a cut glass bowl or a trio of silver candleholders. Other great accents for this look include potted orchids, a mirrored tray or artwork in black or silver frames.

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Creating a transitional style room in your home doesn’t have to be difficult when you stick to these guidelines. The key is to carefully consider each and every purchase before you bring it home. Be sure to remain true to your design vision. If you only bring home truly beautiful pieces then you will already be half way to having a gorgeous transitional space of your very own.

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One Response to “How to Decorate with Transitional Style”

  1. [...] week, we discussed the basics of transitional design (if you missed it you can read about it here). But to further illustrate the look, we created an Olioboard that using only Cymax products. [...]

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