Is a transitional kitchen design right for your home?

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If you’re having trouble settling on one defined kitchen design idea, you may want to consider a transitional design. Transitional kitchens are a mix between modern and traditional layouts, with warm design elements and strong contemporary features, like wood floors and cabinets with stainless-steel appliances and stone countertops.

Because the definition of a transitional kitchen is looser than other design styles, it allows you to be creative and build a truly customized kitchen design that will function as you need and look great doing it.

While transitional kitchen designs allow plenty of room for personalization, Alure Home Improvements’ kitchen and bathroom design expert Blythe Tract recommended a few design elements that can help this hybrid old-new design come to life and last for years.

Transitional kitchens are comfortable, warm alternatives to modern designs.
Transitional kitchens are comfortable, warm alternatives to modern designs.

Use quartz, not marble 
Stone is popular for island surfaces and countertops in transitional kitchens. It bridges the divide between traditional and modern with a sharp, clean, contemporary look that still looks natural and works well with wood.

One of the more popular options has become Carrara marble. However, Tract advised homeowners against picking this surface because it isn’t durable.

“Marble is very porous, so it’s not conducive to use in the kitchen,” Tract said in an interview. “Instead, try a quartz countertop that mimics the look but provides much more durability.”

With quartz, homeowners can get the exact stone look that they want without having to worry about stains, heat damage or knife scratches. And, unlike with granite, you never have to seal quartz after it’s installed.

Take advantage of subway tiles for your backsplash
Although named for the New York City subway system, these tiles are far more beautiful than any MTA station you’re bound to see. Neutral-colored small, rectangular subway tiles can be laid like bricks to form a stylish backsplash that will make your kitchen look clean, new and comfortable. It’s a popular transitional element that can play well with your stone counters and stainless-steel appliances or sinks.

Subway tile can add texture and color to your kitchen.
Subway tile can add texture and color to your kitchen.

Keep it neutral 
Like the tiles, you may want to keep your overall color scheme simple and muted. Neutral whites, grays, blues, greens, yellows and browns on the walls, cabinets and curtains help create a welcoming kitchen. Bolder color schemes in a transitional kitchen may be overwhelming because of the mix of materials that already defines this style.

Focus on steel appliances, wood floors and simple cabinets 
What makes a transitional kitchen special is the combination of different design elements and materials that work together in harmony. Work with your designer to decide what types of flooring, cabinets and appliances you want to add during your renovation or remodeling process, but a good rule to keep in mind is dark hardwood floors, elegantly simple cabinets and modern stainless-steel appliances.

“A transitional kitchen will never seem out of place,” Tract said.

Often, transitional kitchens have unique kitchen appliances for people who love to cook or bake, such as pot fillers above the stove, wall ovens, range hoods or stovetops in the kitchen island.

Add yourself 
Make your new kitchen your own. Talk with your designer about adding any artwork, design ideas or functional elements that you want in your home. As Tract reminded homeowners, there’s no bad place for a transitional kitchen – it can fit any person, any home.

“A transitional kitchen will never seem out of place in a house, no matter what style of home you live in,” she said. “It’s a mix of traditional and contemporary, so it works well with everything.”

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