4 Components of Transitional Design (it’s more interesting than you thought)

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The transitional design style is the union of traditional and contemporary design styles.  The goal when implementing transitional design during your home renovation is to create an oasis-like atmosphere – an escape from the hectic nature of everyday life.

Defining Transitional Design

This design style is a mixing of styles in furniture, finishes, materials and fabrics that equates to a classic, timeless design. It is often seen as a new take on a classic, or an updated lively version of traditional design. In recent years, this style has seen a growth in popularity among homeowners – antique pieces can be blended with new furnishings.  It allows you to put your own unique stamp on your home.

Earthy Colour Palette

The transitional colour palette tends toward earthy neutral colours such as gray, beige, taupe, and white.  But it doesn’t have to be boring – dark muted colours like deep chocolate brown, navy blue and aubergine are also in the earthy neutral family.  The neutral palette gives you a blank canvas that has warm undertones, which creates a serene atmosphere and allows the lines of the furniture to take center stage.

On this blank canvas of neutral, we recommend adding pops of colour, to make sure that serene doesn’t have to equate with boring – try adding soft blues, greens and purples.

Related Article: We discuss the importance of choosing a room’s colour in this article.

Art & Accessories

Less is more when it comes to adding accessories. A minimalistic approach is perfect as it will complement a serene atmosphere.

The accessories you do choose, however, can be bold and vibrant. Enough to generate some visual interest. When adding these bold art elements, remember to use them sparingly. In most cases, one large piece on the wall is better than an arrangement of small pieces.

Related Article: Read “10 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Professional Decorator


Texture is the key to transitional design – it allows you to play with texture.  We propose fabric that is diverse and has graphic patterns on overstuffed sofas and textured chenilles on sleek wood frames. Try to incorporate textural elements such as wood, glass, lacquer, rattan, fabric, steel and metal.

The softer colour palette makes room for interesting textures, such as the olive-coloured corduroy found on the pictured sofa and a smooth, creamy white cotton used on two of the side chairs. Other good choices for a transitional space are soft ultra suede, pliable leathers and nubby chenilles.

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In transitional design, furniture truly takes centre stage. These pieces are often larger and take a commanding presence in the room. Ideally, they form the basis of your design and the rest of the room is built around them.

Furniture lines are simple yet sophisticated, featuring either straight lines or rounded profiles. Curves combine with straight lines in a transitional style interior. The look balances both masculine and feminine attributes for a comfortably contemporary design. The scale of the pieces is ample but not intimidating. A lack of ornamentation and decoration keeps the focus on the simplicity and sophistication of the design.

What Interior Design Styles Speak to You?

There are several types of interior design styles that can work for you and your living spaces. Contact the Toronto design + build experts at Bryant Renovations today to discover the best style for your personality.

What To Look For When Choosing A Staircase

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Staircases seem to be the focal point of every romantic movie – from “Gone with the Wind” to “Titanic” to “Rocky”.  When the movie is over, you come home, look at your staircase and quickly become disheartened. If you’re planning a renovation and it requires a new or upgraded staircase – here’s your chance to get a little bit of that romance in your own home.

We all know that stairs are a necessity to move from one level to the next – but, they can be so much more. After all, in most homes, a staircase is the first thing you see when you enter. For this reason, they deserve as much of your design attention as the rest of your renovation.

Choosing A Staircase: Material Suggestions

When communicating with your contractor or designer, let them know that the stairs will not be an afterthought. As long as your budget and design aesthetic will allow – let your imagination run wild! In this blog we’ll explore some of the many material options you have for a stairway in your home. Naturally, wood is the most common material for building stairs but, let’s think ‘outside the box’.



Have you considered concrete? Initially, you may balk at the idea but, upon closer reflection concrete can be a very sleek modern choice. We often think of concrete as a crude construction material but, it can be shaped to fit into a chic urban decor. The material allows for the desired shape to form quickly and effectively. Concrete is versatile, it can be tinted to any colour and the finish can vary in texture.  

Concrete pairs well with other manmade products such as steel and glass.



Glass is another product that may not readily come to mind when constructing a staircase.  With the advancements in building science – a glass-tread stairway is incredibly durable. You would still have the transition from one level to the next without losing any of the available light.  The glass-tread staircase would be elegant and would give you the feeling of “walking on air”. Glass would fit into many types of décor, since glass can be molded into many shapes and comes in a myriad of colours.

Glass pairs with all types of products – whether manmade or natural.


Natural Stone

Natural Stone is always a great material for a staircase and has become increasingly popular in recent years. As we know with the ancient Romans – a stone stairway could last for hundreds of years.  Stone would add a warmth in colour and texture to your home. The most popular natural stone materials are granite and marble but don’t forget to consider sandstone and onyx. Natural Stone pairs well with both manmade and natural materials.


Wood is the classic material used for stairways and it’s clearly the favourite. Wood is durable and complements many interior design styles. Most stairs are made from Oak or Maple due their availability and how well they handle everyday life in a busy household. You may want to consider other woods such as Ash, Mahogany or Cherry woods. The colours would vary from the typical honey-coloured oak and the grain type would be different as well giving your home a luxurious and elegant feel.    

Wooden stairs can fit into any décor style – contemporary, traditional and of course, rustic.



Metal staircases are often seen as best suited for a utilitarian exterior; however, you may want to reconsider. A metal staircase would fit very comfortably into an urban loft. If your space is limited, you may choose a spiral staircase. Metal is dynamic and comes in a variety of finishes, colours and textures. Speak with your designer about a silver, bronze or black metal staircase, when paired with a wrought-iron railing and balusters – it can be incredibly elegant.  

Metal would pair well with stainless steel or chrome and would work well in an industrial or minimalist style home.

Types of Staircases

You’ve decided to use a unique material for your stairway, now depending on your available space you are now prepared to choose a design. There are several types of staircase designs that you can choose from.

For example:

  • Straight design

  • Straight with central landing

  • L-shaped design

  • U-shaped design

  • Winder design

  • Spiral design

  • Curved design

The most commonly used staircase types used as part of a house renovation would be that of straight, L-shaped or curved.

Other Considerations

The stairway is always a high-traffic area, since all family members would be using them daily.  It is estimated that up to 12% of emergency department visits are related to injuries caused by falling down a staircase. For this reason, safety is paramount.

Staircase construction-safety is highly regulated by The Ontario Building Code. There are regulations around handrail height, step height and bannisters. Within all those restrictions you have a choice of materials and design. From the shape of the balusters, to the material of the tread and rise, to the material of the handrail. Get creative and have fun with your designer, as you pair unusual materials together to create an eclectic look that is uniquely all your own.

Looking to start a renovation project soon? We at Bryant Renovations, have over 30 years of renovation experience and have completed many staircase renovation projects over the years. Feel free to contact us today if you have any home or condo renovation questions or would like a quote regarding an upcoming project.