The transitional kitchen has come into its own – the National Kitchen and Bath Association says the popular design trend is now the number one spot for new or remodeled kitchens. For people who grew up in traditional homes, a transitional style lets them keep what they love most while changing things up a bit.
Transitional vs. Traditional
Here’s a quick primer on the difference between the two design styles:
- Traditional design, rooted in 18th century England and the French countryside, is known for its warm and comfortable interiors. Bronze accents, wall sconces, neutral tones, and warm, rich woods are typical elements. Symmetry is key to traditional design, with balanced furnishings creating an inviting atmosphere. Traditional kitchens often feature natural stone countertops and warm wood cabinets.
- Transitional design takes the best of traditional and contemporary looks and creates a timeless, gender-balanced interior. It features a subtle color palette that creates a relaxing space, and rich woods, including for floors, are often used to create warmth. In the kitchen, clean lines and minimal accents pair perfectly with simple hardware and stainless appliances.
Transitional Kitchen Ideas
A transitional kitchen is anything you want it to be. Want to blend modern innovation with classic design? Transitional is for you! While the style often references details from the past, new design elements give a transitional kitchen a fresh and updated look without crossing into contemporary or minimalism.
- Cabinetry tends to keep a lower profile. Doors are more streamlined and fall just short of modern. They’re still wood, but have less scrollwork or intricate carving and feature simple, flat paneled doors and non-fussy hardware.
- Floor tiles are often 12×24 instead of the traditional 12×12.
- Backsplashes are simpler, but can still be a major focal point, with bigger format tiles. Subway tile is a popular choice.
- A mix of natural and manufactured materials is typically used. Natural surfaces without elaborate edge treatments are used for countertops, wood floors are a popular choice, and stainless steel appliances round out the look.
- Faucets have a cleaner, more modern look and 50/50 bowl sinks are making way for big, single basin ones. Many homeowners are choosing stainless sinks with square, instead of rounded, edges. And talk about non-traditional! There are even workstation sinks you buy by the linear foot and then outfit them with multiple accessories like cutting boards, strainers, and a draining board.
A pop of color here or there is sometimes used, but the favorite wall color choice remains greige in St. Louis. What many designers consider the “perfect neutral,” this blend of gray and beige creates a rich color that works equally well in a cool or warm kitchen color scheme. The level of beige to gray determines its coolness or warmth. Accents are simpler, with fewer “fussy” displays. Patterns, if used, are simple and graphic.
The scale in a transitional kitchen differs from that in a more traditional one. There are bigger light fixtures, soffits are removed and replaced with bigger cabinets, and range hoods are more of a focal point.
Finally, a transitional style lets you bring in a little bit of your own “quirkiness.” Have a unique antique or funky piece of furniture? One-of-a-kind lighting fixture? One or two unique details give your transitional kitchen personality but keep it from crossing the line into an eclectic mish-mash of elements.
A transitional style kitchen easily blends in with its surroundings. It combines the warmth and welcome of traditional design with the clean and simple look of a contemporary style. Because it offers such flexibility, it’s a great design choice for homeowners who don’t want to be confined by a single style, or whose taste encompasses both looks.
J.T. McDermott Remodeling has been doing kitchen remodeling in the Greater St. Louis area for over 20 years. If you’re ready to move forward with remodeling your kitchen and would like to learn more about transitional kitchen ideas, schedule a consultation with us today. We look forward to meeting with you!
Megan’s passion for design extends beyond her workplace. In her free time, Megan enjoys all types of crafts, including knitting, crocheting, and rehabbing/reupholstering furniture.