Transitional Kitchen Design Done Right

6 stunning kitchens, 1 hard-to-define style approach

A transitional kitchen is a highly coveted asset—yet not many people can accurately define it, let alone create it.

Think of the transitional kitchen as a sophisticated moderator between the timelessness of traditional design and the clean, simple lines of contemporary style. The transitional kitchen boasts the best of both worlds, offering a range of flexibility that allows room for self-expression and avoids confining the homeowners to a single style or a short-lived trend.

Here we take six stunning transitional kitchen designs, breaking down the elements that make each one a homerun.

This kitchen design has what we call “smart balance.” It reads masculine and feminine; it boasts warm tones (perimeter cabinets) and cool tones (island); and it showcases soft features (scalloped edges of the backsplash tile) and rigid features (simple lines of hood). It’s also a great example of how to add height in a kitchen with timeless, no-fuss crown molding that draws your eyes up to the stunning light fixture. This balance is what a transitional kitchen shoots for.


This kitchen leans contemporary, but the frame door and crown keep it grounded in transitional style. Too often, people get hung up on asymmetry, but this kitchen design embraces it with both arms. The simple, chunky table legs and raised base on the island are striking features. 


This smart kitchen design plays with contrasting colors and textures. The dark metal hood and light fixtures against the crisp white cabinets, the juxtaposition of the countertops, and the traditional subway tiles against the fun mosaic behind the range are all great examples of contrast done right—and the glass accents and gray oak island tie it all together. This kitchen will stay relevant through fads that come and go.


This kitchen pulls off “eclectic” with natural materials and looks like it would wear like a dream for generations. The exposed beams echo the lumberyard, and matte black hardware reminds us of ABS piping. The horizontal quirks on the doors mimic shiplap, and metal accents throughout the kitchen tie in the commercial appliances. The subway tile with darker grout adds a classic touch, but the showstopper is the hood, with a look of galvanized steel trimmed with brushed stainless trim. 


This kitchen boasts a clean, effortless look that stems from contemporary design—but without feeling too sterile. Multiple traditional features sprinkle in texture and warmth. The simple wood X-inlays, subtle doors, marble countertops, and rough wood in the column and beams all give the kitchen a refined roughness, something we tend to love here in Colorado.


This kitchen design leans traditional; the raised center panel and rich wood tone of the hutch and island are a simple call to the timeless style. What shakes things up here are the glass inserts and bold wall treatment against the white cabinetry, adding a contemporary touch, not to mention loads of personality.

Cristal Romero is a kitchen designer with William Ohs, a kitchen design firm that has been handcrafting beautiful classic kitchens in the Denver area for over forty years. View their profile or contact Cristal at 303.321.3232.

Content for this article provided by William Ohs.

Categories: Kitchens