What is Transitional Furniture?

Every season, it seems like the décor industry breaks into a flurry of newness that signals not only new looks and palettes, but also the pending shrinkage of your bank account. Decorating for seasonal trends is like throwing your money into a well. It might be a gorgeous well, but it’s still a hole.

If you’re financially savvy, but fashion forward, there are ways to overcome the fad-cash-drain. Transitional furniture straddles the line between contemporary and timeless aesthetics so that your brand new look doesn’t grow tired with the passage of time. By combining classic lines, moderate tones, and subtle accents, the trendy features of your new look won’t become fatally unfashionable as soon as the next season starts.


Transitional furniture balances feminine and masculine elements so that winter’s switch doesn’t turn your stylish investment into bonfire material. Materials balance tone in the same way. You’ll want the majority of your room to be in a neutral tone so that you can change your decorative accents with the seasons. Your wood will be muted, but not dark, and your materials will be timeless. To some, a blend of metal, wood, and glass is more transitional than each material on its own, but combined fabrications can often look more faddish, so exercise caution.

Fabrics and Upholstery

Microfiber, linen, and cotton are wonderful transitional fabrics for window treatments. Houzz loves velvet, damask, and texturized microfiber as transitional upholstery choices. Rugs and carpets can be muted or blend classic prints with bold colors. That said, your rugs can reinvent your room economically, so you might want to keep them contemporary.

When you blend too many paint colors, your tone becomes muddy, and the same principle applies to transitional décor. Don’t combine so many different looks that your room feels heavy and murky. The idea is simply to anchor your rooms in furniture that boasts the best of both worlds: old and new, winter and summer, dark and light. This way, your furniture will make you proud through all the seasonal whims and fluctuations in personal style.