Transitional kitchen design popularity growing

The popularity of transitional kitchen design is growing, said Barbara Biernat, owner of Barbara B Builder LLC.

“Transitional design is a simplification of traditional design that introduces modern elements,” the president of Northwest Indiana Chapter 311 of The National Association of Women in Construction said. “Removing excess ornamentation, the previous elegant touches of which we have now grown tired, and choosing a few modern accents can implement the change.”

Biernat said transitional design provides an unfussy environment and sometimes playful calmness.

“We are finding that people are giving up the notion of what goes with what and surrounding themselves with things and colors they love,” Biernat said. “We are seeing more interest in the cleaner, simplified elements of transitional design.”

Biernat said color choices are “purer” with few grayed or jewel tones.

“Traditionally white ceilings are being replaced with color ceilings,” Biernat said. “Ceiling colors are quite often an accent color to the walls, rather than a washed out tint of the wall colors.”

Examples, Biernat said, include using pale yellow on the master bedroom ceiling to replicate the morning sun or soft pink in the great room reflecting sunsets.

“White walls paired with a coral ceiling make a statement,” Biernat said. “Combinations of color used throughout homes are edgier, refreshing and maybe even surprising without jarring the senses.”

In line with the clean, brighter open look of transitional design is a focus on lighting.

“Light fixtures as art is a growing trend,” Biernat said. “The technology of lighting is expanding to include affordable no-heat mini lights, strips, bulbs and baubles. Transitional design incorporates lighting above, below and within cabinetry.”

Translucent countertops are lighted from underneath and simple cabinet crown incorporate light strips, Biernat said.

“Frosted glass is used in interior doors to incorporate privacy without blocking light,” Biernat said. “Mirrors are used to reflect as much light as possible, even in kitchens.”

One of Biernat’s kitchen remodel projects in Valparaiso combines creamy white cabinetry with a nutmeg stained wood granite-topped island. A highlight of this kitchen is a former dreary pantry transformed into a serving area with mirrored backed glass door cabinetry and lighting above, below and within the unit.

“In kitchens there is still a bit of interest in retro 1950s touches,” Biernat said. “Transitionally designed kitchens can incorporate one or two retro accents without impacting the home value as would a more comprehensive home model.”

Biernat said kitchen technology featuring hidden installation and quiet operation can foster the calm living space ambiance of transitional kitchen designs.

Having recently attended the Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas, St. John Decorating Den Interiors owner Cathi Lloyd said multi-color cabinets are the trend.

Two trends that really stood out, Lloyd said, were the use of varied surfaces on different countertops throughout the kitchen and varied backsplash materials.

“However,” Lloyd cautioned, “this design needs a large kitchen area and this type of mixing should not be done without a professional’s help.”

New technology was evident at the Kitchen and Bath Show with LED the growing trend, Lloyd said.

“LED lighting is getting more affordable and is more the norm,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd said white cabinets, subway tile or glass tile for the back splash area; hand-scraped wood floors, granite countertops and pendant lighting are popular with her Northwest Indiana clientele.

“They are being used in new and updated kitchens,” Lloyd said

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