Transitional Design

We all know what the word transition means, the movement from one place to another. But what does this mean in the context of interior design? Simply put, transitional design is a marriage between traditional and contemporary furniture, finishes, materials, and colours to create a timeless, classic look – resulting in a cohesive design. More importantly – mixing multiple style and trends makes our lives easier. If you want to “transition” between styles you can swap out a few pieces instead of doing a complete redesign of your room.

Another way to think about it, would be transitional design being like the younger, punchier cousin of traditional design. This look is a clean neutral room, lightly accessorized and textured. You can create a space that has an equal amount of feminine and masculine elements, the best of both worlds. Here are four simple steps you can take to design your transitional space:

1. Start Neutral

The most important aspect of transitional design is to remain within a neutral colour scheme. The lack of colour aids in creating something key to the design style: a clean, calming aesthetic. Keep your room subtle and soft with light walls, mixing up between shades of white, grey, or brown. Keeping a clean palette on the exterior allows your furniture and finishes to take center stage.  Eventually to add depth we can mix in some darker tones or shades to add depth such as browns, blues, and soft greens.


2. Mixing it Up

Much like the style, transitional furniture is a combination of two different design styles. Consider a makeover of your classic pieces to become more dramatic and sophisticated. This update does not need to be extensive, sometimes a fresh coat of paint is all that is needed to bring an old piece to life.  Search for one striking piece of furniture or decor that incorporates everything “traditional”, this can be a dresser, chest, sofa, or even a mirror. This piece will become the highlight of your space, drawing attention in the best way. If you really want to feed two birds with one scone, or whatever the saying is now, go for something made of wood. Wood furniture has always been an important element in most traditional homes, such as a large dining table or bookend to celebrate craftsmanship.


3. Let There Be Light!

Transitional lighting is simple and sophisticated, minimalistic but practical. The key here is finding a light fixture that is less ornate than most of the classic ones, however not as sleek as most of the ones we see in stores today. Not sure where to go from here? Play it safe with a glass or metal finish. If you are adding lighting using floor or table lamps, keep the design simple. Any additional pieces should be used to complement the design aesthetic, we are not trying to have bold accents everywhere we go. If you are, you are on the wrong blog—try the maximalism one!   


4. Finishing Touches

If you want to give your transitional design space some variety, try to incorporate multiple textural elements such as fabric, metal, wood, and glass. Since we are mostly sticking within a neutral palette, using a blend of finishes can give our decor a sense of depth. Since we are keeping our accessorizing to a minimum, overall, we need to add our accents purposefully. Go for contemporary or traditional pattern cushions to layer up on your furniture. For the finishing touch, find a striking piece of art. Although we do love a good gallery wall, in transitional design, one large piece will suit the aesthetic better.

What is your favourite element of transitional design? Comment below or let us know by tagging #DufresneStyle on Instagram.