3 Tips to Design the Perfect Transitional Kitchen

Anyone who's been thinking about remodeling or creating a kitchen for more than 10 minutes has come across the term "transitional." It's a popular term in design circles, but what does it really mean?

So while almost everything is up for negotiation when designing a transitional kitchen, here are some of the style's hallmarks, as well as some examples of how I've interpreted the look recently.

1) A mix of natural and manufactured materials

Perhaps the cornerstone of the style. A transitional kitchen will often feature wood, steel, glass and stone or marble all in the same space. This is a kitchen I designed for a Tribeca loft space; you can see wood cabinets, concrete floors, marble, and stainless steel working together to create a harmonious whole. I wanted the space to reference the building's industrial history, while also maintaining a sense of warmth.

2) Streamlined cabinetry

Cabinetry in transitional kitchens tends to keep a low profile. You won't find a lot of intricate carving, or elaborate hardware on transitional cabinetry. What keeps it from looking too modern, is the material: I typically use wood as opposed to glass or lacquer to keep it transitional. This kitchen, which was designed for a Pre-war high-rise, features minimalist cabinetry in a warm rich wood with recessed handles. I love how the clean lines and the natural material balance each other out, creating an uncluttered but still inviting effect.

3) A neutral palette

A pop of color here or there is certainly welcome, but in general, transitional kitchens feature neutral colors in varying shades. The result is typically a sophisticated, and timeless look. A good example of this is the kitchen I designed for a Florida high-rise, which features different tones of brown in the floor, island, cabinetry, and furnishings.

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