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Transitional Décor what is it and how do I create it?

Transitional décor is a mix of traditional with contemporary that creates a classic but sophisticated feel. This style gives you permission to mix lacquered finishes, ornate details, while balancing it all with clean lines. It also has a great balance of feminine and masculine qualities that make it very appealing usually to both partners. Although it uses a mix of styles and details, the overall feel of Transitional is clean and uncluttered.

Tips for creating Transitional Décor in your home

  • Start by removing clutter and accessories

  • Pick a neutral color pallet that will become your foundation when choosing wall color.

  • Pick large scale art over collages or smaller scale art. This will make the space feel less cluttered.

  • Have a Traditional dining set? Update the room by switching chairs with a more contemporary style to balance your traditional table.

  • Lighting! Replace your fixtures with something more contemporary, and more dramatic. Pick a statement piece and larger scale. Use LED bulbs that will brighten the space and will put off less warmth than traditional bulbs.

  • Choose accessories wisely its best to go with a few statement pieces.

  • Add texture and color with fabrics to keep the neutral foundation from feeling boring.

  • For window treatments stick with the same style throughout. Update standard curtains with neutral toned fabrics with a little structure that will convey a classic and sophisticated feel.

  • Pick bold furniture with simple clean lines.

  • Popular fabric for furnishings are suede, chenille, and leather.

  • Symmetry and balance are favored

Quick ideas to refreshes each room without a full overhaul.


  • Replace pendant light with more contemporary version.

  • Replace backsplash with more contemporary tile to balance traditional cabinets.

  • Update counter tops

  • Remove accessories and replace with fewer more contemporary options.


  • Replace framed mirrors with mirrors to ceiling to expand the space, mount lighting through mirror.

  • Add contemporary decorative tile. Example horizontal band glass tile behind vanity.

  • Replace lighting with a more contemporary version

Living Rooms

  • Add furnishing with clean lines

  • Update table lamps with more contemporary versions

  • Add glass or metal tables

  • Add color with pillows and accessories

  • Add a rug with a neutral palate to anchor the space

  • Edit accessories to fewer statement pieces

  • Update art with larger and fewer pieces

  • Add streamlined built in’s.

Dining Rooms

  • Update light fixture usually larger and more contemporary. Make it a statement piece.

  • Mix traditional and contemporary styles of chairs and tables to get the perfect blend. If you are keeping traditional chairs use a more contemporary fabric on them.


  • Update a more traditional set by replacing just the headboard, go with a larger scale upholstered headboard to create a focal point.

  • Keep drapery neutral with crisp lines and tailored look.

  • Edit accessories

  • Add larger scale art

  • Change bedding to neutral colors with interesting texture, keep it tailored to feel more contemporary

  • Add a dramatic light fixture

  • Change out table lamps to more contemporary version

  • Update rug with more contemporary version

*One of my favorite tricks is adding a more contemporary wallpaper and keeping more traditional furnishings. The contrast of the two is fabulous when done right and can make such a huge difference in a room. This can be used in any room.

I hope this helped demystify Transitional style. It is simply a timeless and elegant style with a twist. It allows you to comfortably step outside your traditional foundation by adding some fresh updates while still embracing classic details.