Close this search box.

What is a Transitional Kitchen? Here’s Our Ultimate Style Guide

Transitional kitchen design

Share this post:

Are you ever scrolling through Pinterest, dreaming of that perfect kitchen style, but are unsure of where to start? We have the ultimate guide to help you find your design style and even whipped up a fun quiz to uncover your perfect kitchen

What does a "transitional kitchen" mean?

The word transitional means relating to a period (in time) of transition. In the kitchen design world, this is the middle between traditional styles that are familiar and remind us of the past and contemporary styles which are the trends of today and looking towards the very near future of kitchen style.

Is transitional kitchen style modern?

Most people use the term “modern” to define anything not obviously outdated. However, this word in the design sense refers to a set period of time, specifically the mid 20th century, as described in this article “what is modern design”.

Transitional kitchen design

This kitchen takes on a mid-century modern vibe.

Transitional style is modern in the everyday sense of the word. It feels current. It’s not outdated. But it also incorporates elements from the modern design period during the mid century (clean lines, lots of natural light, open floor plans).

Are transitional kitchens traditional?

Traditional kitchen style is often considered “outdated” by those who don’t understand it. Similarly to modern design style, that is not the true definition.

Transitional kitchen design

This warm green kitchen is rooted in tradition.

Traditional kitchens incorporates elements of style from before the modern movement, specifically from the 18th and 19th centuries. Think fine china, weathered materials, patterned wallpaper, and delicate molding. These elements can be used in design today to create a reimagined, inviting space.

Are transitional kitchens contemporary then?

Contemporary style is what is trending today. What’s at the forefront of kitchen design right now. Transitional kitchens incorporate elements from contemporary style, but since they also include traditional or modern elements, they are not truly contemporary.

Transitional kitchen design

This contemporary minimalist kitchen from Zonavita incorporates smooth surfaces, mixed organic materials, and clean lines.

So, What is a Transitional Kitchen?

Transitional kitchens include elements from various time periods, blending the past and present together to create a beautiful, timeless kitchen.

For example, transitional kitchen cabinets often include shaker cabinets, which include rails and stiles like traditional cabinets do, but mimic the clean lines of contemporary style. Transitional kitchens may include trending colours, organic materials, historic architectural elements, contemporary floating shelves, and/or classic hardware and fixtures.

Why are transitional kitchens so popular?

There’s something for everyone with a transitional kitchen. When designing a kitchen or remodeling a space, people often consider the resale of their home and expressing their personal style.

Transitional kitchen design

This transitional style kitchen combines contemporary and traditional elements.

With transitional style, you get the best of both worlds, not having to fully commit to a specific design style or time period. The result is a more objectively up to date kitchen that will please the average homeowner. Transitional kitchens are popular because they appease almost anyone!

What does a Transitional Kitchen look like? Here are some Transitional Kitchen Ideas.

Since transitional style is not easily defined as one thing, we’ll show you some examples of what we think are stunning transitional style kitchens. Here are some beautifully blended transitional spaces. Use them for inspo for your transitional kitchen remodel and Pinterest moodboard!

Transitional kitchen design

Dark wood cabinets with visible knots combined with sleek countertops and minimal range hood is a lovely transitional balance for this kitchen.

Transitional Kitchens with Wood Cabinets

Wood cabinets are a great choice for a transitional kitchen. Natural wood textures, light or clean stain, or rich dark wood cabinets all nod to a traditional feel.

Transitional kitchen design

Again, wood cabinets combined with clean lines and a simple colour palette.

Playing with different door styles and complementary finishes creates a beautiful blend of style. Wood cabinets are often combined with painted cabinets or clean white walls for a contemporary feel.

Transitional Kitchen with White Cabinets

White kitchen cabinets are a classic. They suit a variety of tastes and are arguably the most versatile and well loved cabinet colour. Flat panel or slim shaker cabinetry keeps the classic feel of white in a sleek and contemporary way.

Transitional kitchen design

White cabinetry with a flat clean door style combined with greenery and grey countertops.

Transitional kitchen design

A mostly monochrome color palette is combined with slim shaker cabinetry and brass hardware.

The choice of cabinet hardware can also influence the overall feel of the space. Clean white slim shaker cabinets can be paired with bronze traditional hardware for a timeless look. Floor to ceiling cabinetry is a classic American look with plenty of storage.

Transitional Style Kitchen with Coloured Cabinets

Transitional kitchens are a great place to play with coloured cabinetry. Popular shades for 2024 include black shades, blues, and greens.

Transitional kitchen design

Rich green cabinets are color blocked in between clean white shaker and flat panel lower cabinetry.

In the 19th century rich black and green were two of the most common colours. In transitional kitchens, they are used in muted shades or in combination with lighter tones to balance their richness.

Transitional kitchen design

Deep black cabinetry is balanced with organic textures and white cabinets.

Transitional Kitchen with TFL Cabinetry

Thermally Fused Laminate or TFL for short is an extremely durable material with a beautiful appearance that rivals real wood. It’s also available in glossy or matte colours. Ideal for flat panel cabinetry, this material looks gorgeous in transitional kitchens to bring some contemporary flair.

Transitional kitchen design

Different styles of wood TFL panels and blue shaker cabinets are used to create a beautiful transitional style kitchen.

Final Thoughts: Elements of Transitional Kitchen Style

To wrap up transitional style, we would define it as simplified tradition. When looking for a transitional style kitchen, consider the following elements:

  • Simple Cabinetry Styles
  • Minimal Ornate Detailing
  • Organic Textures
  • Neutral Colours
  • Modern or Traditional Hardware
  • Understated Moldings
  • Pops of Colour
  • Clean Surfaces
  • Plants
  • Natural Light

Create Your Dream Transitional Kitchen with Decor Cabinets

If transitional style is still a struggle, let one of our talented kitchen designers give you a hand! Find a designer near you to get started.

Discover Your Dream Kitchen With Decor

Discover Your Dream Kitchen With Decor

Leave a Comment

You may also like

Know More About the Author

Get The Latest Updates


Be the first to know about new trends and get advice straight to your inbox.

Popular Posts

Scroll to Top

Download the


It’s time for your project to go beyond the daydream. Start planning with the Imagine Brochure!