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Design-BuildKitchen Remodeling

Transitional Kitchen Design Explained!

By October 30, 2019June 5th, 20232 Comments

It’s quickly become the go-to kitchen design style in recent years, with many Homeowners opting for it over contemporary, traditional or farmhouse kitchens. It’s also a phrase that’s often used in design magazines and reality T.V. home remodeling shows, but what does transitional kitchen mean, exactly? Let’s take a look….

What is a Transitional Kitchen Design?

Simply put, transitional design blends styles in a fuss-free way with clean lines and a fresh, modern flair. If you aren’t a fan of either ultra contemporary kitchens on the one hand or traditional kitchens on the other, the transitional kitchen design aesthetic may be the look that is right for you. What’s great about transitional design is it balances design elements, so it can feel modern and more contemporary without going too overboard on edgy finishes as well as artfully incorporating more traditional elements. If the rest of your home is more traditional, it is a great way to update your look without making your kitchen feel out of step with the rest of your home.

Thinking of selling? Another benefit of a transitional kitchen is that it’s more likely to appeal to a broader range of potential buyers than French Country or Urban-vibe contemporary kitchens (for example) will in the future.

What You Won’t See in Transitional Design

Corbels, crown moulding, ornate cabinetry or millwork. The key is to simplify the look and keep the lines clean. The #1 request we receive is to make a kitchen feel “more open”. This usually means spaces flow into one another and open up into a family (or other) room. The design goal of a transitional kitchen is to create a light and open, airy feel that complements the rest of the first floor.

Does Transitional Design Mean White Cabinets?

No, cabinetry doesn’t have to be white, but neutral tones are a key feature of the cabinetry in transitional kitchens with use of white, beige, light grey or even blue colors. Many transitional kitchen designs also incorporate different colors, such as white perimeter cabinets with a contrasting or complementary island in a different color. The added benefit of more neutral cabinets is you can easily update the look in the future by replacing your backsplash or countertops.

Talking of cabinets, separate closet-style pantries are no longer du jour.  They take up a lot of square footage and things tend to get lost in the back of them. If you don’t have room for a separate pantry with lots of shelves and drawers for storage, what you’ll see in many transitional kitchens is the incorporation of a pantry cabinet with built-in storage solutions such as pull out trays instead.

Fixtures & Tile

There was a time when brushed nickel reigned supreme for all things kitchen fixture related from faucets to cabinetry pulls. What’s nice about a transitional style is you can mix in other elements such as brushed bronze or even use mixed metals. However, most fixtures tend to be matte in finish.

When it comes to the backsplash and tile, it doesn’t have to be all neutral.  You can create a statement backsplash behind the stove but keep the rest of the backsplash more simplistic to avoid making the space feel too “busy”. Subway tile is a great option for this. It’s timeless and won’t break the bank and bust your kitchen remodel budget.

Confused on Flooring? Don’t be!

When it comes to flooring, there’s no “must have” for transitional kitchens. Most Homeowners are still opting for wood, but tile can work just as effectively. Whatever your preference and whether you use ceramic, porcelain or stone, think large-format tile. Small, square floor tile will instantly date your kitchen.

Let’s Shed Some Light on Lighting!

Lighting tends to a sticking point for many Homeowners. With so many great choices now on the market that don’t cost thousands of dollars, it can quickly become overwhelming to make a decision. What’s nice about transitional kitchens is there is no “one size fits all” rule. We’ve used mid-century modern, contemporary and even industrial-look lights in our transitional kitchen remodels.  We highly recommend adding recessed lighting to the space. Most of our remodels also include under-cabinet lighting. In-cabinet lighting is not a must-have, but if you like it, it can look beautiful in a transitional kitchen.

At Synergy, we believe in providing a full service design/build experience. That means we partner with you on your home remodel from the initial planning and design phases all the way through construction. Our Interior Designers work with you on the look that’s right for you and your home. One team, one company accountable for your entire project from start to finish. Less hassle for you, no hand-offs to others for us. Ready to renovate happy? Get in touch!

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Jana Harmon says:

    Hello! I love the blue kitchen island in your first photo. Is there any way to see the island from another view? perhaps the other side? Do you sell the ‘blueprint’ for this island? Do you work in the Atlanta area?
    Thanks so much for answering these questions.

    • Mina Fies says:

      Hi Jana – thanks for the comment and question. Unfortunately, we do not work in the Atlanta area! We don’t sell our designs as all of our projects are custom design-build home remodels, but here is a link to this project on our Houzz page if you’d like a little more inspiration!

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