There is no need to decide between modern/contemporary and traditional styles anymore. A transitional look is easy to achieve and gives you the best of two opposite styles by merging elements of both.
In the small condo dining room featured below we used a traditionally shaped chair that’s silhouette has been modernized by cleaning the lines up and simplifying the shape compared to other traditional chair styles. The table base is also more traditional, but all furnishings are done in contemporary finishes. The dinette is paired with a contemporary server and accents such as lamps and art to keep the look current. Symmetry in design is more traditional, so here we used two lamps on both sides of the server to give the space some symmetry and add a softer lighting option than overhead lighting.
The color palette shown is contemporary using gray, blue, black, white, dark brown and chrome accents. Keeping the color palette fresh and modern is key to creating a transitional look. The server and the dinette featured are not the same finish; it’s a very dated look to match all the furniture in a room exactly. It’s important to make sure the finishes aren’t too close to one another so that it is clear that they are intentionally different. While in the project featured, the brown is very dark and quit close to a black color, it’s still clear that the server is black, and the dinette is in an espresso brown. The old rule of not mixing black and brown is gone. Here the black adds drama and depth, while the brown brings warmth to an otherwise cool palette.
Main keys to pulling off a transitional interior:
- Use silhouettes and shapes from both contemporary and traditional styles.
- Use a contemporary color palette
- Add some symmetry to achieve more tradition and order in a space
- Have fun with art and accessories to avoid a look that is too serious or traditional
- Don’t match all of your finishes in a room, or buy complete matching sets. If you already have all matching pieces, try adding an accent table in a different finish or material or accessories in contrasting finishes.
Jennifer Koper, Acacia Designer