Transitional home designs combine modern elements like neutral palettes and clean lines with traditional elements like trim work and tufted furniture. For those who want the clean look of a contemporary space with the comfort of a more classic style, transitional design can be an excellent middle ground.
Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors is at the forefront of the transitional style’s movement. That’s why owner and principal interior designer Sara Lynn Brennan not only continuously looks toward the future of her firm, but also works with young designers to mentor them in this newfound space. She sits down with us to speak about her design process and her own romantic twist on the transitional look. Plus, Sara Lynn Brennan looks forward and explores what’s in store for the near future.
Did you always have the ‘romantic’ aspect in mind when designing in this transitional style?
I didn’t know my style would be called “Romantic Transitional.” I realized that all of my spaces were transitional, meaning the foundation pieces were timeless and neutral with clean lines. But each space also had a softness to it—something that felt inviting, cozy, and, well, romantic. Not in a frilly way, but more an expression of love and appreciation for the people living in those spaces. It allowed them to tell their story with family photos, character pieces, and special touches that made that space feel like “home.” So, we named the look and kept running with it. It has been working for us and our clients ever since!
What is your process like with clients?
We are a very process-driven company. It all starts with a discovery call where our potential clients will complete a questionnaire. I’ll dig deeper into their project goals, and if it sounds like a great fit for both parties, we move to the design consultation. During the consultation, we review estimates and project scope. Then, we head into the project kickoff meeting to get it all started. We spend about 6-8 weeks creating a design concept, then a design plan. Once the client approves the design plan, we order all the furnishings, accessories, and décor to bring our design to life. Before you know it, we’re at install day, which often plays out like those design TV shows with a full surprise reveal and sometimes even happy tears!
When did you know you wanted to get into interior design?
When I got my own place after college. I’m from a very small town. I never knew of a single person who had someone else decorate their home—let alone design it—until I was well into my twenties. But I always loved décor and floor planning. My mom and I would change the furniture layout all the time when I was a kid. I just didn’t know that was something I could ever get paid to do for others!
Tell us about why you offer mentoring as an important component of your business?
I started coaching and mentoring in 2020 and it’s been so rewarding. I have a Master’s Degree in Education. So when I get to blend my design and teaching world, I really light up! I love sharing what I’ve learned with other designers so they can skip many of the mistakes I made. But I also love sharing knowledge because I believe in the power of positive energy and community, especially among women. There is plenty of work to go around, so I really don’t believe in competition, especially in something as personal as interior design. I was lucky enough to have great mentors available to me on my journey. It made all the difference for me. If I can help level up the industry by sharing lessons and experiences with other designers while also pulling back the curtain to my best strategies, that’s a win in my book!
Are there any design dreams/goals you have?
I strive for a successful work/life balance. I’d like my children to have a mother that they admire for her drive and work ethic. But I also want them to have a mother they snuggle with at the end of the day. I am highly involved in their lives while also running a successful design business—yes, women can do both. I want to be a role model for my children and a great partner to my husband as we take this life journey together. That’s what keeps me going every day!