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He likes crisp, clean, contemporary design lines, but she has a cherished oak hoosier from her grandmother’s house that she absolutely must have in her kitchen, Or she prefers decorating in neutral shades, while he loves bold colors. In either case, it sounds like trouble! So, how can a redecorating project take place without it turning into a series of squabbles? Simple: embrace the transitional philosophy!

Benefits of Transitional Style

Transitional decorating does not fit into any one style, instead mixing and matching traditional and contemporary elements in interesting ways. Benefits include:

1. It’s a great way to compromise when people have different tastes.
2. It allows you to update your kitchen without having to start from scratch; you might keep the flooring, for example, while upgrading counters and cabinets.
3. It permits you to update your kitchen as budget allows.
4. It allows you to use “found” items, whether that means something discovered at an auction or something you unexpectedly inherit.
5. It creates a kitchen that is uniquely yours, with no cookie cutter design.
6. You just like breaking the rules!

Ideas to Consider

Let’s say that you want to combine traditional style elements with contemporary ones. To create a cohesive design, overall suggestions include using an overriding color scheme, or common design lines – or textural similarities. As a more specific example, you could choose the more traditional wood for drawers and cabinets, but use sleekly modern handles and knobs.

One person loves neutrals, while the other adores bold color? Consider using black, whites and/or grays for the majority of the kitchen, with a focal point in red, electric blue or other dramatic color.

Or, mix natural materials with man-made ones. This can be done subtly for an understated look, or boldly for a funky, eclectic punch. If you’re going the transitional route to blend the tastes of the two decision makers of your household, then we recommend starting out with a subtle approach. If you find you have a higher level of comfort with mixing and matching of styles than you’d expected, then you can always continue to push the envelope through additional decorative touches.

Here’s another suggestion. Keep some cabinets (perhaps the lower ones) in natural wood, while painting or staining others (the upper ones, for example). Piece of advice: if you’re going to mix and match – say, two woods – make sure that enough contrast exists. If they are too similar in color and/or appearance, it may just look as though you made a mistake in ordering materials.

Possibilities are limited only by your imagination and creativity, and your willingness to do something new and different. Just have fun!

By Russ Gittle, http://www.totalkitchenoutfitters.com Russ Gittle is the president of Total Kitchen Outfitters, and his team of professionals create custom kitchens, partnering with some of the industries’ finest suppliers to give you a wide array of styles and materials. In the past 20 years+, they have worked on more than 25,000 kitchens for homeowners, landlords, and contractors/builders.