Category Archives: Transitional Cabinets

Want a Timeless Design? 5 Tips for a Transitional Style Kitchen

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.

Transitional Kitchen Design: A Cure for What Ails the Undecided

transitional kitchen designIs transitional kitchen design the cure to your decision woes? Maybe. I once read about a study in consumer decision making involving jelly. The study found that when more than a certain number of types of jellies were available on a supermarket shelf, customers had a tendency to get overwhelmed and not buy any jelly at all. The conclusion? There is such a thing as too many choices.

We can relate, right? Think about the dessert tray at a fancy restaurant. If the server brings the tray by your table and you only have three choices, it’s easy to pick one out. On the other hand, if that same tray holds 10 choices, it will take you a long time to choose (and the poor server’s arm will tire while waiting on you!).

The unusual dilemma of too many choices can hinder decisions in kitchen design as well. When it comes to kitchens in 2018, anything goes! And that anything can be paralyzing. The last time I bought kitchen cabinets, the salesperson was surprised at how quickly I made my decision and told me she was currently working with a woman who had spent two years trying to pick out her kitchen cabinets and still hadn’t decided!

A transitional kitchen design can put that indecision to rest. How? By being just that: transitional. A transitional kitchen design is extremely versatile. You can invest in kitchen cabinets that work for one design now, then change your mind and want a totally different look in three years—and still use the same cabinets.

What is a transitional kitchen design?
A transitional kitchen design is a design approach that effectively combines traditional and contemporary elements. It gives you creative license when designing your new kitchen. For example, one homeowner might combine traditional elements with contemporary ones but it’s done in a way that doesn’t look eclectic: that’s the transitional aspect. Design elements such as the kitchen cabinets can easily transition to a different look.

Transitional kitchen cabinets are usually more contemporary in style but in a subtle way. For example, Shaker cabinets fit in a traditional kitchen and have a long history. On the other hand, Shaker cabinets work in a transitional kitchen design because they also fit in a contemporary kitchen. It’s the “traditional” look of the cabinets that keeps the kitchen from looking modern.

A transitional kitchen design is also better for the resale value of your home because potential buyers will be able to see their own style as possible with your kitchen.

Which style cabinets will work in a transitional kitchen design?
As we said above, transitional kitchen cabinets are usually more contemporary than traditional, but not modern or streamlined looking. That means they work in a traditional kitchen or a modern one, or something in between. For example, Shaker cabinets look great in a traditional kitchen or in a contemporary one, so we consider them to be “transitional.”

Are you ready to explore kitchen cabinets for your traditional kitchen design? We’re ready for you! Almost all the door styles in our Clean Lines and Contemporary Elegance categories (Avenue being the one style I would leave out) will work in a transitional kitchen design. Take a look and see for yourself!

Make the Most of Your New Kitchen Design: Remodel With Resale in Mind

When you’re contemplating your kitchen remodel, keep in mind that you might not be the only homeowner to cook in that kitchen. The average American moves over 11 times in a lifetime. That means chances are high that it’s not your forever home, and that means you might want to remodel with an idea to resale.

Not that you should base your new kitchen remodel on resale value and appeal alone, but a new kitchen is a big investment, and making sure that investment will pay off in the future when you sell your home only makes financial sense. In addition, experts say your kitchen remodel should cost 6-10% of your home’s value in order for you to recoup most of that investment later, so keep that number in mind.

How much return on investment you’ll see from a kitchen remodel depends in part on where in the U.S. you live, your home’s value and your neighborhood. Obviously it will also depend on the state of the housing market and economy in the future when you are planning to move, and no one can predict either of those.

So create the kitchen you want, but keep future appeal in mind. It is possible to personalize the kitchen to reflect your style while still creating a room that will appeal to others as well. Here are three tips to help you do so…

Tip 1: Choose transitional style semi custom cabinets
At Wellborn Forest, we build semi custom cabinets for transitional style kitchens. If you’re not sure what “transitional” means, it’s essentially a way to describe kitchens that successfully combine traditional and contemporary elements.

Transitional kitchen cabinets are usually more contemporary than traditional, but not modern or streamlined looking. That means they work in a traditional kitchen or a modern one, or something in between. For example, Shaker cabinets look great in a traditional kitchen or in a contemporary one, so we consider them to be “transitional.”

