Rise of the Transitional Home Style and Design

The transitional home style is becoming more popular as homeowners embrace bold hybrid designs that tastefully merge the best of traditional and contemporary aesthetics.

October 10, 2022

When caught between distinctly different design styles, homeowners find comfort in the uniqueness of an approach that’s hybrid in nature. Welcome to the transitional home style.


Growing in popularity, transitional design pays homage to both contemporary and traditional home styles. For a home builder, it means creating built environments that have an element of surprise. For a home buyer, it means transforming a home’s interior with tasteful, restrained elements of whatever suits them—traditional or contemporary. The effect? A pleasing look that’s fresh, familiar, and tailored to the homeowner.

What is Transitional Style?

Simply put, transitional style means striking a balance between contemporary and traditional elements in a home’s design. There’s freedom to be experimental in this approach, and homeowners who opt for a transitional look can be sure they’ll create one-of-a-kind spaces that reflect uniqueness, tell a story, and have personality. By bringing together a combination of design styles, homeowners can express themselves in a playful yet sophisticated way.

Transitional Style & Design: Goldilocks Principle

“If Goldilocks were decorating a house,” says long-time Houzz contributor Lisa Frederick, “transitional style would check all of her ‘just right’ boxes—not too cold, not too formal, not too fussy.”

Finding that harmonious middle way is all about resonating with what feels authentic to homeowners. After all, as people continue to spend more time indoors, it’s important that their homes are comfortable spaces that make them feel healthier and happier.

Home builder Robert Elliott, owner of Robert Elliott Custom Homes of Dallas, Texas, says transitional “allows people that have historically been traditional to have a little bit of fun and experiment with some modern/contemporary finishes.” It’s all about finding that “just right” balance to fit your aesthetic and personal preferences.

Transitional-style living room featuring Marvin Signature Ultimate Picture Window.

Beyond Interior Furnishings for the Transitional Home

The transitional concept goes beyond furniture and décor. It also marries traditional and contemporary architecture, finishes, and materials. Think juxtaposed textures and mixed metals used throughout the home, from the fixtures in a kitchen to the hardware for a window unit.


Carried through to window design, a contemporary home might be expected to showcase enormous glass expanses that fill an entire wall and create museum-of-modern-art appeal. Meanwhile, a transitional home can be just as likely to include big glass, but it could welcome views of nature in a variety of ways—through large, double hung windows, casement windows, or picture windows.

Marvin Ultimate Direct Glaze Narrow Frame Corner Window, featuring transitional-style accents.

Broad Appeal of the Transitional Style

One person who has observed the transitional movement up-close is Christine Marvin, Vice President of Design at Marvin. She says the trend defies a generational bias.

“It spans all age groups,” Christine Marvin says. “A lot of homes I’m seeing might be someone’s second or their ‘forever’ home. One older couple I know loves Scandinavian design. But they also like wood and big glass with homey, rounded-corner furniture and traditional rugs. It’s what they like. It’s very simplistic, uncluttered, warm, and livable.”

The Beauty of Choice in Transitional Design

Opting for large-scale contemporary windows can be the perfect counterpoint to traditional interior look and feel. When asked about the latest contemporary window collection, Christine Marvin says, “These windows are specified for transitional design because traditional furniture and décor softens the look. You pick what resonates. That’s the beauty of transitional design.”


The good news for home builders is transitional styling checks all the boxes. The builder is free to recommend the best elements of contemporary and traditional home styling without sacrificing project aesthetics, value, and quality.


As Christine Marvin says, “Home buyers find inspiration everywhere. It’s a different conversation today.”


A version of this article originally appeared on

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