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Home :: Design Center :: Articles :: Design :: Style Profile :: Team Transitional
Style Profile
was featured in
Smart Spaces

October, November & December 2014


Style Profile

At-Heart TraditionalistCrazy for Contemporary
Team Transitional
Call Me Casual

Team Transitional

This decorating style has no enemies and plays no favorites; instead, it allows traditional and updated pieces to play nicely together. Proper editing is what makes these varying pieces work together in a space. Transitional focuses on taking all things classic and breathing new life into them. The recurring idea is to strip down something iconic to its purest form or to highlight the old by juxtaposing it with something new.
Do you gravitate toward new things with clean lines, but cherish the intricate family pieces that have been passed down to you? If perfection for you is a successful blending of styles, you’re on team transitional.

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A Windsor chair is a classic piece, but its spindle back detail is completely “now” if placed in the right context because it’s so graphic. On the other hand, a traditional-style chair can become more modern if it’s upholstered in a graphic fabric.


Since this style is all about contrast, finishes tend to stick to one end of the spectrum—espresso or ebony finishes on the dark end and natural on the light side. Birch and maple tend to be the wood species of choice because of their smooth, uncomplicated grains. However, a gorgeous old oak table can also become updated when paired with simple modern chairs, so don’t rule out all other woods. Remember, it’s all about the context that you’re placing the piece in.


In transitional styling, remember that opposites attract. To give traditional a twist, take a classic wingback chair and dress it in a red-hot-now graphic pattern. Or, for a sense of sophistication, add a time-honored brocade fabric to a modern slipper chair. Colors and patterns also play important roles with fabrics. A traditional paisley print feels more contemporary with oversized scaling and modern color combos, like blue and brown.

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