Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Sebring Design Build

Transitional kitchen designs can help bring your unique ideas to life in an elegant way. This style allows you to blend traditional and contemporary looks without the fear of creating an unsavory contrast. Instead, the designs, colors, and textures come together to inspire earth-colored beauty and uplift your personal style.

Do you ever wish that you could design a kitchen that incorporated a few of your favorite elements, rather than trying to fit your kitchen into a predetermined style? Are you remodeling your kitchen, and you can’t decide between a masculine or a feminine touch? Do you want something both practical and creative?  Then these transitional kitchen designs are perfect for you!

There is no doubt how a well-designed kitchen can be truly impactful in comparison to the rest of the home. Our experts want to give you the best information possible to understand the benefits and characteristics of transitional kitchen designs.

Finding Inspiration

If you’re stuck in a rut when trying to decide what design direction to go with for your new kitchen, this image-based guide may be able to nudge you in the right direction. You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for inspiration about how to pull off a successful transitional kitchen design. Follow our simple guide to learn more about the typical elements of a transitional kitchen, as well as some creative transitional kitchen ideas to give your kitchen a practical edge.

While transitional kitchens are meant to spark creativity, keep in mind that not all elements can blend well together. Remodeling a kitchen in a transitional style can be fun, especially considering that no two transitional kitchen designs look alike. However, some of the basic elements that make up a transitional kitchen must be followed to give you the best confidence in pulling it off. Read on to learn about the variety of ways that you can create a new kitchen masterpiece – and don’t worry, you won’t have to break the bank to achieve the perfect look!

Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love

Transitional Kitchen Designs

A transitional kitchen incorporates some elements of modern kitchens and some elements of traditional kitchens. It is not one or the other, but rather a blend of many things.

Another important thing to know is that the entire kitchen does not have to be transitional; instead, you can compromise with transitional cabinets while giving the rest of the kitchen a contemporary feel. That way, you won’t have to feel like you are risking your budget on a remodeling project that might fail.

By learning about the basic makeup of transitional kitchen designs, you can get a better idea of what styles and design elements will work well together. There’s plenty of room to be creative, so you don’t have to decide between practical and stylish!

The Elements of Transitional Kitchen Designs

There are several elements that will typically comprise a transitional kitchen design. While you don’t have to include all of these elements, and while you may choose to incorporate designs that are not stated on this list, it’s important to remember that these are the basic concepts that typically provide the framework for a sophisticated and beautiful transitional kitchen. Follow the images below for visual inspiration on the transitional kitchen trend.

Elements of transitional kitchens include:

  • Geometric, clean, and practical lines in countertops, cabinetry, crown molding, and other crafted elements
  • Industrial lighting throughout
  • Traditional lighting fixtures on the ceiling or above the countertops
  • Simple cabinetry styles, such as a Shaker style or a cabinet with a stained or painted finish
  • A blend of natural and man-made materials, usually in earth tones
  • Neutral and natural colors, reflecting a bold yet friendly palette
  • Very little decoration on the walls or moldings themselves

The beauty of transitional kitchen cabinets is that they don’t need to make a large visual impact. Instead, you should aim for your cabinets to blend in with the rest of the scenery, resembling a natural, earthy structure. That way, other elements of the kitchen, such as the stone countertops or smooth black tiles, will be the star of the show, creating a blend of elegance and classic appeal.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Coddington Design

Pretty, classic and clean. Love the pendant lighting.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Home & Design Magazine Naples

Beautiful Florida transitional kitchen.  Light, airy colors and features.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Olson Lewis + Architects

Such a great island–the doors with the little window detail is so unique.  The “bubble” lighting is so fun.   The aqua/turquoise accessories add pretty pops of color. 


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Pegasus Builders, Inc.

Cabinetry layout provides so much great storage.  The gray and dark cabinetry choices are so warm, rich and welcoming.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Borchert Kitchen & Bath

The red island adds an exciting focal point in this transitional kitchen.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
USI Design & Remodeling

Wonderful contrast of white and licorice cabinetry.  The beautiful gray veneer stone wall and hand scraped flooring add warmth to the room.  The pendants bring some great sparkling bling.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Laura U, Inc.