And why semi custom cabinets? Because they will reduce the cost of your kitchen remodel yet still give you a beautiful, quality look. Keeping the cost of your kitchen remodel in check matters when considering resale value later. But it also matters because you will want to invest in quality appliances and stone countertops.

Tip 2: Invest in quality appliances and stone countertops
When homebuyers walk into your kitchen, the appliances will be one of the first things they notice. When you’re remodeling your kitchen, choose higher-end appliances if you can. You don’t have to invest in a top-of-the-line range and refrigerator, but don’t go for the low-end either. In addition, invest in stone countertops. Just about every expert out there will tell you to get granite countertops for better resale value, but some other kinds of stone countertops are appealing as well. And when you choose semi custom cabinets over custom, you’ll have room in your budget for these higher-end appliances and countertops!

Tip 3: Go for kitchen convenience
Homebuyers love to see convenient features in kitchens, and you’ll love cooking in a kitchen that makes your tasks easier, so this is a win-win. When choosing your cabinets, consider clever storage options such as bread drawers, pantry drawers, pull-out drawers and cabinets, and organizers. Also make sure your semi custom cabinets come with soft close drawers and doors.

Most importantly, create a kitchen you’ll love living with, but just in case this home isn’t your forever home, keep that next homeowner in mind.

Transitional Kitchen Cabinets: What Are They and Why Are They Perfect for Your New Kitchen?

Designing a new kitchen, even when you’re the homeowner who will ultimately rely on a professional to ensure you get the look you envision, can be a daunting task. Have you seen how many door styles you have to choose from on a website like ours? Then factor in hundreds of stain, paint and glaze choices (plus a variety of ways to apply those glazes), and you can quickly get bogged down in the beauty options.

It can help to understand the broader categories the door styles (and kitchen designs) fall into, so you can narrow down your search right away. So let’s talk briefly about two popular categories: traditional cabinets vs. transitional kitchen cabinets. This might help to get you started as you envision your new kitchen…

Traditional cabinets
We probably don’t need to say much about traditional cabinets when talking about kitchen design. Traditional cabinets are just that, and your choices in this category range from somewhat elaborate like our Nottingham style to very elaborate like our Conventry style. Traditional cabinets usually have embellishments such as raised panels and other details. They are the opposite of sleek, clean-lined contemporary styles. It’s a style category easily recognized.

Transitional kitchen cabinets
On the other hand, the term “transitional” is largely subjective when talking about semi custom kitchen cabinets or kitchen design. OK, the term “transitional” is subjective in more ways than that. Transitional is a buzzword in design these days, and you’ll find people talking about transitional kitchen design, transitional furniture, transitional style, transitional home décor, and yes, even transitional kitchen cabinets!

So what is it? Well, it depends. In a way, using that term is a way to get creative license in how you put together your new kitchen. One way to look at it is mixing traditional elements with contemporary but in a way that doesn’t look eclectic. For example, combining a black and white look with natural textures are usually part of the design, because they can easily transition to a different look with simple, small changes like paint or hardware. It’s almost always some blend of old and new. Some designers describe the style as familiar but not one you can name—because it is a mix of styles done in a cohesive way.

Transitional kitchen cabinets are often more contemporary without being overtly so—because they can go either way. For example, Shaker cabinets look great in a more traditional kitchen with the right colors and hardware, and, in fact, are a historically significant style. On the other hand, Shaker cabinets work as transitional kitchen cabinets too because they look right at home (pardon the pun) in a contemporary kitchen, when the colors, hardware and other details are contemporary. Yet the “traditional” look of the Shaker cabinet style keeps the room from being all contemporary. That’s the transitional aspect of this design approach.

Other kitchen designers might say that transitional kitchen cabinets have more detail than a plain Shaker door but look at home with clean lines and a neutral palette. For example, we think our Boston door style can go either way.

In our opinion, choosing transitional kitchen cabinets is a great way for you to blend new and old design elements that you love, and to feel good about it by putting a name on it, and not feel constrained by broader style definitions!

Transitional Kitchen