What is transitional design? In short, it’s a blend of traditional and modern interior design aesthetics; however, this style can be tricky to pinpoint. When it comes to design styles, modern and traditional are fairly well-known and easy to define, but the lines are blurred when it comes to transitional pieces. 

Transitional may be the way to go if you’re looking for a happy medium. So how do we define this signature style? Here are a few key differences that set transitional apart from traditional and modern.


When it comes to color, traditional and modern designs could not be more different. Traditional furniture typically uses rich, warm tones such as mahogany wood and earth tone upholstery palettes. Modern pieces, in contrast, are known for utilizing bold, bright colors that are often incorporated with a lot of white and black. 

Transitional furniture marries these extremes by incorporating a broader spectrum of color but in softer shades than what’s typically considered modern. Soft neutrals and subdued warm and cool colors are very common.


Traditional furniture typically features elegant curves and sweeping feminine details. Modern furniture, on the other hand, is often rigid and straight. Transitional furniture provides an ideal marriage between these styles—it’s most commonly straight, but you may find occasional curved lines here and there.


Traditional style interiors feature elegant details, including picture frame drawer fronts, crown molding, and bun feet. Modern furniture typically doesn’t offer fancy flourishes—the more simple, the more modern. Transitional furniture provides a good blend, often focusing on classic yet comfortable elements.

Transition may be your signature style if you aren’t completely sold on the traditional look or the modern aesthetic. Transitional style’s mix of timeless elegance and contemporary clean is just the trick to achieving the best of both worlds.



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