Transitional kitchen revamp

Transitional Kitchen revamp – turning a bland space into a family gathering hub

Dear Diary readers,

As we have discussed last time, Transitional designs are a blend between traditional and modern styles, they bridge the gap between the two and have elements from each aesthetic. My clients lived in their home for two years to understand how they as a family function in their space and toying with ideas how to turn it into something that reflects them. With some challenging choices, they turned to a designer for some help….. Ahem, that be me….;-). Let me show you how I did this Transitional Kitchen revamp and turning a bland space into a family gathering hub!

A Transitional kitchen will mostly have wood, steel, stone or marble where as modern kitchens features clean lines, monotone colours, strong contrasts and minimal accents. As my client loves to cook and the family spends a lot of time together around the big dining table, it had to be a warm, cosy and inviting space to be. When they moved in, it was painted a light grey, with a feature wall of charcoal and red, very modern and somewhat stark looking.

The first and most important issue to deal with was the grey painted walls and red/charcoal feature wall.   Second point of action: – change the dated flourescent lighting and repositioning them to be in the middle of the rooms. (Both the client and I never took pics of the very red and grey wall behind the dining space, we only have this glimpse of it whilst chatting back and forth when the electrician was relocating the light positions) Every room except the foyer had the weirdest light placements.  Something that I just can’t stand people……lights are so important to any design.  Make sure the placement and height is spot on!!

Painting the walls and all the dark wood doors + frames a crisp white gave an instant uplift to a space that felt rather sombre and depressing.  The room has beautiful light and the white reflected the light and made for a stunning airy, clean and very inviting space.  It also creates the perfect “shell” to showcase beautiful elements in the room.

AFTER – The Transitional Kitchen Revamp

Lets break down the elements.  

Looking towards the kitchen:  *New pendant (oliver small) centred above the island bench.  *New white roller blinds to control glaring morning sunlight. *Adding wood-toned elements on the bench island to warm up the dark modern granite bench tops. 

To balance the different heights of the cabinetry and fridges, I added herb prints and Traditional styled accessories for character and keeping the theme throughout the space.  The dining area dictated a lot of my choices as you will soon see.

When the bench tops have to be used for prepping food and space is a premium, you have to be very carefull not to overcrowd it and what accessories you choose to use.  My mantra is to use accessories that is functional too. I added large chopping boards to the back wall next to the stove, keeping the wood tone rhythm going and on the island bench – a tray/chopping board, and a smaller tray with functional accessories like cup coasters, cake stand filled with apples for a bit of colour and a spot to place fresh flowers.  This tray can be moved to dining table with necessary items when eating.

Let’s look at the dining side – MY FAVOURITE SIDE!  🙂

The dark red and charcoal wall is gone, and the new white walls reflecting beautiful light.  A roller blind to control the light and temperature serves a great purpose and looks clean and quiet. I added a different chandelier as it was a space on its own, but needed to tie in with the other wrought iron one in the kitchen side.  Hung low and centred above the dining table really creates a cosy space around the table and give such ambience when turned on. Flowers always a must and makes a home looks “lived in”.

Decorative elements I added to keep with the Transitional Kitchen theme; – *White embroided table runner.  *Wrought iron candles to use at dinner time.  *Large metallic prints with a kitchen theme.  *Butler’s table to use in seasonal decorating and be useful when needing extra serving space for drinks ect. I love sourcing local before hopping online and a lot of the accessories for this space I found here.

 I Balanced the big wall prints left of the fire-place, with wrought iron wall script on the smaller right side wall. (a favourite accessory the client already had).  Little elements like these adds a lot of character to a space. Remember, repeating  elements like wrought iron throughout gives rhythm and in turn harmony to a space. 

The antique dresser was a rescue from a family member’s Reno project and now looks totally amazing, plus + visually balancing the “heavy dining set” with something equally “heavy” visually.  She already had the clock and chinese boxes, so I hunted for these gorgeous jars to add interest and character and balance the dresser. 

A beautiful, relaxed yet classy space where the family gathers and entertains and now truly is a Transitional Kitchen full of character and the owner’s personalities. (a hint of the lounge room through the door that I will share the process of, next time 😉 ) 


I hope you enjoyed my diary entry of this Transitional Kitchen revamp and I will start sharing the lounge room makeover next time.




Article by Teresa

Australian Interior Designer / Decorator & Photographer. I share my style, my creativity and love for all things decor.

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