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What the heck is Transitional?

April 7, 2015

So if you're like us, you probably spend a decent amount of time on Houzz.com. You know, that nifty little website where you can look at houses and rooms of all different styles, but you don't feel pressured into making a mason jar candle or macramé wall hanging like you do on some other websites (cough Pinterest cough)? And when it comes to choosing which style of home to look at, you encounter the usual suspects – Industrial, Modern, Transitional, Rustic.... wait, what the heck is Transitional? This is what I asked myself when I first heard the word. It turns out that Transitional is actually my favorite style, but I never knew what to call it. All the others are obvious, right? Rustic means reclaimed wood, Industrial means exposed or metal, Modern means more glass and chrome than you know what to do with, but Transitional? It eluded me.

 

 

 

 

“Ohhhh, so that's transitional!” I said to myself, when I finally looked at the Transitional category on Houzz. Are you having this reaction too? I'm going to lead myself to believe that I wasn't the only one in the dark on this.

So what exactly is Transitional? The way I see it, Transitional style encompasses all the classic and timeless elements of Traditional style: things that will be popular through time – subway tile, marble, good solid furniture and neutral colors – but mixes it with a more Contemporary flair. For example, Benjamin Moore's 'Revere Pewter' is having a big moment right now, and a lot of Transitional walls and cabinetry are being painted in this color. Transitional tries to mix in a variety of textures and materials, including glass, wood, marble, and stainless steel, but it does so in a clean and neutral-toned way, as opposed to, say, Eclectic, which incorporates several aspects of the color wheel and unexpected elements.

 

 

Transitional vs. Eclectic

 

In essence, Transitional is a little bit of everything: cozier than Modern, cleaner than Eclectic, and more adventurous than Traditional, with a little bit of Industrial thrown in for good measure - because who can turn down a big steel Wolf Viking range?

 

 

 

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