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.