Traditional to Transitional Makeover Tips

by Malena Lott

Our next Sooner Spaces makeover is a new home in Yukon, OK where another family of four has asked for our help in replacing their traditional style with a more clean transitional style that better fits with the more contemporary aesthetic of their home. The Clemmens were a-okay with us replacing everything in the living and dining room so Jill and I have been on the hunt for!

Here’s a few befores and in two weeks we’ll show you the after! Just like the Le/Winkelers, the Clemmens are letting us buy the items and put the room together without approving each piece. However, when it’s a custom piece or veers off of what we originally discussed, we run it by them for the thumbs up.

Piece of art we'll use as a our color key.
Piece of art we’ll use as a our color key.
Living room: BEFORE
Living room: BEFORE
Dining Room: BEFORE
Dining Room: BEFORE

We struck gold at a trip to TJ Maxx on our first try which really made us cocky but we were brought back down to earth when we started the heavy shopping for the big pieces. We did find a custom farm table with a unique look in Norman we are excited to show you.


A few tips if you are hoping to “update” your home with a more transitional style. Transitional means it toes the line between traditional and modern. You have some more traditional pieces, including some rolled/curvy pieces as well as super clean lines and even vintage retro pieces. Transitional these days has come to mean a bit eclectic, too so you can throw in a few rustic pieces along with modern and even traditional. If the aesthetic works, it works, which is why someone with a good eye for design is helpful in putting it all together. If you aren’t a member of, check out the thousands of photos there by category to help give you inspiration.

1. Let go or restyle bulky pieces. Dark, heavy furniture weighs down a room. Not only does it make it literally look heavy, but it’s often larger in size than transitional furniture so you feel more cramped which can mean less comfortable. Consider getting pieces re-upholstered in lighter fabrics and forgo the big patterns for things like tweed and solid colors, but have some fun with accent chairs! For furniture, it could be cheaper for you to repaint it as long as you still like the lines instead of buying new.

2. Swap out pillows, art and accessories. If you spent a lot of money on art or pillows five or ten or so years ago, it can be hard to let go of those “anchor” pieces as well, but often that’s where you get the color for your room. (If your room has color!) Swap out the art on the wall with a modern/bold look and then use those colors to key off of to replace lamp shades, pillows and a few decorative pieces for tables.

3. Paint the walls and add a new rug. If you aren’t ready to switch out ALL the furniture, do what you can now, but paint the room in a more modern color such as grey which is very big right now in all the new homes. Then you can purchase a fun indoor/outdoor rug with a bold pattern and use that as your style key to eventually change out the rest of the room.

Don’t think you have to do everything “all at once.” Give yourself time to shop and don’t just buy the first thing you see OR purchase something just because it seemed like it was “a good deal.”

Good luck! We’ll be back soon with our room reveal!