Transitional Style

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Transitional Style (also known as "updated classic for men", "classic with a contemporary twist", "new takes on old classics") in interior design and furniture design refers to a contemporary blend of traditional and modern styles, midway between old world traditional and the world of chrome and glass contemporary; incorporating lines that are less ornate than traditional designs, but not as severely basic as contemporary lines. As a result, transitional furniture designs are classic, timeless, and clean.

Curves combine with straight lines in a transitional style interior to deliver a look that balances both masculine and feminine attributes for a comfortable and relaxing, uncomplicated design. A lack of ornamentation and decoration with minimal accessories keeps the focus on the simplicity and sophistication of the design.[1] Color palettes are typically neutral and subtle and may be monochromatic, with color in art and accents, not upholstery and floors.[2]

Unlike contemporary furniture, transitional style focuses on comfort and practicality to meet the lifestyle of an active household. The scales of furniture pieces are ample but not overwhelming. Goose feather and down fill is typically used for upholstered furniture, wood species (maple, mahogany, walnut, etc.) and wood finishing is typically warm tones but can range from a natural finish to a high-gloss lacquer. Texture is important, and a multitude of fabric selections can vary from durable materials to sophisticated, plush fabrics, with tone-on-tone or small scale graphics. A balanced mix of several textures is often used.[3]


Notable 21st century transitional style furniture designers include Barbara Barry, Christopher Guy, Sally Sirkin Lewis, Nina Petronzio, Thomas Pheasant, Maxine Snider.[4][not in citation given][5][not in citation given]


  1. ^ "HGTV, Transitional Style". Retrieved 2011-10-25.
  2. ^ "Transitional Style Defined by Lisa Frederick". Retrieved 2015-01-20.
  3. ^ "Transitional Style Interior Design by Michelle Radcliffe". Retrieved 2015-01-20.
  4. ^ Radcliff, Michelle. "Interior Design Love to Know". Interior Design Love to Know. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
  5. ^ "Meet me in the Middle". 2005-01-13. Archived from the original on December 18, 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-25.