Transitional Lighting

Transitional lighting, not quite traditional, not quite modern, gives us the best of both worlds! It creates a simple yet sophisticated appearance by selecting features from these two contrasting styles which is extremely versatile. The feel is comfortable and fresh due to the mixing of straight lines and sleekness from the contemporary style with the warmth and roundness of the traditional style.  For example, the fixture could feature a drum with clean edges and a simple base but have a warm finish and soft texture or it could have a modern base that evolves into an ornate shade.

Transitional lighting has a set of common characteristics. Fixtures have uncomplicated lines, few ornate details, and occasionally have fabric shades.  The finishes are monochromatic but differ between warm traditional tones or cool contemporary.

Painted wood transitional lighting hanging over a dining table in the center of a Dining Room in Great Falls, VA.  You can see the simplicity in the design: clean lines, slight curves, and a warm tone.

Installing a transitional lantern in an entrance hall.  Again, there is simplicity in the design with clean edges and a monochromatic finish.

A transitional oil rubbed bronze hanging light fixture in a family room in Reston, VA: a simple base and clean finish.

If you are torn by which type of lighting to choose, you can’t go wrong with transitional.  It will give the room a bright new ambiance that will complement the design that is already present.

A transitional oil rubbed bronze hanging light fixture in a family room in Reston, VA: a simple base and clean finish.

If you are torn by which type of lighting to choose, you can’t go wrong with transitional.  It will give the room a bright new ambiance that will complement the design that is already present.

Simple Elegance: Installing Grasscloth Wallpaper

When it comes to your walls and how you design them, there are endless possibilities from paint, to woodworking, to wallpaper. At Kelley Astore Interiors, we’ve done quite a few articles on choosing the best paint colors, but sometimes a room begs for a little more impact than paint provides. That’s where textured wallpaper comes to play. My favorite? Grasscloth. Keep reading to find out how I used it recently in a dining room design, and why grasscloth is always a great choice!

Grasscloth wallpaper is a beautiful material made of fibers from different types of grasses such as jute or rushes. It comes in a variety of different colors and designs but the effect is always the same. It harbors texture and dimension into a design without being too busy or cluttered. Using grasscloth wallpaper is one of the easiest ways to add simple elegance to any room.

My client in Great Falls, VA asked us to re-design her dining room. There was a very formal Venetian chandelier, that would eventually be changed, hanging above a traditional dining room table and chairs. The room was originally painted a deep sea-blue with a white panel wainscoting beneath the chair rail. Because there was such a strong contrast between the blue and the white, and because the blue was on the top half of the wall, the room looked much smaller and more cramped than it actually was. The light was being absorbed into the sea-blue paint. It clashed with the chandelier and the room felt outdated and imbalanced. 

I knew that if I addressed the walls, the client would get an entirely new dining room. Oftentimes one simple change can make all the difference in a design. The room itself was very simple, with a dining table and chairs, an acrylic console table, and a few other pieces. I really liked how, with just these few key pieces of furniture, the room could be transformed into something truly elegant. That’s when I knew that grasscloth wallpaper was the way to go.

There are many different fabric houses to buy grasscloth, this particular grasscloth is from  Kravet. Kravet is an amazing 5th generation family-owned business that was established in 1918. They sell a variety of wall coverings, fabrics, furnishings, and other accessories. Everything I’ve ever purchased from Kravet has been of the highest quality and utmost beauty. It started as a small fabric house and is now one of the leaders of the design industry. Kravet carries a multitude of grasscloth wallpapers in varied textures, like the one I used for this client, as well as more elaborate designs and even scenic pictures. 

My client and I agreed on a neutral-toned grasscloth with a touch of blue for the dining room. It provided lovely contrast with the white paneling or wainscoting, without being too dark like the previous sea-blue. My contractor worked to prep the walls, cut the grasscloth to size on location, and finally installed it. The results are truly a testament to how one change can transform a room! 

With the new grasscloth installed, the room instantly felt so much bigger and newer. It had a modern and elegant edge. I am so pleased with the results and highly recommend grasscloth when trying to spruce up any room. 

To see more images and videos from this transformation be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Pinterest. If you haven’t already caught it, check out the front entrance transformation we did for the same client in Great Falls. If you would like to work with me on transforming any or all parts of your home, head to the services page to book your free consultation!

Giving your Home Entrance a Bespoke Look

The entrance to your home is everything. It is the first thing to greet you after a long day, and the first thing to welcome any guest that comes into your house. It is similar to the opening paragraph of a novel: the reader, or your guest, will begin to make judgments of what lies beyond as soon as they see the home entrance. Therefore, a beautiful bespoke home entrance can transform the look of a house from mediocre to grand. I had the pleasure of designing a bespoke home entrance for a client in The Great Falls and today I’m going to take you through the before and after transformation!

The builder installed the original front door, it was too plain for the look of the house; a single door surrounded by side window panels, a transom window, and trim. As soon as I saw it, I knew that this entrance was simply begging to have double doors. I wasn’t a fan of the dark brown wood because I felt there could be greater contrast against the brick the house was built with. The client wanted something that felt classy and chic, whilst also being practical and without losing the light from the windows. With that, I got to work on the design, and my contractors got to work preparing the site with protective plastic and cloths – even though a lot of the work was being done on the “outside” of the house, we didn’t want the brick porch to get covered in powdery fallout! 

My builders then proceeded to demolish and remove the original door, windows, and transom. It is a difficult task to remove such a large part of the house without damaging anything surrounding it. My contractors have decades of experience and were able to work swiftly and efficiently. Be sure to follow my Instagram or Facebook for videos of them working!

Inspired by French doors, I decided to install two custom doors, each with 6 individual lights or windows. The double doors will have anyone entering or exiting that home feeling like an A-list celebrity. The new doors actually let more light in than the previous, allowing the sun to stream in like a dreamy afternoon in Paris. 

My contractors worked extremely hard to ensure that the door we had designed fit perfectly with the house. It required a lot of woodworking and measuring on-site to create these custom doors. However, as soon as they were installed, space was opened up and the entrance began to take its form. 

To complete the transformation, all that was left was the finishing touches and details. We had to install some drywall where the transom window was removed, as well as build up a new trim around the door. All existing woodwork and new woodwork were speckled and sanded. We then proceeded to paint both the interior and exterior trim a lovely white color for that beautiful contrast against the black doors.

Just like that, the entrance was transformed! We paired it with a black welcome mat for continuity. The black doors also match the beautiful black planters on either side of the porch, as well as the black mounted lamps on either side. Going with double doors allowed for that symmetry to really shine through. Most importantly, the client was delighted with their new bespoke entrance! 

To give your home entrance a bespoke look, head to our services page to book your free consultation! 

Kelley Astore Interiors

Expert Interior Design & Renovation Services of Every Style.

Where We Work

Northern Virginia, Washington, DC,
and the Greater Washington Area


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