In an age of Houzz and Pinterest, an unprecedented online buzz on both contemporary and traditional home design has inspired an openness to merging two distinctly different styles.
Inevitably, savvy homeowners tend to think, “I like parts of both.”
Welcome to the transitional home.
This fast-growing movement pays homage to contemporary and traditional home styles. For a home builder, it means a bet placed on constructing either style is a winning one. A transitional-minded home buyer is apt to transform any home style with tasteful, restrained elements of whatever suits them, traditional or contemporary. The effect? A pleasing hybrid look that is fresh, familiar, and uniquely tailored to the owner.
“If Goldilocks were decorating a house,” says long-time Houzz contributor Lisa Frederick, “transitional style would check all of her ‘just right’ boxes: not too cold, not too formal, not too fussy.”
Home builder Robert Elliott, owner of Robert Elliott Custom Homes of Dallas, Texas, says transitional “allows people that have historically been traditional to have a little bit of fun and experiment with some modern/contemporary finishes.”
Beyond Interior Furnishings
The transitional concept goes just beyond furniture and décor. It also marries traditional and contemporary architecture, finishes, and materials.
For example, a contemporary home might be expected to showcase large glass expanses to convey a sleek, light-infused interior. A transitional home can be just as likely to include big glass. But it might welcome nature with oversized double-hung windows instead of large casement or picture windows.
One person who has observed the transitional movement up-close is Christine Marvin. Marvin, director of corporate strategy for Marvin Windows and Doors, says the trend defies a generational bias. “It spans all age groups,” Marvin says. “A lot of homes I’m seeing might be someone’s second or their ‘forever’ home. One older couple I know loves Scandinavian design. But they also like wood and big glass with homey, rounded-corner furniture and traditional rugs. It’s what they like. It’s very simplistic, uncluttered, warm, and livable.”
The Beauty of Choice
Marvin says the buzz and floor traffic surrounding big glass displays at this year’s International Builders’ Show (IBS) is another example of a surging trend. “We had a contemporary studio collection at IBS,” Marvin observes. “These windows are specified for transitional design because traditional furniture and décor softens the look. You pick what resonates. That’s the beauty of transitional design.”
The good news for home builders is transitional styling checks all the boxes. The builder is free to recommend the best elements of contemporary and traditional home styling without sacrificing project aesthetics, value, and quality.
As Marvin says, “Home buyers find inspiration everywhere. It’s a different conversation today.”
This article originally appeared on Builder.com.