How to Get the Transitional Look for Your Home

If you’ve scrolled through Pinterest or watched HGTV lately, you’ve probably seen interiors decorated in a transitional style. This decor trend is huge right now – and for good reason! It’s a lot more flexible than some design styles, such as rustic or mid-century modern, that require you to adhere to a strict aesthetic. Transitional interiors also allow you to mix and match your favorite pieces for a unique yet chic look.

Want to learn more about this style and how to achieve it in your home? We’re diving into the details below.

What Transitional Home Decor Is (and Isn’t)

People often confuse transitional design with other aesthetics, such as minimalism and contemporary. Therefore, it’s important to learn what sets this style apart from other decor options. In a transitional interior, it’s acceptable to mix new and old pieces as well as patterns, textures and colors. While this is also a hallmark of other design styles, such as eclectic, transitional decor is subtler and more refined.

The transitional style typically includes a much softer touch with a light, fresh and airy color palette. Natural wood finishes add gravity to the space, while pieces of contemporary furniture and decor are carefully selected to blend with well-chosen antiques.

Transitional Color Palettes

This style focuses heavily on neutral colors. Think cream, taupe, gray and black – but you don’t have to stick to just these. Soft colors like pale green, sky blue and creamy yellow can also be mixed in to add interest. These all pair well with natural wood finishes; however, it’s best to avoid too much dark wood, as the goal of a transitional interior is to create a light and fresh vibe. If you want to add depth, choose one or two accent pieces in a dark walnut finish.

Accessories in a Transitionally-Styled Space

While transitional style shouldn’t be confused with minimalism, it does have a minimalist aspect. For example, the room’s focus should be relatively simple – not so much a bright, bold accent wall, but more like a wall decorated with a sleek piece of art that draws the eye while complementing the theme.

Accessories should be kept to a minimum, too. While some design styles may call for a cozy, cluttered look, you’ll want to keep things comfortable but muted here. In the kitchen, for example, it’s best to avoid too many antiques or display pieces on your counters or cabinet tops. Instead, focus on a simple yet beautiful kitchen set with only the necessities.

Textures and Finishes for Transitional Interiors

In a transitional home, the textures and finishes are where you’ll add interest. For upholstery, the focus should be on comfort: suede, chenille and leather are all good choices. Go with soft wools and other luxurious fabrics for throw blankets and pillows.

Metal and mirror finishes are also a fun way to add contrast to your space. We love statement mirrors and metal light fixtures that add a touch of glamour. In the kitchen, you can easily mix textures and finishes by decorating your table or countertop with a combination of unique accessories. Choose a mixture of neutral textiles and metals to bring warmth and contrast.


What About Transitional Kitchen Design?

Transitional kitchen design can be one of the harder parts of the style to pull off, especially if you’re working with a closed-off kitchen that’s separate from your dining room. Here, the look focuses on things like serveware, barware and, of course, your kitchen counter decor.

To create a stylish yet functional countertop, blend old and new with canister sets, paper towel holders and utensil storage. You can also bring in elements of the look using transitional drinkware with wood or metal finishes – like our wood decal coffee mugs – to help soften or brighten your design as needed.

On the table, don’t be afraid to mix and match. Our multi-color flatware set is a great way to make a statement while still sticking to a transitional theme.


Product Shown: Multi-color Satin 16-piece Flatware Set

Create Your Perfect Table or Kitchen Design with Help from Cambridge®

Now that you have a few transitional decor ideas, it’s time for the fun part: putting it all together! Find all of the finishing touches you need to create a Pinterest-worthy transitional interior at

We’d love to see how you bring this timeless aesthetic into your home – snap a pic of the finished look and tag us @shopcambridgehome for a chance to be featured on our Instagram!

September 03, 2021

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