inspiration3 min read

5 ways to achieve the transitional look in your living room

A transitional living room

WordsMegan Lambert


In essence, transitional decor is all about "the art of mixing": bringing in those dependable elements of traditional decor combined with modern decor's sleek and luxurious finish. It could be just the ticket if you're looking for a stylish yet practical living room. Incorporating old and new, masculine and feminine, sleek and relaxed, and light and dark neutrals, the transitional decor trend will give your living room a feeling of balance. Here's how.

Transitional living room idea: neutral palette with pops of colour

In keeping with the contemporary decor trend, transitional decor focuses on a primarily neutral color palette but can include pops of color to create warmth or visual interest. Our neutral paint color palette designed in collaboration with Kelly  Hoppen is a winning combination in the living room. It's soothing, grounding, yet totally grown-up for a style that's lived-in whilst feeling unmistakably luxurious.  Alternatively, something you see a lot of in transitional living rooms is a striking piece of colorful abstract art that stands out against a pared-back neutral backdrop. 

Find out how to style these timeless neutral paint colors in your home.

Transitional living room idea: comfortable, functional furnishings

Another detail you'll notice in transitional decor living rooms is furniture grouped together to create little zones. It might be a reading nook, a low slung table with a chess set and two comfy armchairs on either side, or a cosy corner by a fireplace. Large sofas and capacious accent chairs make the room feel intimate and lived in. Furniture creates a focal point within your living room without interrupting the flow.

Large comfy pieces, like your sofa, created a feeling of groundedness. When it comes to upholstering them, in keeping with the neutral colour scheme, instead of using colour to create contrast, transitional design uses texture and tone to create a layered effect through luxurious fabrics like suede, chenille, and leather.

A transitional style living room
Via Proem Studio

Transitional living room idea: minimal ornamentation

Just as with a modern decor living room, you want to have a curated approach when it comes to your ornamentation in a transitional living room. Though you can have a little more leeway than with modern, the key is still 'less is more'. The emphasis is on functionality rather than form, so let your furniture do the talking and choose pieces that are a design statement in themselves.

Transitional living room idea: natural textiles and materials

When it comes to a transitional decor living room, instead of layering on the colour, transitional decor calls for layering on the texture. This can be done by incorporating natural materials and textiles, like jute, linens, bouclé, and cosy woollen throws. Again, try mixing up how you use them—for example, using a luxurious looking fabric like chenille on a contemporary style boucle sofa or by placing a thick pile flokati rug on sleek stone flooring.

Transitional living room idea: a polished finish

And for the final finish? A bit of polish. Give your living room that sleek finish that will make it look like it's straight out of an interior design magazine. Think shiny glass tables, glossy surfaces or polished chrome finish. And of course, don't forget about that piece de resistance, the all-important light fitting. Take a look at these 5 pendant lighting styles that will enhance your decor.

Create that sense of balance and flow throughout your entire home and try out these sleek and stylish transitional decor ideas in your bedroom.