Mastering the Art of Transitional Design Style

Neutral Coastal Living Room and sitting area

A blend of old and new, transitional design style is easy to love. Often described as “updated classic,” this style feels fresh and contemporary without being cold. It’s not stuck in any one era, rather it allows for experimentation with furnishings and decorative features that are warm and expressive. If you find traditional homes too ornate and modern homes too sterile, then it’s likely that transitional style will suit your tastes.

The beauty of homes with transitional design is that they are truly unique. There are undoubtedly some similarities across the board in houses aligned with transitional style, but on the whole, you are encouraged to add personal touches. As you are styling your home, take a look at the following tips that our Charleston interior designers have compiled to help you master transitional design style.

coffee table with white flowers

Stick to a Primarily Neutral Color Palette

Transitional homes are characterized as being clean and fresh with little pops of texture, tonal colors, and interest. Typically, you’ll find the walls to be primarily neutral, though having a statement wall is also common in this style. In general, paint hues for transitional homes tend to fall in the family of grays, creams, taupes, and blacks. When it comes to your furniture, however, we recommend choosing one color and pulling out different tones from this to be used in the room. At our Charleston furniture stores, you can find pieces like our blue patterned Marmara Kilim Woven Cotton Rug that look beautiful beneath our light blue Cilla Leather Chair.

white, clean couch with painting

Embrace Simple, Classic Lines

When it comes to choosing furniture for transitional style, you want to keep to pieces that are streamlined without exaggerated curves. Mixing straight lines and the gentle curves of a piece like the Jackie Sofa is fine. If you have too many curves, you will start to sense a more traditional, formal feel. The transitional style is marked by being more casual, so choose sofas and chairs that are comfortable and inviting.

Pillow with textured pattern

Experiment with Texture

Transitional design style allows you to be much freer when it comes to texture in a room than a traditional or modern style. You can add funky textured pillows, a metal chandelier, and a modern glass table like our Lauren End Table. A few statement pieces that add a punch of excitement are more than welcome. 

However, don’t go overboard with the number of accessories, and be sure that you place them in an organized and thoughtful way. There should be some symmetry in the room, even when you are mixing textures. For example, a transitional home is more likely to have matching end tables whereas a bohemian home would not.

Living room with neutral colors

Find Balance in Scale

Besides large pieces like a rug or built-in fireplace, your rooms should also be very balanced in terms of scale. Everything should look like it belongs, fitting in with the decor and furniture around it. This will create a peaceful, welcoming aesthetic that feels balanced. If you do want to add one oversized piece, let it be a large work of art like New Natural 2.

Close up of couch with pillows

Simplify Your Window Treatments

When it comes to your window treatments, keep things simple and serene. Windows are always a focal point that everyone notices, so it’s important to get this tip right. Forgo the heavy, ornate drapes in favor of timeless crisp curtains or a roman shade in a solid color that echoes the rest of the room. Keeping to streamlined silhouettes at the window will situate your room in the present, rather than the past.

Visit Our Charleston Furniture Stores For More Transitional Style Advice

Your home is a reflection of you and transitional style lets you make the most of all the pieces you have collected over the years. In general, keep your decor light and classic, but add in textural elements that make the room feel warm and cozy. If you need any help figuring out where to put something in your home, or want to create your dream home from scratch, our interior design team is more than willing to help.

Shop the Look

Marmara Kilim Woven Cotton Rug

Marmara Kilim Woven Cotton Rug

Handwoven by artisans in India, this low profile cotton kilim is durable, lightweight and soft underfoot.

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Jackie Sofa Beige GDC Home

Jackie Sofa

The Jackie Sofa and swivel chair have a clean, lux, and modern look. They feature gently sloping, slightly flared arms. The bench and back cushions are topstitched to maintain the feeling of simplicity.

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New Natural 2

Perfect neutral art to add into your home. A framed piece that is hand painted on gallery wrapped canvas. Dimensions: 51 x 71

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Lauren End Table GDC Home

Lauren End Table

Give your home a shot of style with the Lauren End Table. Make this room the perfect spot for conversation, entertaining or just relaxing.

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Explore more of our latest styles and keep up-to-date with design trends by following GDC Home on our social platforms below. View our gallery and use the hashtag to find your next design inspiration!