Sage Outdoor Designs » landscape design

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What does Transitional mean, anyway?

I was teaching a course recently with a section about Architectural Styles, and the Transitional Style came up. It is a style that has been showing up now for at least five years, and I am starting to see even my more conservative clients attracted to it for its sophistication and livability. The shortest definition is that it is a melding of traditional and contemporary styles, but I think that could result in quite a few looks, and the Transitional style is more predictable than that. A few typical characteristics:

  • predominance of light neutral colors including beige, silver/grey, white, and cream
  • carefully chosen accessories, often highly traditional
  • distinct, sometimes Moroccan inspired patterns
  • gentle accent colors such as mustard yellow or a variety of blues
  • clean spare lines
  • interesting textures from very smooth/refined to very rough/rustic
  • a willingness to pair good design details from a variety of styles or eras

In my mind, I can’t help thinking that Transitional is what Post-Modern should have been: a clean feel that is definitely very “now” but with plenty of richness and reminiscence to remind us all of “home”.