Let’s Talk Transitional Design
I have many clients who are attracted to the idea and the look of it. But what is it about Transitional style that pulls people in?
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “Transition” means passing from one stage, state, subject or place to another. This pretty much nails it. Transitional Design Style is a combination of traditional and modern design elements. It’s a way for an “old” to yield to the “new” and up-coming. It’s not an easy task. It takes a lot of creativity. It takes an understanding of when to brace when putting the two very different styles into one space.
People have attachments to things, styles, memories that aren’t easy to let go of. It can be uncomfortable and at times scary. This is where Transitional Design makes a real difference. We don’t have to let go of the style we are most comfortable with. We don’t have to make a drastic change. We incorporate. We pick and we choose and we combine.
Heavier traditional upholstered furnishings take on a new look with softer lines and lighter fabrics. Darker cherry and oak woods are replaced with lighter tones, straighter lines and perhaps, even glass or metal. A couple of ornate pieces of furniture that would make a statement in the room, can be a wonderful asset to the design. Lighting can be classy or tuned down, depending on other elements we choose.
The rug! I cannot begin to explain the importance of a rug, not just any rug, but the right rug for the space. Rugs are where your eye settles after it leaves a focal point of the room. There are couple of ways to build every space: we can build up from the rug or we can choose a rug based on what’s already in the space. For me, there is no “right” way of doing it, it simply depends on the space I’m working on. A lot is determined by the rug. Simply put, it brings the main flow of the room together. That flow is where most of your time will be spent while in the space.
We make a statement with artwork. Every wall does not need to have a piece of art on it. It can be very few pieces of artwork, but they should make a statement and can be bold and bright or a mix of Old World Art and Contemporary Art.
Window treatments, something to budget for. They are one of the key expressions of any chosen style. To complete a Transitional look, neutral color, even darker shades of neutral color pallet, does the trick. We can use patterns —bold and large patterns work the best.
Last, but not least, we accessorize with color, at times flashy color, and patterns that aren’t too busy. Accessorizing is what brings it all together to perfect harmony. We may even add some “bling” to a space just to create some glamorous elements. All of a sudden, a space becomes fresh, light, beautiful, and easy to breathe in but at the same time somewhat familiar and recognizable by a traditional eye.
All of the described elements work in any space of your soon-to-be Transitional Style home. There is, however, one space that requires special attention. Yes, you guessed it, your personal oasis, the master suite. An upholstered headboard goes a long way in Transitional Setting. The headboard becomes a focal point of a master suite. Your eye finds it as soon as you step into the space. The headboard can be tufted or it can have a clean look.
Velvet works wonders on upholstered headboards in a Transitional setting. It truly makes a statement. Velvet is on the heavier side of fabrics, therefore, its presence is hard to miss. When using velvet, don’t be afraid to go bold with color. Velvet loves color. It wears it, oh so well, don’t shy away. If you decide to befriend linen, cotton, chenille, or polyester as your fabric of choice, neutral colors work the best with those fabrics.
What we choose to use on the headboard will dictate the rest of the room. From that point, we will decide on materials for the rest of the room. Don’t forget about the rug! The master suite is one space I love using Shag Rugs or high pile area rugs. It feels wonderful to put your feet on one of those when getting out of bed in the mornings.
Once again, accessorize! That’s what brings it all together, makes it complete. The nightstand lamp next to a hydrangea flower setting, pictures of your loved ones next to decorative clear glass jars, tall candle holder or two here and there, and some “bling” and shine, all make the world of difference.
And there you have it. The Transitional Design where an “old” yields to the “new”!