What is transitional style? If you love vintage finds and family heirlooms and well-loved furniture then this is the post for you and your transitional style self.
Welcome to Style Week day 4
Today is all about eclectic. It’s all about filling a home with the things that you love that may or may not fit together, but somehow they all work because they are wonderfully, creatively, uniquely you.
Welcome to transitional style.
Transitional style is a little of everything. It’s furniture from your mother and quilts from your grandmother and a chair you rescued from the side of the road and an entire closet full of board games that your family has played for years.
A home full of transitional style is a home filled with all the things you love.
When you walk into a transitional style home you know it’s a home that’s well-loved.
Let’s discuss transitional style and all the things that make it tick.
If this is your first day with us, I wrote a book all about style and how to find it called The DIY Style Finder. We traveled all over the country photographing different houses with different styles—like this amazing living room space from my friend Laura from Finding Home Farms. I thought it might be fun if we took a style a day and talked about it and how to create it and what you can buy to get it and how it looks in pictures.
I wanted to feature some of the pictures from her home that we took.
Especially all the photos that didn’t make the book.
Are you ready to talk transitional style?
Elements of transitional style
When we start discussing transitional style we throw out the decorating rule book.
(total aside: I love breaking rules—especially ones that start with decorating)
We have to toss the rule book, we can’t help it—because if your home is about transitional style, it’s really all about you and the things that you love.
Here are a few of my favorite elements of transitional style:
- family antiques (not ones you bought at a fancy antique store)
- repurposed anything
- framed artwork (where you’ve met the artist)
- reclaimed wood from your family’s farm
- accessories with history
- vintage metal pieces
- family crest
- oversized baskets
- cutting boards from your grandmother
- slipcovered chairs
Transitional style is all about celebrating history
(total aside: aren’t these pictures beautiful? These are some of the ones that we didn’t include in the book)
If your grandmother offers you her china and you say no? This might not be the style for you. If you take your dad’s ties and turn them into a pillow for your mother’s sister’s best family friend’s wood bench? Pull up a seat. I’ll get you some sweet tea.
Transitional style is all about taking history and introducing it to 2019.
Here are a few ways to repurpose history:
- frame a piece of history (like your grandfather’s fishing lures)
- make picture frames with wood from your family’s farm
- create a shelf from an old drawer
- decorate with accessories that used to be part of everyday life (like shoe forms or game pieces or glass floral frogs or
- make a bench from an old door
- layer old picture frames on a mantel
- make a wreath out of family pictures
- take pieces of molding and create word blocks
- use vintage dishes as organizers
- take old letters and make a book
Transitional style is all about using what you have
If you take nothing else away from this intense discussion on transitional and all its style, remember this—transitional style isn’t matchy matchy. It’s a look, a feeling, a warm and welcoming decor style that evolves over time. And sometimes? It’s about using what you have in a new way. It’s about shopping your house (or your mother’s house or your grandmother’s house) and changing it up a little and seeing things in a new light.
Here are a few suggestions on ideas for shopping your house to create a new look
- Pull all the dishes out of the cupboard in your kitchen and decorate with them. Don’t be dish shy. Put them in your hutch or stack them on your counter or fill a bowl with fruit and put it on the kitchen island.
- Switch out the pillows on the sofa in your family room. Find pillows from another room (or your mother’s house) and introduce them to some new friends.
- Layer a rug on top of the rug you have. Here’s an example of a room where I did this.
- Switch out baskets from other rooms, too and put pillows and blankets in them for fall.
- Add a basket at the top of the stairs for last minute items that need to travel from one floor to another.
- Rework the vignette on your coffee table.
- Make an end table out of stacked books.
- Take everything off your bookcase and re-stack it.
Add a transitional paint color
One of the easiest ways to add a little transitional style to a space is with paint. You can transform a room in a weekend with a new coat of paint in a traditional color. When choosing a paint color for your space, think of color. Layer in color with painted furniture and painted floors and painted rooms.
Here are some of my favorite transitional paint colors:
- SW Coral Reef (literally this color is SO PRETTY)
- SW Naval (perfect for dark, moody spaces
- SW Sunny Veranda (this color will make you smile)
- SW Spangle (a fun violet)
- SW Sandbar (the perfect neutral for all that color)
- SW Alabaster (the best white to layer in color with)
Don’t toss it
If you are a transitional decorator never toss something without looking at it twice. I’m all about saving the planet (and the stuff that’s broken). There’s just a little piece of my heart that goes out to something that’s lived it’s best life and now it’s sad and a little neglected. I want to encourage it. I want to lift it up. I want to clean it up and dust it off.
And decorate with it.
(total aside: this is one of the best ways to save decorating money that I know of)
Here are some ideas for re-decorating with something that you (or someone you love) was about to throw away.
- Ladders–we recently were about to throw a ladder that was part of a broken attic pull-down. But instead? I repurposed it into a one-of-a-kind piece. You can read its story here.
- Architectural remnants–when I say remnant, I just mean something that was part of something else. Sometimes you don’t even know what it was a part of. It doesn’t matter. Just hang it up on the wall and it becomes art.
- Make a shelf–take an old piece of reclaimed wood and make a shelf. It looks so much cuter than a shelf you buy at the store. If you are lucky enough to find beams that someone is discarding or tossing, they make perfect mantels.
- Chalkboard—one of my best tips is to take something that’s destined for the trash and put a chalkboard inside it. I’ve done this with windows and frames and even a vintage pool cue hanger.
- Furniture–don’t overlook a piece of furniture that someone is throwing away. Sometimes you can save parts of it—like the doors. Here’s one of my favorite doors that I ever saved.
Here are a few transitional style accessories to help you get the look
Click on the links to shop
If you are all about transitional I celebrate you and your wonderful style.
You are a scrabble player.
You are a family dinner hoster.
You are vintage furniture and quilts and screen porches and framed photos and reclaimed family anything and you have the best laugh.
I love your style.
Let’s be friends. 🙂
PS Be sure and check out the rest of the styles and how to get them in my new book, The DIY Style Finder.