Jul 11, 2011

What's your style? Transitional design.

Some of my favorite rooms are in a style that appear traditional yet have a cleaner line. When you combine classic elements - a rolled arm or camel back on a sofa - with more modern ones - a bench seat and boxy legs - you get a new look that is defined as transitional. It's a style blend of modern and traditional scale, shape, fabrics, motifs, colors and materials. Pieces fabricated in this style are considered "new classics"; they retain the history and elements from their roots, yet are stylized for contemporary living.   More simply, transitional interiors remove the fussiness from very traditional design, yet without the sterility of a strictly modern style. The overall effect is sophisticated yet comfortable.

1) Furniture:  A straighter line and little ornamentation, sleek but not severe. Looking at these pieces, you can see the influence of the traditional style on the modern version. 
Antique oval back chairs

Modern oval backed chair.

2) Architectural details. Rather than ornate detail on base, crown and other moldings, the lines are cleaner, yet the richness of moldings remains.   

3) Color: Neutrals for fabrics, paints, and surface materials in the tan, beige, brown and gray hues are considered transitional. The lack of color is serene. Instead of dark wood tones, lighter, less defined grains are desirable.

4) Surface Materials: Use of traditional materials like stone and porcelain are still in vogue, with changes to use of color, scale and pattern. Transitional style would apply large scale squares or rectangles instead of the usual 12" x 12" tiles.  For backsplashes, stone and glass combinations in small squares, brick shapes, and running bond patterns, are the updated classics. This bath uses 12" x 16" rectangular tiles on floor and walls, changing the color and grout for interest.