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Style File: Transitional

Infusing your home with transitional style is kind of like eating a bowl of quinoa mac and cheese. It’s traditional, but with just enough of a contemporary twist to make it interesting. If there is a happy medium in interior decorating, transitional is probably it. It’s a safe and comfortable decorating style, that while adhering to many traditional ideals, keeps things fresh with the addition of contemporary touches. This style is incredibly popular in many parts of Canada, because it’s easy to work in, and ages extremely well.

Neutral Territory

Transitional style embraces neutrals, particularly warm whites, tans, and some deeper browns. Gray and greige are also widely used throughout transitional décor. The intent isn’t to shock the eyes with colour or even the starkness of a bright white, but rather to provide a soothing, easy welcome.

Textures and Textiles

The neutral colour palette of transitional style avoids the stigma of feeling boring with the addition of interesting textures. The grounded earthiness of leather is commonly found in this style, as are family-friendly fabrics like ultrasuede, chenille, and even corduroy. Subtle patterns can be introduced alongside grounding solids to create interest and visual appeal.


Transitional flooring is typically either hardwood or carpeting in warm, neutral tones. Berber and sisal are popular carpeting choices, while the hardwood is smoothly finished, and without the dips and textures favoured by rustic and farmhouse styles.


Transitional furniture features simple, sophisticated lines. It isn’t as ornate as traditional furniture, nor does it possess the stripped down, often cold look of contemporary style. It can be thought of as “catalog furniture” or the pieces generally found in large furniture store chains. Safe, comfortable, and family-friendly are all words that can be accurately used to describe transitional furniture.

Window Treatments

As with all other aspects of transitional décor, window treatments are often understated and neutral in colour. This style embraces solid coloured drapes in rod pocket, grommeted, or tab styles, roman shades, and classic blinds.


Décor additions in a transitional home are often understated and carefully curated. The approach is minimalist, but conveys meaning in the form of family photos and cherished items. Simply matted and framed pictures, a carefully placed sculpture, and even the occasional vintage piece would fit right in to this style.

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