Screams glamorous and is definitely eye-catching.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Sebring Design Build

Naperville transitional kitchen designs.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Sebring Design Build

Remarkable open floor plan transitional kitchen designs.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
New England Design Elements

A little coastal, a little transitional rolled up in one.  Love the blue/gray island and basket style lighting.  Looks like a great kitchen to prepare meals and entertain.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Five Star Interiors

This elegant kitchen features Sucuri granite.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
USI Design & Remodeling

Another view of this impressive kitchen.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
J Cohler Mason Design

Make sure to take note of the stunning backsplash tile.   The thick profile of the island cabinetry along with solid hardware completes this impressive kitchen.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Sebring Design Build

These homeowners are so lucky that there is so much space in this kitchen to allow them to still have plenty of storage plus have that great wall of windows which brings in so much light.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Tim Lenz Photography

Many unique features make up this transitional kitchen in New York.  The turquoise windows are something you don’t see every day but add something fresh to the room.  Substantial light fixtures and cabinet hardware are something to definitely take note of.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Concept Builders, Inc.

The ceiling in this expansive Seattle kitchen is just remarkable.   Love the lighting and backsplash tile too.  Nice focal tile pattern over the stove.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Santa I Contracting Corp

What a pretty kitchen–so fresh and bright!


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Sebring Design Build

Lots of well-designed storage and beautiful backsplash tile in this welcoming transitional kitchen.


Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love
Robert Paige Cabinetry LLC

A little bit country, a little bit transitional.  Rich woods and deep warm colors make this the perfect kitchen to share a meal, snack and/or conversation–screams “comfort”.

Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love

Contemporary Vs. Modern. Vs. Transitional Kitchen Designs

There are a few elements that make transitional kitchens unique when compared to contemporary or modern styled kitchen. Learning how to identify the signs of uniqueness within a new or newly remodeled kitchen can help you understand what kind of style you truly want to aim for.

Contemporary vs. Transitional:

A contemporary kitchen is defined by sleek lines and the dominance of wood or stone. An example of a contemporary kitchen would be a design with wooden floors, wooden cabinetry, and wooden craftsmanship all throughout. There may be a granite or marble countertop with low-hanging lighting to give it a high-end feel.

Transitional kitchens differ in that they will take partial inspiration from contemporary designs, but will not fully see it through. For example, when designing a transitional kitchen you may choose to keep the wooden floors and low-hanging lights, but you may want to have stained cabinets and stone countertops instead, to make a unique sense of creativity really pop.

Modern vs. Transitional:

A modern kitchen is all about size. You will find that most elements of a modern kitchen are large: Large cabinetry doors, large round handles, a large island, large archways over the entry, and so on. Traditional lighting fixtures and almost 100% natural materials are sure signs that you are looking at a modern kitchen.

You are free to incorporate as many of these bold modern designs as you wish with a transitional kitchen, but you are also free to include elements of a contemporary kitchen as well. This is your time to spice it up, using different styles and creative elements to make your kitchen one-of-a-kind.

Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love

Roberta Wilson – Contemporary

Transitional Kitchen Designs You Will Absolutely Love

Revision LLC  – Traditional

Sebring Design Build – Transitional Kitchen Designs

10 Transitional Kitchen Elements

That means it isn’t one style or another, it means whatever you want where you want it, and it means pretty much anything goes. We’ve compiled for your consideration 10 elements of a transitional style kitchen. We hope you find your picture here. 1

One:  Flooring

No new build includes highly glossed wood floors in the kitchen. However, they are trending now, but it doesn’t fit your picture.  Transitioning style means you could place textured stone tiles on part of the floor with hardwood in another location or perhaps enclose the hardwood in a circle. Vice-versa would work, too. It means you might have marble tiles combined with granite tiles in a nice pattern. It’s your floor; what you want goes!

Two:  Lighting

Common sense dictates plentiful lighting in the kitchen. Kids doing homework at the kitchen table or on the island, cooks prepping foods and everyone checking the pots and pans on the stove need good light to see these things. As a result, most everyone uses cans for ambient lighting in addition to pendant lights for tasks. If you want transitional lighting, carve floor to ceiling windows in a wall for natural light,  place flush-mount ceiling fixtures in a half-dozen places and place hidden lighting under the cabinets, atop the fridge, around the moldings and in whimsical places only you could locate.

