Transitional Style 101

Not sure exactly what transitional style is? Get all the design details here.

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Transitional style is a marriage of traditional and contemporary furniture, finishes, materials and fabrics equating to a classic, timeless design. Furniture lines are simple yet sophisticated, featuring either straight lines or rounded profiles. Fabric is as diverse as graphic patterns on overstuffed sofas and textured chenilles on sleek wood frames.

Colors: The transitional palette relies on a lack of color to evoke a clean, serene atmosphere. Dark brown can add depth to a neutral balance of taupe, tan and vanilla.

Accessories: A minimalist approach is taken with carefully selected accessories — a potted orchid gracefully arching in front of a window, white mats that set off photographs in simple black and silver frames, an oval wooden tray that provides a resting spot for similarly shaped silver candleholders. This kind of grouping provides a counterpoint to the furniture.

Fabrics: The lack of color makes room for interesting textures, such as the olive-colored corduroy found on the pictured sofa and a smooth, creamy white cotton used on two of the side chairs. Other good choices for a transitional space are soft ultrasuedes, pliable leathers and nubby chenilles.

Furniture: Curves combine with straight lines in a transitional style interior. The look balances both masculine and feminine attributes for a comfortably contemporary design. The scale of the pieces is ample but not intimidating. A lack of ornamentation and decoration keeps the focus on the simplicity and sophistication of the design.

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