Transitional kitchen design is a relatively uncommon style. It’s only a few years old, but is increasingly gaining traction amongst designers and clients the world over. The question is – why, and would you want to consider it for your own home?
At its core, transitional design simply refers to a blend of traditional and contemporary elements. To what extent, however, is vague – transitional design encompasses a vast range of styles that can gravitate heavily to either side of the spectrum. A transitional style can borrow any element from either style, allowing for unique blends of period and contemporary furniture, finishes, materials and layouts that are quite unlike any other. Because it’s such a new style, the parameters aren’t clearly defined – and that’s part of the beauty! You can decide how much you want to mix and match the past and the present, so that your kitchen becomes a true reflection of you. So how should you get started?
One of the best places to start designing your kitchen is in terms of what materials you’ll use. Transitional kitchens often mix older materials like stone and rich, dark woods together with more modern materials like glass, marble and stainless steel. While there are few established rules, the cabinetry in most transitional kitchens tends to keep a low profile – you’ll rarely see intricate carvings, elaborate patterns or bright colours. Often, it’s the material that helps it blend into the background; if you’re going for traditional cabinetry you’ll want to look at darker woods, while more modern elements might see them shaded in a darker, more subtle lacquer.
In fact, this is generally a good rule to follow about colour if you’re looking to make your kitchen look truly transitional – subtle, understated tones are best, whichever elements you’re including. Neutral lacquers and matte finishes for your contemporary elements, coupled with warm tones in the wood keep your kitchen looking timeless and elegant, while still giving it that all-important personality and warmth. Too many bright colours in transitional design can distract the eye and make the space look too busy and crowded, detracting from the overall effect.
To substitute experimentations with colour, transitional kitchens are often delightful adventures in texture – from marble worktops to rough stone, using warm woods with smooth contemporary lines, they can offer some unique combinations and visual effects that more well-established traditional or contemporary designs wouldn’t be able to pull off.
Transitional kitchen design isn’t just about the way your kitchen looks, but the way it functions as well. Built-in appliances and a touch of stainless steel scattered throughout your kitchen can provide a fascinating contrast against its more old-world elements. Remember, don’t let aesthetics get in the way of functionality – there’s no point having a beautiful kitchen if you have difficulty using it!
These are just a few of the hints and tips that can help you craft the perfect transitional kitchen… but the best thing? There are no true rules! Sure, there are gradually evolving patterns, but transitional design by its very nature is fluid, flexible and changeable. Feel free to throw the rulebook out the window – after all, it’s your kitchen, which means it’s all about you.
If you need any further tips on designing your kitchen, you can read our blog on how to balance aesthetics and functionality, or find out how light affects your kitchen. Or why not book a free home design visit, and let us give you a helping hand?
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