Transitional styling hits the sweet spot between classic and modern, keeping the best of both. If your home was built mid-century or later or, if you want the look of a modern kitchen but also want a bit of influence from traditional styling, this is a good option for you.

Design Elements of a Transitional Kitchen

Shaker doors on the upper cabinets contrast with flat panels on the lowers. A marble or quartz look-a-like countertop and natural wood panels keep this transitional kitchen from looking too austere. Kelly Deck often stays in this lane with her work, and I just love it! It offers the perfect balance of detail and simplicity. It suits her west coast vibe perfectly. She always finds a lovely balance between transitional elements and a modern aesthetic.

Source: Kelly Deck

Shaker style cabinet doors are a great option if you want your kitchen to feel updated without being too modern. They hit the sweet spot between detail and fussiness. Hardware, or the jewellery of a room, can also help define its style. A chunky countertop also leans this kitchen toward modern styling. If you have a traditional kitchen and want to update it, hardware, lighting, and fixtures (faucet etc.) can bring it into a more updated style.


Although fairly classic, this kitchen showcases a simple stainless steel hood fan and polished chrome modern faucet which defines it more in the transitional group.

Source: Pickell Architecture

This stylish kitchen featured in Style at Home Magazine a while back blends a nod to mid-century within a classic envelope quite seamlessly. The natural wood finish adds warmth to an all-white kitchen and gives a note of personality.

Source: Style at Home Magazine

Transitional kitchens hit are a great solution for many homes. We love the look because it is versatile. The style pleases a wide range of tastes. If you are upgrading your home with plans to sell in the next 5 years, this might be a good option for you.

Here’s how to get the look:

Some elements that will give a kitchen the versatile look of a transitional kitchen:   

  1. Countertop: Quartz composite or natural stone countertop with clean edge.
  2. Cabinetry: simple shaker panel with minimal detail.
  3. Lighting: anything goes really. You can shift the look to more traditional with classic lighting, give it edge with industrial selections, or go totally modern.
  4. Hardware: style should mimic the lighting in feel.
  5. Colour: white and/or grey are “on trend”.
  6. Metal: anything goes (see notes for lighting and hardware).
  7. Backsplash: subway tiles.
  8. Fixtures: Look for simplified styling with minimal detail – a simplified bridge faucet gives an old world feel, a gooseneck works, or keep it a bit upbeat with a chef’s faucet.