Look around and you’ll notice we’re a lot less beholden to fashion and design trends these days. Clothing, furniture, cars…although fashions are followed by some, we have a lot of leeway as well. Only walk down the street and you’ll see people dressed in a variety of ways inspired by a variety of decades of clothing styles. And cars? Driving alongside those classic sedans, you’ll see boxy new cars and rounded VW bugs.

This freedom in design applies to kitchens too, with designs as individual as we are. That doesn’t mean we should go overboard expressing our personalities in our kitchens, however, since—unlike the dress we wore to the wedding last week—a new kitchen is a huge financial investment, and one you want to be happy with for many years to come.

That’s one reason why so many homeowners today are choosing a transitional style kitchen. A transitional kitchen is timeless because it can go so many different directions. It makes for a better resale value for your home. And it gives you the flexibility to change your tastes later.

But how do you make it happen? Try these five tips:

  1. Choose semi custom cabinets that can go either way, modern or traditional. Good choices include Shaker style cabinets, but don’t think that limits you to one specific door style. At Wellborn Forest Products, we have several cabinet door styles that are modeled on the basic Shaker design, giving you about 10 variations of that classic look.
  2. Stick with neutral colors. Ultra Violet might be Pantone’s color of the year and design trends might lean towards brighter kitchen colors, but that doesn’t mean bright colors are a good choice for a transitional style kitchen! Instead, opt for grays, whites and other neutral colors—but feel free to mix and match, with tuxedo cabinets or a kitchen island in a different color. This is a transitional style kitchen, after all, where eclectic is almost required! And when it comes to neutrals, don’t think your choices are limited there either. Today’s grays are available in almost any hue, from green to blue to pink, and shades from almost white to charcoal.
  3. Mix old and new elements. Maybe you’ve picked out a streamlined stainless steel range that’s decidedly modem in appearance. That works! Only balance out the new with perhaps some rustic cutting boards hanging on the walls, or a floor rug with a traditional look. Or if you think the kitchen looks too traditional, choose modern, streamlined furniture to balance out the look.
  4. Use natural elements, such as wood and stone. The wood can be flooring or furniture or shelving or trim—even butcher block countertop. It doesn’t matter how you use the wood, as long as you use wood. As for stone, a stone countertop fits the bill with beauty!
  5. Make the most of your light fixtures. Stay away from anything decidedly modern or old-fashioned looking. Instead choose light fixtures that are like your transitional style kitchen: versatile.

Designing your new kitchen should be fun, and the end result should be satisfying. With a transitional style kitchen, you can have a lot of leeway, yet still get a timeless look.

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