What is a Transitional Kitchen?

What is a Transitional Kitchen?

Posted by Jackline Mukami | November 1, 2019 | Blog

Transitional is the most popular kitchen design in the recent months. Why are transitional kitchens so popular? And, perhaps more importantly, would this style fit your design aesthetic?

Read on as we explain the features that define a transitional kitchen

Clean and relaxed

Transitional design offers the best of both worlds, blending the textures of traditional with the sleekness of contemporary design. For kitchens, think geometric, clean and practical lines for the countertops, cabinetry, crown molding, and other crafted elements.

Non-fussy is a key element of transitional kitchens. Never should you include corbels or ornate appliques or other heavily decorative features typical of traditional kitchens.


White kitchens with stainless steel appliances are still king — with frequently contrasting island and perimeter cabinetry. Also, expect to find fully-integrated French-door refrigerators in transitional kitchens.

Designers have predicted there will either be an induction cooktop along with a wall oven and microwave, or a dual-fuel or gas range. Updraft hoods and standard-door dishwashers are other staples in this design.

Countertops and backsplashes

Marble countertops and even marble backsplashes work beautifully for transitional kitchens. Other popular features that define transitional kitchens include quartz and quartzite. Designers say countertops are thick (1¼ inch) and are either traditional or they have waterfall edges.

Subway tile for backsplashes is still a favorite, but mosaics and glass tile in a variety of sizes work great, too.

Sinks and faucets

Popular sink styles among designers include stainless steel single bowl or apron sinks.

Among faucets, brushed stainless steel finishes reign; matte, polished or satin finishes are also popular. However, there is no preference regarding faucet functionality. Designers are selecting faucets that are motion-controlled, touch or even manual.


Since transitional kitchens often open to the living area, designers are opting for smooth features that blend in. What’s more, they often aim to achieve a light and airy effect.

Designers report using clean colors such as whites, grays, beiges, bones, and blues. Those are good choices for now — and when homeowners decide to sell since neutral colors appeal to buyers.


In transitional kitchens, cabinets are usually a light or medium color in painted wood, wood grain or mixed materials. Designers tend to use integrated storage with recessed panels, and doors are not as prevalent as drawers. Matte decorative hardware or integrated hardware are also traits of this design style.

Flooring and lighting

The flooring can be either tile or wood, typically high gloss, but it doesn’t have to be. Designers are using both hardwood and engineered wood plank, continuing the debate on using hardwood floors in kitchens and bathrooms.

Designers are incorporating a variety of lighting options in transitional kitchens. This includes recessed lights and pendants and dimmer and traditional switches.

Under-cabinet lighting and interior cabinet lighting are also features of this kitchen style. And designers are more frequently adding motion sensors and keypads.

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