For the first time ever this year, transitional style surpassed traditional design as the most popular choice for bathrooms. In fact, the shift toward more contemporary styles is one of the most important bathroom trends for 2013. But what does that mean, exactly, and how does it apply to YOUR bathroom? Today I’d like to take a look at transitional bathroom vanities as an example of how you can bring a more modern design into your bathroom without sacrificing the best parts of a traditional style.
So What Is Transitional?
Transitional design simply means that it’s a style that’s part way between (or transitioning between) traditional design and modern design. Practically, that means you see a lot of traditional materials – in the case of transitional bathroom vanities, we’re talking wood – but with simplified and streamlined modern lines. This Madison Vanity from Avanity is a perfect example, with rich, tobacco finished birch veneers, but simplified lines and simple modern hardware.
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So Why Transitional?
If transitional bathroom vanities are half way between traditional and modern, why not just opt for one or the other? The answer is fairly simple: modern bathroom vanities can be too modern, with unadorned lines and a chilly industrial palette, while traditional or even antique bathroom vanities can be a little over the top for a contemporary home, with lavish woodwork and ornate designs. Transitional bathroom vanities like this Howard Vanity from Carolina Accents really offer the best of both worlds, with warm, homey wood tones and a simple, slightly classical style with smooth, contemporary lines that will fit in a modern home.
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Transitional Styles Are Comfortable Styles
While big, beautiful, antique bathroom vanities have their place, it’s no longer in the average American home. These days, it takes some guts to pull off a really elaborate bathroom vanity - and a big, beautiful bathroom to go with it. From the gradual disappearance of the formal dining room to wearing white after labor day, America has grown into a more casual culture, and transitional bathroom vanities like this Lutezia Modernique from Porcher are just one reflection of that – they’re still sophisticated, but a whole lot simpler, more casual, and especially more comfortable.
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But What If I Like Tradition?
Transitional bathroom vanities aren’t just a small subset of vanity styles; they actually run a pretty broad gamut between traditional and contemporary, with varieties that tend toward either end of the spectrum. Take this Glenayre Vanity from Xylem – it has extremely traditional cherry wood veneers, and a strong hint of classical design, with beautifully framed drawers and doors and bun-style feet. But ultimately it’s much simpler than a “real” traditional vanity, giving you a more traditional look and feel but a more contemporary style that will make your bathroom feel fresh and updated without making it seem “modern” at all.
Simple But Stylish
But just because transitional bathroom vanities are simplified doesn’t mean that they’re simple or – worse – boring. It just means they have a slightly different emphasis than either traditional or modern bathroom vanities. This Expressions Vanity from Cole+Co is a great example. The simple modern lines allow it to showcase a more traditional wood grain, with a gorgeous cross-cut bamboo panel on the front, and subtle rub-through details on the matte black finish. There’s nothing particularly ornate about this vanity, but it’s beautiful in its simplicity, with a slight Asian flair that can turn this relatively simple piece into a signature focal point in your bathroom.
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But What If I Have A Historical Bathroom?
Bathroom vanities can be a pretty touchy point in historical – talking, turn of the century – homes. The most traditional choice would probably be a pedestal sink or console lavatory, but if you want to keep a traditional look while affording yourself a reasonable amount of storage, I’d suggest a transitional vanity like this Savina Vanity. It has the same simple, smooth white lines you’d expect to find in a classic cottage style bathroom, but with ample interior storage and a slightly more contemporary feel that can help combine your modern lifestyle with your historical home.
So if you’re caught between wanting a more updated look and wanting to stick with the warmth and comfort of a traditional style, transitional bathroom vanities are an excellent way to add a casual contemporary sophistication to your bathroom. How do you feel about transitional bathroom vanities? Do you like the idea, or do you prefer your design more modern or more traditional?
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