Transitional Kitchens Peak In Popularity: Here’s How To Design Your Own

Credit: Stacy Zarin Goldberg; Better Homes & Gardens

Transitional kitchens are growing increasingly popular among American homeowners. This popular category of design combines the cozy familiarity of traditional styles with the streamlined simplicity of contemporary design. For the homeowner who wants to create a space that is warm yet uncomplicated, transitional style is the way to go. Combining the following design elements can help you create a transitional kitchen of your own:

Transitional Kitchens Boast Sleek, Simple Lines

The architectural elements of the transitional design style are not complicated or fancy. No corbels or elaborate crowns or appliques with intricate curlicues. Leave the raised panels, ropes, and intricate detailing for a more traditional kitchen. Transitional kitchens are all about smooth, clean lines. When choosing your kitchen cabinets, opt for a Shaker or flat-paneled style. The same concept applies to the hardware. Bar pulls are a much more aesthetically appropriate choice than fancy knobs. Choose square countertop edges instead of rounded, or curved edges.

Blend The Natural & The Manufactured

One of the key features of transitional kitchen styles is the seamless combination of natural and manufactured materials. For example, if you absolutely adore the rustic, natural grain of wooden cabinetry, you may want to combine it with stainless steel hardware and appliances and an engineered countertop. While the wood grain will lend a natural warmth to the room, the contrasting manufactured materials will give the space a determinedly contemporary look. You may also choose painted white or grey cabinetry and use natural materials for the backsplash, flooring, or countertop.

Embrace A Neutral Color Palette

Leave the bold bursts of color for eclectic or fully contemporary spaces. Transitional kitchens are all about subtlety. Neutral color palettes that embody the hues of nature are the perfect choice for this space. Wood tones such as brown, beige and tan as well as common colors such as white and shades of grey all can serve as a great foundation for your kitchen design.

Your choice of metal hardware and appliances should also blend well with the design. If brown or beige wood is the predominant material in your space, you can pair it with a complimentary bronze, gold or brushed hardware to enhance the warmth of the space. Pairing with stainless steel, chrome, or nickel with your warm woods will create a cool contrast. If you prefer a cooler-toned space all around, try a grey or all-white kitchen with stainless steel or chrome elements.

White Cabinets: The Perfect Blank Canvas

White cabinets are hands down the most popular choice for American kitchens in general, but they’re also the go-to option for transitional kitchens. White kitchens are great because they provide the perfect foundation for creating a space that reflects the home’s personality. The ambience of your all-white kitchen can vary widely depending on the countertop, flooring, light fixtures, hardware, and decorations that you choice to adorn it.

To create a vibrant transitional space, you may choose to create a dual-toned kitchen where white cabinets are paired with cabinets of another color. Take the kitchen above, for example. You can create an intriguing, eye-catching space that embraces both the casual elegance of wood and the clean, contemporary look of white cabinetry. Or you may choose to combine your white cabinets with other neutral-toned painted cabinets such as grey. There are almost endless ways to mix and match elements to turn your white kitchen into an dynamic space.

Create your own two-tone transitional kitchen with our Ice White Shaker and
Greystone Shaker kitchen cabinets!

More Ways To Mix & Match Elements

Who says that you have to choose only one countertop material? A great way to embrace a transitional style is to use marble or granite countertops along the wall while using a wooden, butcher-block countertop for the island. Or, for an industrial, commercial kitchen feel, try a stainless steel countertop on the island instead. Hardwood floors are quite popular and can give your kitchen a certain classic coziness, but these days, man-made laminate flooring can look just as amazing as real hardwood, and would fit comfortably into a transitional kitchen style. Don’t neglect your backsplash, either. Natural stone tiles in neutral, earthy tones are a popular choice. Bonus points for a textured backsplash, which adds more visual interest without relying too much on color.

Express Yourself With A Pop of Color

You do want to aim for a neutral look, but your transitional kitchen does not have to be boring. While you don’t want to overwhelm your transitional kitchen with tons of color, a pop of color here and there can really transform and personalize your space. According to the 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, blue is the most popular choice for homeowners looking to enhance their neutral transitional kitchen design. The best way to incorporate pops of color is to utilize decorative items for this purpose. From wall art to storage containers to light fixtures, the possibilities for accessorizing are endless.

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