Your Guide to Transitional Design

Transitional spaces are classic, comfortable, and unfussy. They are symmetrical and well balanced, restful, and traverse the elegant line between an artistic and stylistic Traditional look and the and clean, bold Contemporary style. Executing transitional style is all about the balance between Traditional and Contemporary styles – rather than the extremes. Find out how to design a space with Transitional style and if it’s right for you.


What is Transitional Stlye?

Transitional décor takes the classic looks and understated colors of traditional decorating and blends it with the clean, bold lines and sensibilities of contemporary looks. This results in a symmetrical and well-balanced space that embraces comfort without the sacrifice of elegance. Think of it as business casual for your home. As you walk into a space nothing should shock the system. Everything should instead form a harmonized and inviting space.



How to Decorate in a Transitional Style

Transitional style creates an area that is restful. Solid, neutral colors are key. They set the stage for everything. Warm cream, beige, and taupe, or cool dove grey, silvers, and whites can be accented with deep and rich chocolates in wood furniture. Punches of color are quite acceptable in accent-pieces. Take your favorite color from one of the few curated accessories and repeat it through the room in the form of textured throw pillows, a blanket, or other accessories. Don’t neglect window coverings, just avoid ornamentation, opting for simple panels and neutral colors. Finally, the flooring should ground the room by being an accent to the color palette, an extension of the walls in the same general color family. When you are looking to decorate with a Transitional feel, look for:

  • Pieces with traditional bones like a wing back chair, but slimmed down and no ornamentation

  • Wall colors are preferably warm or cool neutrals similar to the furniture

  • Combine textures to create pattern

  • Accessories should be kept to a minimum and follow a similar color palette.

  • Colors should be neutral but can be a warm or cool palette.

  • Go with small and subtle patterns

  • Natural materials, soft, cozy, and welcoming

  • Furniture groupings should be balanced – two chairs to one sofa.

  • Avoid bold patterns

Texture is the new pattern when it comes to transitional style decorating. Use different textures in a very similar palette to create depth and diversity. This can include using very textured linen with a waffle textured fabric or fluffy knits with leather. Matte and shiny finishes can be used in the same way. That doesn’t mean that patterns aren’t a complete no-go, they can be used too but should be smaller and very subtle.



Transitional Style and Your Fireplace

Especially true for your favorite living areas, the family room, dining room, bedroom, and bathroom, the fireplace is a focal point for any space. A transitional style fireplace will be elegant and bring an air of relaxation to a transitional space. Customizable additions, like unique log sets in birch or oak, gleaming glass ember beds, and artistic accents easily allow the more traditional or contemporary feeling fireplace to become a piece of transitional artwork in a room.




While Transitional style can sound cold with its monotone color scheme, it should never feel uninviting. Instead, it should welcome a person into the space. The transitional style isn’t eclectic, trendy, or ostentatious. It is a meeting in the middle of both classic traditional and futuristic contemporary. A Transitional space should be the best of both worlds. Share your Transitional styled spaces and decorating stories on our social pages like Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtags #TransitionalStyle and #NapoleonFireplaces.

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