Transitional Interior Design: What It Is & How to Do It

In 2018, distressed wood was the hottest interior design trend. 2019 saw an emergence of bold, colorful accents. So, what’s “in” for 2020? Transitional interior design!

But what does that even mean? Learn what transitional design is and how you can incorporate it into your space.

Transitional Design Characteristics: What Makes the Look Unique?

The word “transitional” literally means “in-between,” so it only makes sense that transitional interior design is a look that meshes several different styles together. Transitional design incorporates old and new, traditional and contemporary, minimalist and “maximalist” approaches. For many, this style of interior design offers home furnishing freedom since it doesn’t require a commitment to a specific era or style. It encourages decorators and home dwellers to let their creativity run wild!

How to Bring Transitional Interior Design Into Your Home

Transitional design is rooted in one thing: curated balance. To update a room and bring in transitional interior design, start with one focal point, like your favorite piece of abstract art or an heirloom wooden clock that’s been passed down in your family. Take a long look at your article. Is it more modern, with clean, simple lines? Or does it err toward traditional with decorative finishes and noticeable texture?

Depending on your answer, you can balance that focal item with something that’s the opposite. Pair your abstract art with an ornate wall sconce for contrast, or decorate your modern marble and brass cocktail table with a contrasting, reclaimed wood tray topped with vintage decorative objects. Such deliberate juxtaposition of “opposite” objects is key to conquering transitional design!

For every contemporary element in your room, style the room with something traditional or antique close by — and vice versa. Sound like a formula for a hodge-podge room? It can be if you’re not careful to tie these objects together.

To make the room look intentional, look for common themes (like material or size) and colors amongst new pieces you bring in. For example, does your couch dwarf the table beside it? Find a smaller sofa or a larger table until the proportions feel balanced. Do the colors in the room lack cohesiveness? Tie them together with a colorful area rug that compliments both the old and new pieces in your space.

Transitional Design in Living Spaces and Bedrooms

When shopping for furniture for a transitional living room or bedroom, start with your most prominent pieces. If the bedroom of your dreams includes a majestic, curvy headboard, buy or rent that piece first. Pair it with a simple, clean-lined mirror and a minimal lamp.

In your main living area, start your new transitional living room design with your largest, must-have item, such as a contemporary couch. From there, add layers with more texture and character — like ample colorful pillows and cozy woven throw blankets.

Transitional Dining Room Ideas

Just like any other room, creating a transitional dining room is just a matter of blending styles. Combine your favorite elements of formal and casual dining room ideas to curate a statement-making transitional space.

For example, if you have a traditional chandelier in your dining room, add a dose of contemporary with a decidedly industrial chic console table. When outfitting a transitional dining room, contrasting the table and chairs is a huge opportunity! Choose antique upholstered chairs with a polished and shiny dining table, or pair simplistic chairs with an ornate table.

Throw pillows and blankets may not belong in a dining room, but you still need to infuse texture! To keep your dining room from feeling cold or flat, add some green. Houseplants are a lovely, inexpensive way to add organic shapes and visual detail to a room. And believe it or not, choosing the perfect houseplant can help bring balance to your room, especially if you think it leans too far toward one end of the new vs. old spectrum.

Flexibility, Fun, and Freedom with Temporary Furniture

Are you sensing the theme yet? For every modern element, add something traditional. For every mature, older piece, add in something that screams futuristic design. And here’s the deal: you might not get it right the first time!

With transitional design, you have the freedom mix and match until you find a style that works with you. Similarly, with CORT furniture rental, you have the flexibility to test drive new furniture styles for a few months or years before committing to a long-term design. Explore CORT’s online catalog and browse our furniture rental inventory.

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