Sep. 19 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Transitional Kitchen Design

by Megan Stoke

Why is it important to know your design style? Understanding your unique design style is essential for personal satisfaction and creating a space that truly feels like home. When remodeling a kitchen, it's important to create an area that reflects your personality and taste. This not only generates a space where you feel content and happy, but it also allows you to express your individuality. Remember, your style doesn't have to conform strictly to traditional categories like "modern" or "rustic." Your interior design style will more than likely be blended from different styles to craft a kitchen that is uniquely yours.

Explore the captivating fixtures, elements, and colors that make up this style.


Why this style might be the fit for you? If your design preferences embrace both the opulence of tradition and the sleek lines of modernity, transitional style may be your perfect fit. It's a harmonious blend of textures and colors that culminate to create a classic yet relaxed approach, catering to those who appreciate both functionality and comfort in their lifestyle.

“You know it when you see it.”

  • Wood tones that contrast white, grey, and blue painted cabinets
  • Quartz countertops with marble-like veining
  • Shaker-style cabinets with minimalist, polished hardware
  • Embellished island posts or millwork
  • Large statement piece pendants

Avoid These for Transitional Kitchens

  • Vibrant, high contrasting colors
  • Flat-panel cabinets devoid of hardware
  • Burnished or antique metal finishes
  • Detailed edge profiles on countertops
  • Eclectic prints and shapes

Pro Tip

If you are struggling to picture examples of transitional kitchens, visit this Houzz Ideaboard for a plethora of different spaces showcasing this style.


Ideal Color Palette

Minimalist Style Interior Design Color Swatches Trends Photo Collage (4)

Transitional design embraces a refined and calming color palette to form a subtle yet elegant ambiance. This means neutrals and natural tones are at the forefront of this design. You can find bursts of cool-toned colors in the cabinetry and backsplashes, which add a touch of personalized charm. These paint color samples are all pulled from Sherwin-Williams,

Natural Neutrals: White, Khaki Shade, Gray Screen, Cream, Earthy Brown, Taupe

Water and Earth: Baby Blue, In the Navy, Forest Green, Sage, Charcoal

Cabinet Style


Shaker cabinets epitomize transitional design, characterized by a recessed door front that provides a touch of detail beyond flat-panel cabinets. This style maintains a clean and uncluttered appearance, featuring minimal embellishments on the door edges. Common color choices for shaker cabinets include cool greys and blues, as well as neutral options like white and wood tones.

2 Unique Elements of Transitional Kitchens


Open Shelving Open shelves present an excellent alternative to conventional wall cabinets, especially in compact or challenging kitchen spaces. They not only create a sense of airiness but also provide a platform for showcasing cookbooks, glassware, and decorative items. You can explore a variety of options, from floating shelves to bracketed designs, seamlessly blending both functionality and transitional aesthetics into your kitchen.

Mixed Lighting Transitional spaces often feature an array of versatile and stylish lighting solutions. In functional zones like countertops, under-cabinet lighting illuminates tasks effectively, while above the kitchen island, grandiose oversized pendants make a statement. These fixtures offer a diverse selection of shades, ranging from industrial to organic-inspired shapes, allowing you to personalize your lighting choices.

3 Selection Details Found in Transitional Kitchens


Mixed Finishes Transitional design is not afraid to mix metal finishes, but it must be done skillfully. Start by selecting a dominant metal finish, such as satin nickel, for larger fixtures like faucets or cabinet hardware, ensuring it complements the overall color scheme. Then, introduce one or two complementary or contrasting metal finishes, like honey bronze and matte black, in smaller details to add visual interest without overwhelming the space.

Subway Tile Subway tile remains a favorite in kitchens due to its timeless simplicity and versatility. Its clean lines and neutral colors provide a classic backdrop that complements a wide range of personal decor. Subway tiles are typically available in neutral colors like white or gray, allowing them to easily blend with various color schemes and materials, a hallmark of transitional design.

Solid Slab Backsplash Struggling to select the perfect tile for your kitchen backsplash? Consider extending your countertop seamlessly up the wall! Embracing the clean, uninterrupted surface of a solid slab backsplash not only exudes sophistication but also brings practicality and durability to your kitchen design, courtesy of its minimal grout lines and easily maintainable surfaces.

What ultimately makes this style so popular?

Hardwood Floor Kitchen Remodel in Seattle

In this guide to the Transitional Kitchen Design Style, we've unraveled the fusion of traditional elegance and modern simplicity that defines this style. You've gained insights into color palettes, cabinet styles, and unique elements that shape a transitional kitchen. Always remember that your kitchen should mirror your personality and lifestyle. Embrace the blend of different styles to create a space uniquely yours. We hope this guide inspires you to design a functional, comfortable, and visually pleasing kitchen that you'll love.

IHR Next Steps

Are you ready to delve into the captivating realm of Kitchen Interior Design Styles? Enhance your knowledge with our comprehensive guide, "Your Guide to the Top 6 Seattle Kitchen Design Styles." Add it to your reading list and embark on a personalized journey to discover your own unique style. If you've already explored the various styles and need assistance in finding your perfect fit, reach out to us today, and let us assist you. Start your design adventure now!


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