How to Design a Fabulous Transitional Kitchen

Transitional Kitchen Design

As many custom kitchen designers will tell you, transitional kitchen design is almost impossible to define. But this lack of a clear definition is the whole point. Transitional design can’t quite be pinned down to an exact style, nor can the tastes of those who covet it. But it’s currently the most popular kitchen style.

According to The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), the transitional kitchen design was the most popular style in 2019 kitchen design trends. This popular contemporary style accounted for 65% of kitchens designed in 2019.

According to Tricia Zach, Market Research Analyst at the NKBA, this accounts for more than double the kitchens that were traditional, contemporary, or farmhouse. Looking across the nation, transitional is definitely in.

But my colleagues and I are seeing the same trend here in Austin. A good majority of the families I renovated for ended up doing a transitional kitchen interior design and build project.

Having been building and designing custom kitchens in the Austin, Texas area since 2006, I’m happy to show you what I’ve learned about creating a highly functional and breathtaking transitional kitchen along the way.

Mastering the nuances of the transitional kitchen style is confusing at first, but after I contradict myself a few times, I think you’ll start to get it! It might be easier to list a few things that transitional kitchens are not.

“Old Fashioned,” is one of them. Although transitional kitchens might incorporate some traditional design elements, they also focus on modern functionality and ingenuity.


Project 17 | Kitchen IMG 1

Transition From Old To New

Transitional kitchen design offers an eclectic blending of many straightforward styles to come up with something new that’s doesn’t quite follow the rules. But this also means that to do it well, it’ll take a veteran interior designer to execute a tasteful design. 

A transitional kitchen can be described as somewhere in the middle – a transition between traditional kitchen design and modern kitchen design. This modern yet classic kitchen style is growing more and more popular every day. 

So, how can you get the transitional design you desire for your kitchen? Here are some awesome tips from our kitchen design experts, who have specialized in designing and building in the Austin, Texas area since 2006.

Transitional Kitchen Design Materials

Transitional kitchen design allows you to blend kitchen styles and materials innovatively and creatively. Many straightforward designs feature either wood or stainless steel, but Transitional design often spotlights them both creating a breathtaking contrast.  

 As you can see in our transitional kitchen design projects, many different combinations of materials can be used — wood, tile, steel, or concrete — to create a look that is layered in its style and composition. 

Work with a skilled design team and think about how you can showcase different elements, even those that wouldn’t traditionally be in the kitchen, into your new transitional kitchen design. Chalkboard surfaces, for example, are trending as a fun way for families to share messages or make lists.

Sleek Transitional Kitchen Cabinets

Sleek cabinetry defines your transitional kitchen design, but you can’ be too elegant. Otherwise, you achieve more of a modern aesthetic. It’s a balancing act because you want your cabinetry to lean towards modern, but don’t go excessively modern.

Spicewood Springs Kitchen Renovation | IMG 9
Spicewood Springs Kitchen Renovation | IMG 3

Custom kitchen designers typically recommend the cabinetry design to be subtle. Now, this is getting confusing, right! Good. I think you are starting to get it.

Design cabinetry without the intricate features that characterize traditional to keep the cabinets from being too apparent. Avoid overusing lacquer or glass for the cabinets. You can add modern style elements, but be subtle or use a traditional material like wood.

You get to switch up how you use common kitchen building materials, such as tile, concrete, cork, and wood. Be creative. For example, concrete is a popular new trend kitchen countertops, although it also has other applications. 

Think outside of the box and challenge your designer. For example, instead of using a traditional countertop and tile backsplash, a wooden countertop and concrete backsplash could give you a unique transitional kitchen design.

Color Palette & Visual Intrigue

Sure, the kitchen cabinets are usually low-key featuring neutral color schemes, but transitional kitchens are not dull. A savvy interior designer is sure to use focal points, splashes of color, and varied textures to create a layered and visually intriguing design. 

When done well, you achieve a harmonious and cohesive space by creatively mixing focal points, colors, and textures and being innovative with building materials. That’s why the transitional style is ideal for the creative and adventurous types who also love modern luxuries and technology.  

Invest in your design. It can take some trial and error to finalize a transitional kitchen design that’s breathtaking and original. Have a gander at our projects to learn more about this modern-meets-traditional kitchen style.

New Meets Old Design Elements

At its core, transitional design involves combining elements of modern and traditional design to create a new twist, an “in transition” style. 

This could involve, for example, combining the antiques with modern technology, or pairing an old traditional table with modern chairs.

Perhaps, the most appealing attribute of transitional kitchen design is that your only limitation is your imagination!

Have a peek at our portfolio to view some of our transitional designs along with other trending contemporary home remodeling styles. 

Do Not Be Afraid!

The advantage of a transitional-style kitchen is that you be creative and personalize your design. Don’t be overly concerned about how things “should” be. Just go for it. Design your dream kitchen, a room that is both inspiring to you and highly functional at the same time. By trusting your instincts and following through, you can design a stunning custom kitchen that suits your needs and while adding a splash of style that fits your personality.

The key to the transitional design is to combine styles and eras in your fixtures eclectically. Take the basics of one style and infuse the building materials of another style to mix different looks into a transitional kitchen space tastefully. 

Traditional style furniture built from modern materials, for example, or substituting a stainless steel sink in place of a country farmhouse style allows you to incorporate different looks into your transitional kitchen design. 

Mixing ideas and inventing new approaches is integral to coming up with a transitional design. So don’t be afraid and reach out to our New Creations Austin Design Team should you need more inspiration.

Years Remodeling Austin, Texas

+Austin Area Homes Remodeled

+ Glowing Five-Star Reviews

#1 Home Remodeling Contractor Since 2006

Get Our Newsletter

Learn the insider remodeling secrets NO CONTRACTOR wants you to know and participate in bonus offers and NC GIVEAWAYS!

Get Our Newsletter!

Join our mailing list for FREE GIVEAWAYS and to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!