A transitional bathroom refers to a bathroom design style that combines elements of traditional and contemporary styles. The goal of a transitional bathroom is to create a space that feels up-to-date yet classic. Transitional style strikes the ideal balance between the two, taking the best aspects of traditional and modern design and blending them together seamlessly. A transitional bathroom has a timeless look that doesn’t feel too trendy or starkly minimalist.

Features of a Transitional Bathroom

Some key features of a transitional bathroom design include:

  • Clean lines with rounded edges – Furniture and fixtures feature streamlined silhouettes but incorporate soft curves and angles to add visual interest and warmth. Avoid severe, ultra-modern designs in favor of softer transitional pieces.
  • Neutral color palette – Stick with light neutral colors like white, beige, gray and taupe as the backdrop. This creates a soothing, spa-like ambiance. Add punches of color through accessories, art and floral arrangements.
  • Natural materials – Incorporate natural elements like stone, marble, granite, wood and travertine tiles. These organic materials add texture and a sense of refinement.
  • Metallic accents – Brushed metals, like brass and nickel, infuse a touch of understated glamour. Metallic finishes on faucets, cabinet hardware and mirrors keep the look grounded.
  • Vintage inspired patterns – Timeless motifs like herringbone, chevron and classic subway tile patterns bring visual flair. Patterns add interest without going overboard.
  • Mix of textures – Pair sleek surfaces like glass and porcelain with nubby, woven and wood textures. Layering textures creates depth and dimension.
  • Quality craftsmanship – Transitional design favors clean lines and minimal ornamentation. Focus on fine construction and durability over heavily embellished detailing.
  • Multifunctional furnishings – Incorporate furniture that offers concealed storage, like a cabinet under a sink or vanity table with drawers. This maximizes functionality in the bath.

Benefits of a Transitional Bathroom

There are many advantages to choosing a transitional style for your bathroom remodel:

Timeless Look

The blend of modern and traditional elements creates a timeless aesthetic that doesn’t appear dated. Transitional bathrooms have longevity and stand the test of time. You won’t have to remodel again in just a few years to keep up with fleeting trends.

Versatile Design

Transitional style works well in nearly any home. It suits owners with traditional tastes who want a fresh update as well as those who favor contemporary style but want softer edges. The universal aesthetic pairs well with various color schemes.

Spa-Like Feel

Neutral backdrops and natural materials cultivate a calming ambiance, much like a spa. The clean lines and lack of visual clutter also help the space feel soothing yet elegant. It provides an ideal spot to relax and rejuvenate.

Refined Look

The tailored lines and mix of textures result in a refined, polished look. Transitional bathrooms have an elevated aesthetic perfect for those desiring a touch of luxury without going full opulence. It creates an oasis that feels upscale but not overdone.

Easy to Update

With a transitional bathroom, it’s easy to refresh the look as needed with new decorative accents, accessories, art and fresh coats of paint. The flexible base design accommodates minor seasonal changes.

Enhanced Resale Value

The mass appeal of transitional style makes it an attractive choice for home owners looking to sell. Its inoffensive, neutral design appeals to the widest range of buyers for maximum resale value.

Elements of a Transitional Bathroom

Here are some of the key elements that go into creating a cohesive transitional bathroom design:


For the flooring, choose durable, low-maintenance tiles that offer a neutral backdrop. Options like:

  • Porcelain tile
  • Marble tile
  • Travertine tile
  • Wood-look tile
  • Stone tile

Incorporate some texture with mosaic patterns or stone insets for visual interest.

Wall Finishes

Keep walls light and bright with these refined finishings:

  • Subway tile
  • Marble slab
  • Wallpaper with subtle patterns
  • Painted drywall in light neutrals
  • Paneled wainscoting (wood or fiberglass)

Accent with trim details like crown molding up top for architectural flair.


Select a vanity with clean, straight lines and avoid ornate carved detailing. Other tips:

  • Shaker-style cabinet doors
  • Solid surface countertops (quartz, solid surfacing)
  • Undermount sink
  • Metallic hardware (oil rubbed bronze, satin nickel)
  • Open shelving for neatly folded towels

Integrate a mirror above with built-in lighting.


Freestanding tubs can be the focal point. Seek out these transitional styles:

  • Oval slipper tub
  • Curved pedestal tub
  • Rectangular soaking tub
  • Vintage clawfoot tub

For alcove tubs, go for sleek one-piece tub/shower combos.


Choose fixtures with simple silhouettes and natural finishes like:

  • Widespread faucet
  • Rainhead showerhead
  • Handheld shower wand
  • Towel bars over cabinetry
  • Wall-mount faucets

Matte black and oil rubbed bronze finishes work well.


Use lighting to create a warm, welcoming glow:

  • Sconces mounted on each side of the mirror
  • Pendant lights over tub
  • Undercabinet lighting
  • Recessed ceiling lights with dimmers
  • Candle wall sconces for mood lighting


Finish the room with these transitional touches:

  • Woven bath mats
  • Ceramic vases for fresh flowers
  • Neutral shower curtain
  • Canisters for Q-tips and cotton balls
  • Artwork with black and white photography
  • Sculptural folded towels

Style Variations to Consider

The beauty of transitional design is the ability to move in a slightly more traditional or modern direction while maintaining the core elements.

