Not sure what transitional interior design is? You’re not alone. Dallas designer Traci Connell, who specializes in high-end transitional designs that combine modern clean lines with classic styles, shares her expertise on this widely used term to help explain. “To me, transitional style is ‘updated classic,’” she says. “It’s a seamless blend of traditional and contemporary styles.” Transitional furnishings are stripped down to their core with no unnecessary embellishments — yet they are anything but boring, she adds. Often, lines and curves play a starring role, or sometimes pops of color embellish an otherwise neutral environment.
Examples of transitional elements might include a stone fireplace flanked by stained cabinetry on either side, a curvy hood in the kitchen, a horizontal band of decorative tile in the bathroom or an updated wallpaper design in the foyer.
In fact, Traci recently combined all these elements in this striking Dallas house. The new, custom-built home sets the transitional tone right away with its open floor plan and spacious rooms that relate to one another. “I love the openness of this house,” the designer says. “The living room, dining room and kitchen are situated in one long, rectangular space that flows effortlessly from one area to the next, with only the placement of the furniture defining each room.”
The kitchen and master bath particularly show Traci’s deft touch, merging traditional and modern styles. Marble countertops and a coffered ceiling are time-honored features for the kitchen, yet the designer added some fresh elements to the mix: a modern backsplash design made with Ann Sacks tiles; a sinuous gray, faux-finish hood and the built-in banquette, full of color and personality. Similarly, the empty-nest homeowners loved the idea of a “wet room” (one enclosed area with a shower and bathtub together) for their master bath, so Traci referred to high-end spas as her inspiration to create a sophisticated retreat. Red oak cabinetry on the custom vanities plays the traditional role in the room, while a curving tile bench in the shower and barrel ceiling bring in unexpected touches.
In every room, each classic element seems to be matched with a more trendy, colorful counterpart. “Tile, paint, textures and fabric were applied in new and unique ways to give this home a completely different transitional feel,” says Traci, summing up the traditional-with-a-twist philosophy of transitional designs.
- Tile: Ann Sacks
- Wallpaper: Anna French
- Rug: The Rug Company
- Lighting & kitchen table: Arteriors
- Patterned fabric: Robert Allen
- Barstool fabric: Kravet
- Kitchen chair: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
- Drapery fabric: Duralee
- Paint: Benjamin Moore in Shaker Gray
Special thanks to Michael Hunter Interior Photography for today’s beautiful photography.
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