Three:  Furnishings

You’ve inherited your great-grandmother’s behemoth stainless steel stove with the six eyes, double oven and backsplash with shelves. You’ve always loved it, but it doesn’t match anything in this modern age. So what? This is your transitional kitchen, so mix and match it with an island sporting farmhouse legs, a traditional or even modern set of cabinets along with contemporary table and chairs for a truly transitional look.

Four:  Backsplashes

Backsplashes can be made of tin, glass, tile, stone, granite and much more. Mosaic tile is trending now, but subway tile and glass tile is quite popular. Herringbone, brick-lay, mini-mosaic, continuing the counter top pattern upward with the tiles, along with custom designs in glass tiles are among the many choices you have in backsplashes. Glass can be interspersed with granite or stone tiles, the size of the tiles can be accented with mini-mosaic tiles; the possibilities are endless!

Five:  Ceilings

Ceilings are worth more than just being a repository for pendant lighting and cans. They often give a kitchen that wow! factor. Instead of flooring the kitchen in rich dark wood, place it on the ceiling. Use milled lumber stained the color you like to create a cathedral ceiling in the kitchen. Cut a couple skylights in the ceiling for a different look. Suspend a rack from the ceiling to hold copper pots. For a truly transitional kitchen, intersperse your task lighting with chandeliers in whimsical shapes (wagon wheel, sea-serpent, ship in full sail, or a skull and crossbones are just a few ideas of what’s available).

Six:  Cabinetry

Trending now is stark white, what seems like fifty shades of gray and natural wood colors in cabinetry. What is transitional about it is often the hardware. Jazz up traditional wood cabinetry with glass farmhouse knobs. If you paint your cabinets instead of going with natural woods, then you could use contemporary hardware for a crisp look. Combining traditional cabinets with cabinets sporting glass in usually the upper portion of the cabinet gives a kitchen a transitional look. The glass portion is usually used to give the kitchen a pop of color using gaily colored stoneware, glassware or collectibles.

Seven:  Countertops

Do you miss the butcher-block counter tops of your youth? Do you prefer restaurant-quality stainless steel for your prep? Would quartz countertops suit you better? Again, the possibilities are endless. If you prep your meals on the island instead of the counter by your great-grandmother’s stove, perhaps a stainless steel counter top to match the stove would be an idea. You could use for the other counters any natural material you prefer in colors that contrast the backsplash, the cabinets or the floors or to complement them.

Eight:  Accents

Mixing and matching makes a transitional kitchen, well, transitional. The use of recycled materials often brings character to the transitional kitchen. For example, using barn door hardware has been quite popular for the last few years. Framing windows and doors using barn door wood leads the eye from the past to the modern or whimsical present in cabinetry, counter tops and furnishings. Corbelling part of a wall, using moldings as frames for the cabinets and wrought-iron touches in unexpected places add up to a stunning transitional kitchen.

Nine:  The Sink

Tired of the same-old, same-old in kitchen sinks? Why not find a farmhouse sink in ceramic or stone, have it refinished and under-mounted in your transitional kitchen? For a modern touch, install contemporary hardware such as sensory faucets. Remember your grandmother’s ceramic sink with built-in drain board? Add a swan-neck faucet and sprayer to it and you have a transitional look.

Ten:  Additional Touches

Kitchens are generally neutral. Any pops of color come from baskets of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, bottles of vinegar holding red and orange peppers or vases full of vibrantly colored flowers. The focus of the kitchen should rightly be the food, so keeping pops of color to a minimum would keep the focus where it belongs. However, some personality is necessary, even in the kitchen. If the walls have space for paintings or the counters have room for small appliances covered in vintage-colored covers, then you have pops of color to keep people interested until the food is ready.

Transition into the Kitchen of Your Dreams!

Transitional kitchens are an inspiring trend that allows you total creative freedom over your remodeling projects. Your kitchen deserves the best in beauty, elegance, and design, while still retaining all the practicality and functionality that a full kitchen deserves. By understanding the basic elements of a transitional kitchen, and by discovering which designs blend together in harmony, you can create a fantastic kitchen with endearing cabinets and a sprawling, earthy feel. Use your creativity, budget, and favorite materials to bring a royal idea to life!

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