Traditional Transitional

Shift the aesthetic toward traditional with these ideas:

  • Antique-inspired mirror frames
  • Vintage rug beneath vanity
  • Wallpaper with small floral print
  • Pull-chain light fixtures
  • Wood medicine cabinets with glass doors
  • Subway tiles laid in a herringbone pattern

Contemporary Transitional

Give it a sleeker modern edge with these contemporary accents:

  • Floating wood vanity
  • Vessel sink
  • Industrial pendant lights
  • Concrete or glass tile backsplash
  • Chrome or matte black hardware
  • Frameless shower with linear drain

Farmhouse Transitional

Rustic flair suits a farmhouse edge:

  • Double vanity with apron-front sink
  • Tapered legs on vanity
  • Barn door slider for the shower
  • Mason jar sconces
  • Striped shower curtain
  • Galvanized tin tub

Glam Transitional

For some glamour and opulence try:

  • Hollywood style decorative mirrors
  • Marble herringbone backsplash
  • Crystal chandelier lighting
  • Gold finish plumbing fixtures
  • Freestanding soaking tub

Planning Your Transitional Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling a bathroom into a transitional style sanctuary takes thoughtful planning. Here are some tips:

Assess Your Bathroom’s Layout

Consider the existing floor plan and what modifications would optimize the layout. Can you open up the space, add or remove walls, or reconfigure the locations of the tub, toilet and shower?

Set a Budget

Bathroom remodels can range drastically in price. Set a realistic budget and make sure to account for contingencies. Get quotes from contractors.

Create a Wishlist

Make a wishlist of your must-haves for fixtures, finishes, layout and other details so your designer understands your goals. This helps align expectations.

Choose a Cohesive Design Palette

Select finishes and materials that coordinate well together. Gather inspiration images to share with your designer.

Hire the Right Pro

Find an experienced bathroom remodeler. Evaluate portfolios to find a designer who excels at transitional style.

Include Storage

Incorporate drawers, cabinets and shelving for ample storage to keep the space organized and clutter-free.

Focus on Lighting

Install layers of lighting like recessed ceiling lights, sconces and undercabinet lighting for a well-illuminated space.

Select Durable Materials

Opt for resilient, low maintenance finishes that can withstand humidity and everyday wear and tear.

Permits and Inspections

If doing a major remodel, ensure you pull all required permits and pass inspections before, during and after construction.

Frequently Asked Questions About Transitional Bathrooms

Here are answers to some common questions about creating a transitional bathroom design:

What paint color works best in a transitional bathroom?

Stick with light, airy neutrals like white dove, pale gray, almond, and tan. White is popular for its clean, bright feel. Add some contrast with black accents.

What flooring options work for transitional style?

Tile, marble, and stone look most refined. Options like porcelain and ceramic tile, travertine, marble, concrete, and slate are great choices. Use neutral colors.

Should I have an open shower or enclosed with glass?

An enclosed shower with clear glass doors allows you to enjoy the look of lovely tile while keeping moisture contained. Curbless showers are also transitional.

What type of vanity should I choose?

Opt for a vanity with straight, simple lines. Shaker style cabinets with recessed panel doors andquartz countertops make a nice combo. Avoid ornately carved vanities.

Should I install a soaking tub or just shower?

That depends on your bathing preferences and available space. Many favor a roomy walk-in shower, but a freestanding soaking tub makes a refined statement.

How do I add storage to my transitional bathroom?

Built-in cabinetry, shelving, freestanding storage furniture, and hidden spaces like under stair drawers maximize storage. Keep toiletries in closed cabinets.

What metals work in a transitional bathroom?

Brushed metals like brass, nickel and chrome keep the look refined yet modern. Oil-rubbed bronze also pairs well with transitional style.

How do I add color to my neutral bathroom?

Use bath linens, curtains, rugs, artwork and floral arrangements in bold hues. Swap accessories seasonally to refresh the color scheme.

Achieving an Upscale Transitional Bathroom Remodel

Here are some tips to help elevate your transitional bathroom remodel into a spa-worthy oasis:

Select Luxe Materials

Splurge on marble counters, stone tile floors, and solid wood cabinetry. Luxe materials instantly sophisticate the space.

Add Architectural Interest

Incorporate visual details like wainscoting panels, classic crown molding, niches and arched entryways.

Include High-end Hardware

Look for quality hardware pieces that will stand the test of time, like polished chrome lever handles and brass drawer pulls.

Invest in Plumbing Fixtures

Budget for top-tier faucets, shower systems and tubs from brands known for fine craftsmanship.

Choose Designer Lighting

Source distinctive light fixtures from high-end designers to make a statement, like a crystal chandelier.

Display Artwork

Curate a thoughtful selection of framed artwork. Black and white photography looks particularly sharp.

Add Thoughtful Touches

Have amenities like soft towels, plush bathmats, and luxe soaps on hand to pamper guests.

Incorporate Mirrored Surfaces

Strategically place mirrors to add light and amplify the sense of space. Freestanding furniture with mirrors also works nicely.

Splurge on a Spa Tub

For the ultimate luxury, install an oversized soaking tub perfect for relaxing. Include air jets and an inline water heater.

Consult With a Designer

Hire an interior designer to help select elevated finishes and develop the overall concept.


A transitional bathroom strikes the perfect balance between traditional and contemporary style. The versatile aesthetic works well in nearly any home. Neutral backdrops, natural materials, clean lines and vintage-inspired patterns come together to create a refined yet relaxed oasis. Careful thought should go into floor plan, color scheme, lighting, storage and material selection. Hiring a professional can help achieve a holistic, spa-like design. Investing in quality finishes ensures long-lasting enjoyment and added home value. With an endless array of ways to embrace transitional style, you’re sure to end up with a timeless bathroom sanctuary.