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What is Transitional Design?

3 February 2019

What is Transitional Design?

What is Transitional Design?

Think traditional decorating with a modern twist. Interiors that are eclectic but never a mish-mash. Sound like a challenge? It is!

As an interior designer, you will find that many residential clients are uncomfortable with the idea of a sleek, minimalist interior and don't want a home that slavishly follows a current trend. They may have cherished family heirlooms they wish to incorporate in their interiors or be avid and well-heeled collectors of fine furnishings and artworks from different periods but want their home to look “modern”.

This is where your ability to pull together transitional design comes in – creating interiors that are a contemporary blend of traditional and modern style, midway between traditional decorating and the world of chrome and glass contemporary, a look that is classic, timeless and clean.

Effect of Workplace Design

Curves are balanced by angular lines in a transitional style interior to deliver a look that balances masculine and feminine within a comfortable and relaxing, uncomplicated design. A lack of ornamentation and decoration with minimal accessories keeps the focus on beautifully proportioned and eclectic furnishings. Colour palettes are typically neutral and subtle, even monochromatic, with colour confined to art and accents rather than upholstery or floors. Texture is also an important element., incorporated through the use of timber, glass, rattan, lacquers, fabrics and metals.

The key words to keep in mind when developing a transitional style interior scheme are “clean” and “serene.” Here, your goal should be to create a room that feels like an oasis, a respite from the hectic pace of everyday life. Selecting a calming colour palette should be your first step.

Start with a neutral base, opting for restful, subdued shades. Think soft greys, warm creams and cool blues or use neutral shades for both your dominant and secondary colours.

When you do add splashes of colour, make sure they continue that serene feeling you are aiming to capture. Blues, in particular, are a great option because colour psychology has shown they have calming effects. Softer shades of greens and lavenders also work well.

In transitional design, furniture with strong lines truly takes centre stage. Pieces are often large and shapely and should have a commanding presence in the room. Ideally, they form the basis of your design and the rest of the room is built around them.

Concentrate on pieces that exemplify the clean lines found in contemporary design. They should also be plush enough to make the room feel cosy, luxurious and welcoming.

Once you have the furniture in hand, focus on placement. Create a variety of furniture groupings to ground the space and facilitate conversation. Then, leave lots of negative space in the surrounding area so the vignettes become the room’s focal points.

Since a lot of transitional design is so neutral and a key part of the look is keeping things simple, the accessories you choose will need to pack a punch. They need to be bold enough to create visual interest in the space without distracting from its overall feel.

Items that promote comfort are an obvious choice. Think about using lots of area rugs, plump cushions and tactile throws. These items may include a bold pattern that still fits within your neutral and clean colour scheme.

As far as decorative items are concerned, stick to pieces that have those trademark clean lines from contemporary styles. This helps drive home the room’s modern edge and keeps it from feeling out of touch.

Transitional style is a hot trend but is no easy feat to pull off. Designers are seeing an increase in clients who don't want to stick to a set 'look' and want to merge traditional elements such as wainscoting and antique furnishings with modern art and contemporary lighting. It will be your task to mix seemingly disparate styles into sophisticated and serene living spaces.