Does traditional seem stuffy? Does modern come off as cold or sterile? Do you like design elements from different eras? Then transitional is probably the right-fit look if you’re painting kitchen cabinets.

What Exactly Is Transitional? 

Transitional blends the old with the new to create a warm, homey feel that is also stylish and simple. It uses elements from the past as a reference point while infusing modern and new features, so it seems fresh. It also mixes feminine and masculine details, creating harmony between the two. Overall, it produces a sense of playfulness not often found in strictly modern or traditional designs. 

How Do You Know If It’s Right For You?

If you don’t like to stick to the design rules, then transitional is worth considering. If you want a look in your kitchen that is flexible, can change with the seasons, and is open to interpretation, then transitional checks all the boxes. In addition, if you like to play around with colors and finishes and mix and match different looks, then a transitional kitchen delivers on versatility. 

Yet, the transitional style can be difficult to pin down because it’s not one design style or another. It’s everything in between. To help you, here are some tips for achieving the transitional look when you’re painting your kitchen cabinets

Opt for a Soft Color Palette

Most transitional spaces have a soft color palette made up of neutrals. This is by design to make a space feel open and light, yet also warm and welcoming. If you’re considering paint colors for your kitchen cabinets, keep it simple. 

Some selections that work well when painting your kitchen cabinets include:

  • Soft gray
  • Greige
  • White
  • Brown
  • Tan

You can then add subtle pops of color, like soft or light blues or greens, as accents, or choose a monochromatic look that gives you the freedom to make bolder choices with cabinet hardware, lighting, and decorative objects.

Get Creative with Colors & Finishes

Transitional style allows you to tap into your creativity and mix and match colors and finishes. When you’re painting kitchen cabinets, one way to do that is with a blend of natural wood finishes and paint colors. For instance, paint your island cabinets a creamy white and then stain the rest of your cabinets in your kitchen to highlight the natural beauty of the wood.

Another option is to keep the upper cabinets in your kitchen a lighter, brighter color while painting the base cabinets a darker, more dramatic hue. Just keep in mind for the transitional aesthetic to work, the paint colors you choose should have a balance of warm and cool tones. 

Go Big with Black & White

What’s great about black and white is that this color combination is both classic and modern. It’s sleek, yet can be warm when styled the right way. 

For instance, you can paint your kitchen cabinets white, opt for black granite counters, and then mix and match different colors, finishes, decor, fixtures, and materials to achieve the transitional look. Anything goes when it comes to black and white, making it an ideal choice for a transitional kitchen.

6 Tips for Styling a Transitional Kitchen After Painting Cabinets 

When you’re painting your cabinets, a transitional kitchen is timeless. To further boost this effortless-looking aesthetic, some different ideas to keep in mind when styling your kitchen include:

  • Mix and match. The whole idea of transitional is a beautiful blend of old and new, glass and metal, wood and steel, and other elements, all in a harmonious way. 
  • Avoid overly modern or traditional. When you add something that is too sleek, or on the other hand, too ornate, it will look awkward in the space. Opt for subtler choices. 
  • Use transitional finishes. For instance, consider a subway tile backsplash and crown molding paired with matte granite counters, not polished, with wrought iron hanging pendant lighting over the sink. 
  • Get creative with materials. A transitional kitchen often has a mix of materials and even a mix of different wood types and stains. Try layering materials or even adding plants and greenery to infuse color and life into your kitchen. Don’t be afraid to choose what you like, even if it doesn’t “go.” That’s the beauty of transitional!
  • Include the unexpected. Place a piece of modern art next to a traditional white teapot on a wood shelf. Use “found” or recycled items to add a sense of fun to the room. Mix components from different eras like a farmhouse sink next to sleek stainless steel appliances. 
  • Be innovative. If you want your kitchen to reflect you, be innovative. Take a risk and try something new to see if you like it. If you opt to paint your cabinets a subtle color, then explore different ideas and decor in your kitchen to get the look you’re going for.

If you want help achieving a transitional look, starting with painting your kitchen cabinets, give N-Hance® a call at (855) 642-6230 today. We’re the cabinet makeover experts and ready to bring your vision to life, starting with a free consultation.