Making the Transition:
Tips for Designing a Truly Transitional Kitchen
The term “transitional” is one that gets thrown around quite a bit in the interior design world, but what does it really mean?
Transitional design is really just the combination of classic elements with more modern facets. It’s really one of the most desirable design styles because it’s versatile and timeless. Often when homeowners go too far in one direction, whether it be traditional or modern, the look can quickly become overwhelming, dated or even reduce the resale value of their home. A sense of longevity and balance are two of the primary reasons so many homeowners and designers opt for the transitional route.
So how is it achieved, particularly in the kitchen?
- Focus on the use of natural materials. The use of natural stone countertops and other naturally sourced elements really contribute to the quality and timeless appeal of a transitional kitchen. Natural stone surfaces like granite and marble aren’t going to ever go out of style and they’re often inherently versatile. For a truly transitional look avoid kitchen countertops with trendy edges—the simpler and more streamlined the look, the better in this instance.
- Choose a neutral color palette. For homeowners who are fully embracing a modern trend, their kitchen may be full of bright colors or one particular bold color, but for people seeking a transitional design the neutral approach tends to work best. Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring, but it can give a transitional kitchen a sense of simple elegance.
- Building on the above tip, to avoid having a kitchen that feels monochromatic or plain, add visual interest in unique ways. One of the best ways to achieve this is with the use of texture, or the illusion of texture. From richly patterned natural stone countertops to backsplashes that appear dimensional, there are ample ways to incorporate texture into a transitional kitchen and keep it from feeling basic or boring.
- For homeowners who want a look that’s transitional but still features a few trendy details it’s best to do so in ways that can easily be changed out. For example, think about finding stylish light fixtures or accessories that can easily be swapped out, while choosing more expensive investment items like the kitchen countertops and cabinetry to stay in line with classic design.
- Keep cabinetry simple. Just like the color palette should be simple, so should the cabinetry in a truly transitional design. Cabinetry shouldn’t be overly sleek and modern or have too much ornate detailing—either of these concepts can tend to cause a kitchen design to veer off the transitional path and become either very contemporary or very traditional. Shaker-inspired cabinetry is a great style to try in a transitional kitchen because it tends to fall somewhere in the middle between modern and traditional.
The above are five primary guiding points to get homeowners started on the path to a transitional kitchen design, meaning it will stand the test of time, incorporate quality finishes and design features and oftentimes increase the value of a home.