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Kitchen Trends: Farmhouse vs. Transitional Style

As cooler nights and slowly falling temps signal the changing of seasons, home design experts are also noticing more and more changes in design requests, signaling the transitioning of one trend to another. While the incredibly popular farmhouse style trend continues to be seen in homes across America, so does the rise of the next big style in interior design--transitional. In today’s blog, we compare farmhouse and transitional styles.

Styles Defined

Before we get into comparing the two, let’s establish the definitions of farmhouse and transitional style. Farmhouse style is best defined as a grassroots design connecting outdoor and indoor living with warm neutral color schemes, vintage accents, live or fresh plants, and re-purposed materials. Farmhouse style developed from necessity, from a time in which the majority of people had to learn to use what they had to make their home functional. With farmhouse design, old things become new again by being re-purposed for a new function(i.e, turning an old metal bucket into a bathroom sink). Natural tones such as sage and navy are popular throughout farmhouse styled homes, along with big, family furniture. Farmhouse style feels lived in and as if every piece of furniture or accessory was collected by accident over time.

In contrast, transitional style is very purposeful. This style is defined as a modern mix of classic and contemporary styles, combining curved finishes with straight-lines. Transitional style is simultaneously masculine and feminine using light accessories and neutral tones. Textures, such as leather and burlap, take the place of bold, colorful art pieces that are often seen in contemporary designs.


While it may seem like farmhouse style and transitional design share few similarities, there’s actually more than you think. Both designs developed from a blend of other popular styles, both styles use natural, neutral colors such as white, gray, and cream, and textures such as burlap and rattan are popular style elements for both designs. Fresh flowers and living plants are also popular accessories for both farmhouse and transitional styles, as well as wood flooring and counter tops.

The biggest differences between farmhouse and transitional styles lie with the furniture and amount of accessories used. Transitional furniture is designed with clean, straight lines and curved, often lacquered finishes while farmhouse furniture is defined as big, family style furniture perhaps covered with slipcovers for maximum functionality. Farmhouse style appears lived in and put together over time with whatever the homeowner had on hand, while transitional style is purposeful and reflects the minimalist movement using light but impactful accessories made with wood, glass, lacquer, rattan, fabric, steel or metal materials. While overall paint colors are similar, accent colors are key players in setting apart these two styles. Sage and navy accents are tell-tale signs of a farmhouse style, while transitional keeps up with its light, minimalist feel by using accent colors in darker but still neutral tones such as dark brown.

Transitional and farmhouse styles are among the most popular home design trends of 2017, and will continue to trend in 2018. Choosing the right style for your home depends on you. Do you want a style that feels lived in and revitalized, or do you long for a minimalist design that feels clean yet dynamic? If you are finding yourself at a loss for choosing the best style to fit your home, let the design experts at McCarley Cabinets help you out. Visit to get started in designing your dream home today.

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