I just finished a live recording of one of my newest seminars about identifying and defining design styles. Most of my clients can’t articulate their style, or even that their style has evolved and no longer suits them, but they don’t know how to execute that in their homes. Like most of you, my own style has evolved. From French Country to Transitional. Did you know that there are 3 main macro styles . . . Contemporary, Transitional and Traditional?
What is Transitional Design Style?
It is the most misunderstood, illusive, middle child!
Transitional design has one foot planted in traditional design and the other in contemporary. I like to put it simply; You take Traditional design elements, and you simplify them, a little less fussy, then we take Contemporary design, and we warm it up and soften it, with, color, lines and textures.
It’s really a blending of traditional and modern elements, combing classic and contemporary architecture . . . the best of both worlds! This image perfectly portrays what I’m talking about.
There are many micro-styles that fall under this middle category, and it’s a very broad category, and the lines between each are a little blurry. If you ask 10 designers, you might get 10 different answers. My goal in researching this and teaching it to designers and students (and homeowners) is to help lesson that disparity and get more of us on the same page and to give you the language to help identify your own style. I love the faces that light up when a client realizes their style has a name!
How do we execute this in kitchen and bath design? Here is a grouping of cabinet door styles. From left to right, contemporary, transitional and traditional.
These faucets below are a fantastic example of a process I take my clients through. We’ve determined that they are transitional style but when we get to the plumbing showroom they keep being drawn to the contemporary faucet. Here we start to see just how wide the middle bucket is. Within transitional design you can lean towards contemporary or towards traditional. These two middle faucets are both transitional, but you can see the distinct differences in detail.
I hope this helps you in your quest to define your style. Transitional has surpassed Contemporary design this year. Everyone is drawn towards “A little of this and a little of that.”, we CAN have the best of both worlds. And best part is that when expertly executed, your new space will be a long-lasting aesthetic, truly TIMELESS.
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After many years in this industry with many non-traditional "blog" platforms, it's time to have one platform for all my thoughts to share with you whether you are a homeowner, industry partner, student or peer. You'll hear everything from my journey as a creative, topics I geek out over, the color of the year, how dishwashers work and larger trend and design methodology topics.