The National Kitchen + Bath Association's 2019 Design Trends Report identifies Transitional as the most popular style for bathrooms and kitchens in the United States. They're predicting no significant changes on that front in the next 3 to 5 years, so this may be a good time to familiarize yourself with the transitional look and its signature features.
Most of us have no trouble intuitively understanding aesthetic directions associated with the Traditional style, but what about Transitional? What's being transitioned from where and to where?
Those are valid questions, given that the transitional style is defined better by what it isn't, rather than what it is. Generally, in the realm of interior design, transitional refers to stylistic characteristics that fall between traditional and modern. This is often complicated by people using terms "modern" and "contemporary" interchangeably, which isn't the case.
In its essence, Transitional style is intended to create a warm comfortable feeling through its accent on clean curvy lines fused with a limited set of decorative aspects; it's not as sleek or sterile as modern aesthetics, and not as ornamental as traditional styles.
Traditional interiors use classic principles of design, such as symmetry, and intricate architectural details to complement a neutral color palette. Natural materials such as wood and marble often dominate traditional kitchens where curved accessories reiterate the style.
Transitional design borrows key characteristics from traditional design, and from modern – to yield a fresh fusion of aesthetics and function. There is molding, but not excessive; cabinet hardware and bathroom fixtures are edgy, curvy, or rectilinear. Whereas in traditional styles the cabinetry, hardware and accessories are more decorative. Undermount sinks and brushed nickel finishes are also a staple of Transitional style.