Choosing a design for a kitchen remodel can be daunting. Many kitchen remodelers find inspiration in both traditional and contemporary design elements, and it can be difficult to choose just one style. The good news is, it’s not necessary to choose—by choosing a transitional kitchen style, homeowners can blend traditional and contemporary looks into one space, creating a fusion of design that incorporates the best of both worlds. Transitional designs are a way to break away from traditional design style rules. Using transitional elements can help bring unique ideas to life in an elegant way; remodelers can combine colors and textures to inspire beauty and spotlight originality.
Transitional kitchens were the most popular kitchen design in the National Kitchen + Bath Association’s list of 2019 kitchen design trends. It’s estimated that 65% of kitchens designed in the past year were transitional, which is more than double the number of kitchens that were designed using traditional, contemporary, or farmhouse styling. Transitional design popularity is based on its flexibility – but because of this adaptable quality, transitional style might seem hard to define. This style is said to be transitioning – on the move or going somewhere – because of its ability to seamlessly blend one style into another.
Transitional kitchen design is an inspiring trend that allows homeowners creative freedom in choosing a design that works for their families, lifestyles, and personal taste. Contemporary, mid-century modern, industrial, glam, and even traditional elements can blend successfully into a transitional kitchen. Understanding the various elements of a transitional kitchen and which designs blend together in harmony is the key to a successful transitional look.
Clean Lines and a Relaxed Feel
Transitional design offers the best of both worlds, blending the textures of traditional with the sleekness of contemporary design. Geometric, clean, and practical lines for countertops, cabinetry, crown molding, and other crafted elements are the hallmark of transitional design. This clean look keeps the design non-fussy and flexible and ready to be blended seamlessly with other elements. Transitional design typically does not rely on heavily ornate features typical of traditional kitchens.
Transitional kitchens also allow ease of movement between kitchen and formal dining areas or kitchen and outdoor patio seating. For example, by incorporating sliding glass doors into a transitional kitchen/outdoor design, guests and family members can easily step from the kitchen to a brick patio area for casual garden dining.
Since transitional kitchens often open to the living area, kitchen remodeling professionals typically opt for smooth features and colors that blend in. They often aim to achieve a light and airy effect by using clean colors such as whites, grays, beiges, greens, and blues. Black and white styling is also a popular transitional color blend since this tried-and-true option pairs with almost any other design element. And since neutral colors typically appeal to homebuyers, clean colors will both create a beautiful remodeled look and promote increased home value in the event the home is later sold.
In transitional kitchens, cabinets are usually a light or medium color in painted wood, wood grain, or mixed materials. Simple cabinetry styles, such as a Shaker style or a cabinet with a stained or painted finish, blend well with other transitional elements. Frequently, contrasting island and perimeter cabinetry are used to create visual interest. Kitchen remodeling professionals in Clarkston are also using integrated storage with recessed panels to streamline cabinetry and storage space, with an emphasis on drawer and pull-out storage, rather than using multiple cabinets with doors. Matte decorative hardware or integrated hardware can signal transitional design style, borrowing a more contemporary accent to accompany traditional cabinetry.
Kitchen Islands and Seating
Most simple transitional kitchen layouts include a kitchen island in the design. Kitchen islands are ideal for food preparation or storing kitchen appliances, but they can also provide a pub-style seating area. Tall chairs can provide extra dining space for guests or a spot for a quick after-school snack. Kitchen islands with a contrasting cabinetry color and playful barstool seating can create a fun, family-centered hub in the center of a relaxed, functional space.
One highly-requested look for transitional kitchens consists of stainless steel appliances with white or light-colored decor. Fully-integrated French door refrigerators are popular in transitional kitchens; an induction cooktop along with a wall oven and microwave or a gas range promote both functionality and style. Updraft hoods and standard-door dishwashers are also staples in this design.
Countertops and Backsplashes
Stone countertops work beautifully for transitional kitchens, with marble, quartz, and granite countertops and backsplashes being the top materials of choice. Stone countertops in transitional kitchens are typically thick, with either traditional or waterfall edges. Subway tile for backsplashes is still a favorite, but mosaics and glass tile in a variety of sizes also work well in this area.
Sinks and Faucets
Stainless steel single bowl or apron sinks are popular transitional kitchen design elements. A farmhouse sink that has been redesigned with a contemporary finish, such as stainless steel, can add a unique visual focal point.
Among faucets, brushed stainless steel finishes are the most popular; matte, polished, or satin finishes are also highly-requested. However, faucet functionality varies widely, and homeowners have the option to select the faucet type that works best for the space, whether motion-controlled, touch, or manual.
A variety of lighting options work well in transitional kitchens, including recessed lights, pendants, and dimmer and traditional switches. Under-cabinet lighting and interior cabinet lighting are also features of this kitchen style. Motion sensors and keypads add a smart touch and enhance functionality without detracting from aesthetics.
To complete the transitional look, many kitchen remodeling professionals mix components from different eras, such as corbels, brackets, moldings, and doors. Unusual items or accents make interesting statement pieces in transitional design. Recycling antique or older items into the design mix or using unexpected pieces to enhance functionality can provide just the right amount of unique flair to a transitional kitchen. For example, chalkboard panels on a refrigerator door or a chalkboard backsplash can be the perfect place to leave notes for the family while creating an eclectic feel.
Hundreds of creative design options allow transitional kitchens to be highly functional without sacrificing style or comfort. A kitchen remodeling professional in Clarkston with experience in transitional kitchen design can create a functional, stylish transitional kitchen to meet every family’s needs.