Interior designers may tell you that decorating a living room in a transitional style is easy, since the style itself is made up of several different styles all blended together. The majority of us, however, need a few tips in order to make that transitional style really come together. Do it improperly, and the room can look thrown together. Do it properly, and the room looks warm and comforting without sinking into the trite and cozy. These ideas can get you thinking as you try to incorporate the style into your living room.
Transitional living rooms often use a muted palette. This means that red walls or pink carpeting simply just won't do. Look for wall paint colors in taupe or soft cream. If at all possible, utilize hardwood or laminate floors so the natural feel of the wood can shine through. Skip busy patterns on either the walls or the floor. While striped wallpaper and patterned floors may be lovely, they violate the ideas behind a transitional living room. Instead, just focus on keeping things plain and simple.
Choose at least two furniture pieces that have curved profiles and leather coverings. Couches and armchairs are obvious choices. These pieces may feel comfortable to sit in, but they should also hold their shape when you're not sitting in them. Avoid pieces that tend to bunch up or slide around. The rest of your furniture should be strictly contemporary. Look for metal coffee tables, shiny edges and sharp corners. Mix these pieces in with your softer choices. Tie chairs in different styles together with throw pillows made of the same fabric. Drape throw blankets over the edges of hard chairs to soften the look.
If you have multiple lighting sources in your living room, look for this same mix. Choose halogen desk lamps with metal stands and soft white lamps with rounded shades, for example. Throw a curve into the entire scene by installing a crystal chandelier. Just make sure your lights aren't colored in any way. The soft and neutral palette should still be firmly in place.
Tabletop decorations should be kept to a minimum. This is one aspect that transitional living rooms have in common with modern-style living rooms. Look for candleholders in clear glass. Frame black-and-white photos in black frames. One or two plants in white or cream pots can add texture. Coasters made of wood can soften up the corners. All clutter should be picked up out of your transitional living room each and every day. Look for wicker crates to hold children's toys. Stash away DVDs in cupboards that close completely. Place television remotes inside coffee table drawers. The soft and organic lines of the transitional style can quickly go astray when items are covered with discarded books and toys. If you're fortunate enough to have a fireplace in your living room, keep it lit as much as possible. A fire provides wonderful texture and visual interest that's so important to emphasize in the transitional style.