At Least Two Shades of Gray

My daughter recently returned home after spending three years abroad. In that time she has turned into quite a good cook.

I came home the other day to a plate full of cream cheese frosted cupcakes…or were they muffins? It was hard to tell because they had blueberries in them. I had one immediately even though it was dinner time; so much for protocol.

The next morning when I opened the fridge, the little gems were looking at me square in the eye. I then decided conveniently that they were breakfast cupcakes.

As you can see, the definition changed according to my needs, or did it? The confusion stemmed from the fact that they had characteristics of breakfast and dessert.

Gone are the days when decorating styles fell into neat little boxes…Italian Provincial, Colonial, Mediterranean. I date myself for sure. Clearly the world has shrunken, borders have melted. We travel between European countries without border stops. The Internet has made information trading immediate and natural. So what have designers done? We’ve developed a category to describe the melding of traditional stylings with more contemporary designs. We call this style Transitional.

Indeed it has become a style unto itself. It reflects today’s taste in cultural regionalisms along with reference to the fact that we are beings born here and living now. We can’t put the genie back into the box. We cannot pretend that we do not live in the 21st century. We cannot un-know what we know.

So while it seems like a definition which encompasses many styles, Transitional style can be defined generally as: classical motifs and embellishments simplified and pared down in scale, then applied to furnishings and fabric treatments. Pottery Barn is a very good example of this trend. Their success is due no doubt to the fact that they have been able to tap into this style; the current standard of popular taste.

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