Transitional Design – But You Taking a Style and Making It Your Own

What’s your design style?

There’s a reason we don’t typically lead conversations with this one! Chances are you’re not quite sure – but that you know what you love, what resonates with you, and what will empower you to make your house a home. For many, transitional style ticks all these boxes. But that’s just it: How do you approach transitional without it appearing like that’s what you did – tick all the boxes? How do you elevate your aesthetic from just another copy-and-pasted look into one that is truly, uniquely, your own?

Transitional Design: Tried, True, and Timeless

Transitional style is typically defined as a commingling, if you will, of traditional and modern design. Formal, ornate touches are blended with casual, relaxed notes to create a look that is comfortable, welcoming, and elegant.

In transitional design, there’s a definite nod towards minimalism with neutral color palettes; classic shapes and silhouettes; simple, clean lines; natural textures and elements; statement lighting; and comfortable, functional furnishings. To this, add occasional bursts of color and ornate accessories and accents. So, we might expect a sleek, linear sofa with a rounded ottoman, for example, as well as some natural textiles and slightly more elaborate light fixtures.

Time to Play

Some designers interpret transitional style on the more traditional end of the spectrum, while others lean towards modern. Transitional is “in the eye of the beholder,” as it were and it allows an opportunity to eschew the rules and play with various styles, shapes, and silhouettes while creating space that speaks to you. Unlike contemporary, which tends to capture a moment in time, transitional sets the scene for timeless beauty – and evolution.

As Los Angeles designer Jenn Feldman says, “Transitional design is the palate cleanser of all design styles.” Serving as a “baseline” for more complex flavors, if you will, this aesthetic offers a foundation that “allows for growth and change, not committing to one singular point of view.” A layer of minimalism. A touch of mid century. A hint of Scandi. It can all work.

And this means that it can all work for you. Are you ready to play?

Make Transitional Yours

Transitional design offers a world of possibilities – but not every avenue is one we want to explore! One to avoid: Selecting pieces and turning your home into a showroom or catalog spread.  By doing so, you may have a space that is, objectively, attractive. But it will not breathe. It won’t reflect the lives and personalities of those within its walls.

How do you make transitional style your own?

Go Neutral

Transitional style makes strategic use of neutral tones (e.g. beiges, creams, taupes, etc.). This will work in your favor especially as we know that “neutral” does not mean “boring.” It simply provides you with an excellent backdrop against which you will personalize your space with rich color, sumptuous textures and layers, and elements that speak to you.

Prioritize Comfort and Functionality

One of the tenets of transitional style is comfort and practicality. It’s about choosing a chair, for example, that says, “Relax and enjoy,” rather than “Don’t You Dare Sit On Me.” Remember, your home isn’t a glossy magazine feature; real people live here! Look towards furnishings that are inviting instead of intimidating. For example, you can easily pair a sofa with gorgeous fabric and generous cushions and pillows with two more formal chairs (that are still approachable) to get that casual, sophisticated feel.

Chose Elements That You Love

You might begin by selecting three elements – whether pieces of furniture, light fixtures, or accents – that resonate with you. Now, see if there is a thread that runs through all of them. Do they have similar lines or colors? Is there a commonality when it comes to the textures? Whatever it is, you can use this as a starting point and begin to layer in other elements.

Pick Our Brains

You don’t need to put a label on your style, desires, or goals. If you feel yourself leaning towards transitional but are not sure how to bring it to life in your space, the answers are just a few questions away! At Home & Willow, we do not limit ourselves to particular styles – and we are not afraid to bend and break rules that do not apply to you. Founder and Senior Designer Stacy Stater says, “Our designers are so creative. It would kill us if we had to do the same design over and over! We want it to be different each time. We want to get people out of their box” and into the home of their dreams.

So, if we do a dozen transitional designs, a hundred, or a thousand, no two will be the same – and every one will capture the heart and soul of the client. Of you.

If you dream of transitioning your home to a transitional haven, connect with Home & Willow.

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