Unlike traditional design, transitional style uses clean lines and a neutral palette. A sparing use of color distinguishes it from eclectic design. For more serious endeavors, replacing a traditional island with a lacquered piece and removing colored tiles and ornate millwork will give enough grace for paneled cabinetry to remain. But do consider replacing some of those cabinets with open or suspended shelving. Replacing flooring with modern tile, hardwood flooring or bamboo flooring, on which you can lay a neutral-tone rug with subtle shading variations, will be transformative. Multiple floor surfaces within the home are acceptable, so long as they all remain within the restrained palette. Far from requiring an entire remodel, a transitional look is achieved through skilled interior design and smart, subtle changes paired with your home’s traditional or classic architectural elements.
through textures—leather, rattan, burlap, sisal, and natural grasses. In spite of the name, homeowners shouldn’t be afraid to commit to transitional design; it will endure, notes Carlos Garcia of ICON Custom Home Builder. “About 80 percent of my clients have chosen transitional design—and it’s going to become even more popular. It’s definitely here to stay.” If you’re considering moving in this direction, start by lightening wall colors, stripping windows of their valances, and removing all but a precious few hanging art and decorative pieces. Drop big gilt frames in favor of simple framing and wide mats in neutral colors. Anything with a baroque flourish that’s not nailed to the ground must go. On a modest budget, changing light fixtures (think steel pendants with exposed light bulbs) and cabinet hardware will go a long way. Clean-lined furniture is another easy way to transition.
Above: Metallic finishes in the lighting and décor amp up the gray palette of this transitional home.
contributors ICON Custom Home Builder iconcustomhomebuilder.com JV Gallerie jvgallerie.com