Transitional >The Basics: Mixing Old and New
Fundamentally, transitional >
Often this means taking evocative traditional shapes and applying a contemporary finish to them. For example, take a look at this beautiful bridge faucet. Its a very traditional >
Essential: Shaker Cabinets
Perhaps the best example of this balancing of traditional and contemporary elements is the Shaker >These cabinet doors and drawers typically have a flat panel in the middle with a raised flat border at the edges and no "profiling" i.e., no fancy curved molding. This gives a bit more richness than a minimalist flat-front cabinet without feeling fussy.
Cabinets in this >
The Palette: White and Gray with Neutrals
White Shaker cabinets are not seen in every transitional kitchen, but they are certainly a popular pick. This is likely because the freshness of white instantly makes any space feel more spacious.
Again, transitional kitchens are not strictly minimalist either, so the white is usually mixed with grays, woods, enticing metallics and other neutrals and textural elements for a friendly palette.
Dark and charcoal grays are quite popular as well, either instead of white cabinets or added alongside white for a tuxedo effect. Deep, true-neutral grays feel >For a fun twist, a dark gray chalkboard paint gives a room a sense of levity that keeps the mood from being too somber.
For those who prefer a bit more color, blue and blue-grays make a perfect hue for fixed elements like cabinets or floor tiles. This sort of color makes white porcelain and polished stone appear even more fresh, and it will work with changing accent hues in future years.
Essential: Rich Woods
Mixing these broad strokes of crisp paint with wood brings in much needed texture, so its very common to see transitional kitchens with wood floors, wood bar stools and butcher block counters.
Flooring planks in a herringbone layout bring additional richness, playing up the positives of traditional parquet floors in a way that doesnt feel stuck in the past.
Sometimes the best way to use wood is unexpectedly, like as an accent on a vertical surface like the side panels of a wall cabinet or even on the ceiling. This brings in natural texture in a way that definitely wont leave your space feeling as if its outdated.
Essential: Sparkling Stone
For quite a time, dark granite was widely seen as the top choice for countertops. But for a coveted transitional >
Essential: Subway Tile
While were talking hard surfaces, heres another key transitional >Slab Backsplashes
That isnt to say that subway tile is the only option, of course. Another very popular choice is to simply continue the counter material up the wall. This leans toward a more contemporary look, turning the counter and backsplash into a singular dramatic statement.
If you prefer the look of a mosaic backsplash, consider choosing one in a neutral palette in a rich, >
Essential: Stainless Steel
Stainless steel appliances are highly coveted but especially so in transitional kitchens, where they bring a chefs-kitchen appeal and help integrate modern features into a somewhat traditional setting. Plus, adding some strong elements of crisp metal offsets the organic character of wood floors and stone counters. If you dont currently have the budget or the desire to use stainless steel appliances throughout, consider using this finish for just one appliance like the range or through other accents like cabinet hardware.
Brass has recently been a very popular finish for transitional kitchen accents. It brings some golden glamour and warmth to a space but in a more subdued tone than true gold.
Feel free to mix it in beside stainless steel and other cool silvery metals. It makes for great knobs and pulls, lights or even fixtures.
Essential: Modern Furnishings
If you stick to just traditional trappings, you might end up with a kitchen that slides from transitional to just traditional overall. This is where some great modern furniture pieces come in, such as high-tech extruded dining chairs, midcentury bent metal barstools, cool industrial accent lights or a minimalist dining table.
Splurge: Statement Pendants
Your lighting is a great place to splurge, as it always makes for a natural center of attention. In transitional >
Humble schoolhouse, dome or cone shapes are popular, as are glass globes or lantern->You can use the lights as an opportunity to introduce a new accent material or color, such as a hint of red or copper, or match them to another finish in the space. These cone pendants pair nicely with the base of the stools.
Finishing Touch: Traditional Rug
As a tailor-made finish to your transitional space, a warm, colorful traditional rug will make sure it doesnt feel too staid, bringing a splash of personality and sense of >
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