Monday, October 29, 2018

Elements of Design ~ Transitional Style Decor and How to Get the Look

Transitional decor is one of if not the hottest decorating style these days and though it may be hard to define ~ you'll know it when you see it.  

By that I mean you know how when you walk into a home and instantly you feel welcomed and at home?  Transitional decor may be the key so today we are talking how to get that look...

So what is transitional decor?

Transitional decor is the blending of traditional style decorating and architecture with its use of woods in furniture and neutral colors with the more modern glass and chrome interiors and minimalism we often associate with the Atomic era of decorating.

I looked up a definition for you and found this post by a builder which says:

"The transitional style uses a mix of textured materials such as wood, lacquer, fabric, metal, or steel to add depth, appeal to the senses, and help balance the overall aesthetic. Stealing from modern-contemporary architecture, most transitional homes use clean lines and minimalism in their design."                May 20, 2017   Sandy Spring Builders

With that definition you can see in the photograph above the classic traditional style of this chair and bench set surrounding a traditional style painted wood table. The lighting fixture overhead is metal with frosted glass shades and the soft fabric element is brought in by the addition of neutral curtains at the sliding door and the bolder geometric placemats.  We get the metallic chrome look of modern style with the "Give Thanks" on the dining room wall.

I love this table with its classic style but it has a little secret to share.  

The top has a wood grain look but is really a lightly grooved laminate sheet ~ perfect for a young family!  This edgy top makes for easy clean up for spills and is also perfect for playing cars and Legos on its surface.  No scratches like with a traditional wood tabletop and it is self healing!  :)

Texture and metals

Bringing up our lead photo again, this setting is also transitional as you see the play of texture in the sofa, the carpet and the throw on the sofa with its darker neutral colors.  Metals are introduced with the modern metal base side table, the shadow box frames and the tree branch wall decor.  The nubby texture of the carpet with its giant diamond pattern adds another layer to the mix.  

This is my son and daughter-in-love's home and they are still newly married (just two years) so they are still adding pieces to their home as they find the right look.


To keep this in the transitional style, a coffee table with a chrome base and oval glass top would give keep this area light and airy.  Adding in an oval or round table would bring in another transitional element with the addition of something curved.

If they decided to add a wood coffee table this would give this room more of a traditional feel.  Simply changing the style of furniture can make a room lean one way or another ~ part of the fun in decorating!  

When I was at High Point Market last fall I saw some great tables which would compliment this room's decor.  Although this is an entryway or sofa table the furnishings at Eloquence have a light look to them that carries over to the transitional style beautifully.

I found a chunky metal base coffee table with an oval wood top one online at Pottery Barn.  Another fun rectangular table on their site has sleek gold legs and gold metal top surrounding its glass top ~ very contemporary!

Mixing the old and new ~ contemporary sandblasted green glass bottles with antique pharmacy bottles turned lavender from sitting in the sunlight.

Glass and wood

Any of these coffee tables linked above check the box for transitional decor with their light and airy glass tops and metal bases.  Adding in a metal base gives them that edgy modern industrial look.  Not sure if either of the linked photographs will appear ~ fingers crossed.  :)

My daughter-in-law loves contemporary stenciled sayings on wood and has several scattered throughout their home.  Here she has mixed burlap and a wood sign with those glass bottles, and metals in the black chicken wire garden trug and the tin flower vase on the bottom shelf.

Texture plays a big part in the vignette Justine created in this bookcase secretary created for her by her father.

I love how the new side table and the clean lines of the sofa and barrel chair mix comfortably with this antique Singer sewing machine ~ a gift to Justine from a coworker.

Traditional heart with contemporary soul ~ keeping those family heirlooms and traditional pieces but creating that transitional style with that mix of modern and vintage.  

So if you are feeling the need to freshen up your own decor try bringing in a couple of new pieces with a little metal and glass to change your room or home to today's transitional style.

And as the sign on the wall says, they are truly blessed and you will be too.

Here's a pin for you ~ I appreciate the share,
thank you.

Sharing with
Totally Terrific Tuesday ~ The Savvy Apron
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Follow the Yellow Brick Home

Happy decorating,


  1. Great post, Barbara! Your children's home is beautiful! Pinning!

    1. Thank you, Julie! They have great style!! <3

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  2. High Point Market sounds like a place I would love to visit. I just need more house to decorate...
    :) gwingal

    1. Hi Nikki! High Point is a wonderful place to be for market days! I didn't see 1/4 of all the vendors and furniture showrooms ~ you really need a week as there are soooo many neat stores surrounding the main plaza. Eloquence, French Heritage have their own showrooms a little ways away from the main plaza and there are free shuttles to drop you off wherever you'd like to go. Many places allow you to shop for your own personal self too and will ship if you buy at least $700/product. HPMkt gives you a handbook which shows each storefront's location so it's easy to find.

      I hear you on the house, too. We are actively looking! :) Thanks for stopping by!! <3

  3. Love this classy, cool and fresh look! :D

    Lori Jo - 50 WithFlair

    1. Thank you for your sweet comments, Lori Jo! Their home is pretty classy. <3

  4. Very welcoming indeed. Great tips on a beautiful way to decorate.

    1. Thank you, Patti! I appreciate your thoughts. <3

  5. Your son and daughter in law have a beautiful home full of loved treasures Barbara. Was that an antique sewing machine I spotted in the last photo? swoon!!

    1. Hi Mary! Yes, my DIL received this antique Singer sewing machine from a coworker who no longer needed it and thought Justine would like it. She loves it! 💞

      Just seeing this today,
      Happy Thanksgiving,
      Barb 💕

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I am so glad you stopped by today! I appreciate your leaving me a comment, thank you.

Happy hugs to you,
Barb :)

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