Bending The "Rules" Of Transitional Style

Transitional design style brings together traditional and contemporary elements with a focus on comfort and soft elegance.  That for me is where the "rules" stop.  Here are examples of five fabulous room designs that adhere to the basic "rules" but bend others while creating fabulous apartment spaces to live in.    

The strong dark walls in these images depart from the "rules" to just use a subtle color palette, such as beige, cream, khaki, tan and taupe.  Note too how in this first image radiant orchid (the 2014 Pantone color pick) is brought into color scheme with an actual blooming orchid.  Visual lines of upholstered furnishings are straight but soften with curves on the corners.  The tufted chairs and contemporary crystal chandelier reference traditional designs.  A beautiful dark hardwood floor is warmed by the contrast of the white shag area rug; and accent pieces are statements in themselves.

The cool and comforting blue in this room design dominates the color palette.  It reflects on the location of the apartment:  Florida's perpetual blue sky.  You can easily identify traditional and contemporary elements that make this apartment sitting room transitional from the simplistic window treatment to the visual plane of furnishings to casters on the tables.

Here's an excellent example of a transitional style living room that successfully bends the "rules."  Gray taupe in varying shades of medium and dark create a rich neutral canvas.  It's then punctuated with deep yellow and gold colors taken from one dramatic artwork on the wall.  White offers a gentle refrain.  Note too the patterns on the chairs and drapery valance are very pronounced but is then anchored with the smaller, subtle pattern of the area rug.  I simply love the gentle elegance of this room.

The ivory and violet color palette against the white in this bedroom illustrates how other colors fit perfectly well in a transitional design scheme.  Such traditional elements as the dark wood tables and hardwood floor; symmetrical placement of the tables and lamps; crown moldings and accent moldings on the heat register cover; updated traditional headboard and frame; and the box valance added to the drapery window treatment all reference traditional designs.  Contemporary elements are found in how these elements are interpreted for today's design taste, as well as the contemporary painting and its frame.

Houzz for Kathleen Walsh Interiors

Houzz for Kathleen Walsh Interiors

By far, this next bedroom is a real stretch from the common description of what is the transitional style.  But the traditional elements are found in the tufted furnishings; updated chaise lounge (do see my post on The Case For A Chaise Lounge); crown window molding; and sunburst mirror.  While elements, also found in the updated traditional ones, can be identified in the simple window drapery treatment; contemporary painting; contemporary colors; and the beautiful silver accent pillow styles with simple welt treatment.  The plush bedscape and throw are indicative to both design styles. 

Houzz for Jan Hiltz Interiors

Houzz for Jan Hiltz Interiors

Not sure if your style is transitional?  Didn't think it was the style for you because you thought it was bland and boring?   As with any style, knowing which one fits your taste and lifestyle is the first step.  Then know where and how to bend the "rules" becomes easy.  Hopefully, these five examples captured your curiosity.  For more information on this style, see Part II 13 Reasons Why I Love Transitional Style.

By the way, what is your style?  Would love to hear from you, so please do tell!

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