As the in-betweens of home interiors, transitional spaces are everywhere you go, but easy to overlook—and difficult to decorate. Yet that tricky “here-and-there” quality of hallways, entryways, and other connectors can be a big decorative asset, especially in contemporary design trends that emphasize fluid interiors and indoor-outdoor lifestyles. Yep, transitions are in—and here’s how you can take advantage of your home’s transitional trouble spots.
What’s a transitional space, anyway?
Transitional spaces shouldn’t be confused with transitional style, which is a mix of traditional and contemporary furniture and décor. As a space, transitional denotes an area that serves primarily as a passageway from one spot to another. That usually means an actual “-way” such as a hallway or entryway, but rooms such as sunrooms and patios can function as transitional spaces, too.
Transition space trends & tips
Outdoor living is one of the hottest trends of the past few years. With today’s sophisticated, ultra-comfortable outdoor furniture designs, patios and porches are becoming extensions of indoor décor, creating new demand for indoor-outdoor transition spaces. That modern demand has breathed new life into a functional, old-fashioned transition space: the mudroom.
Contemporary mudrooms are a lot cleaner than their name suggests! Mudrooms began as transition spots for farmers to sit and remove muddy boots before going inside, but became highly popular in 1920s mansions as versatile seating and storage areas. In fact, according to the book House Lust by Daniel McGinn, the first 1920s mudroom was built in the house of Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford. The current popularity of Gatsby-esque, ‘20s-era design thus makes the modern mudroom a perfect blend of indoor-outdoor functionality and chic vintage style.
In contrast to foyers, mudrooms are typically casual back or side entrances. Nor do they have to be rooms. Place a wood hall tree or a storage bench and coat rack set next to your patio doors, and voila! A beautiful, storage-rich bridge from indoors to out.
Entryway decorating is always tricky. Many homes opt for the functional approach: a storage bench, perhaps, or a small console table for a more furnished look. But as home interiors become increasingly eclectic, decorators are taking a more personalized and curatorial approach to entryways, creating some truly fun results.
Combining steamer trunks or sets with travel-themed accents can turn non-descript transitions into artistic entryways. This vintage luggage stack is a great example. It’s thematic and decorative, but it also creates storage within one of those neither-here-nor-there spaces that every home has.
Home decorators are more lighting savvy than ever before, and the hallway is one transitional space where lighting intelligence is paying big decorative dividends. Because hallways are seldom accessible to natural light, creative lighting can work wonders with hallway standards such as runner rugs, mirrors, and wall art. Update your hallway with decorative lighting fixtures such as pendants and mini chandeliers (aka chandelettes), or use multiple light sources to create a layered effect—a hot trend for 2013.
- Joshua Avram, guest blogger