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The Shaker style kitchen is a classic and timeless design that has endured for centuries. Characterised by simplicity, functionality, and clean lines, the Shaker style originated from the Shaker religious community in the 18th century. Today, it continues to be a popular choice for those seeking a combination of traditional charm and modern functionality in their kitchen spaces. Our design and build team in London specialising in luxury kitchen extensions looks into the various aspects of Shaker style kitchens, from its fundamental elements to modern interpretations and innovative ideas to elevate this enduring design.

What is a Shaker Style Kitchen?

A Shaker style kitchen is rooted in the principles of the Shaker religious community, which believed in simplicity, utility, and honesty in design. Shaker furniture and architecture reflect these principles, characterised by clean lines, minimal ornamentation, and functional features. In the context of kitchens, the Shaker style embraces a design philosophy that values practicality and craftsmanship, creating spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and highly efficient.

Modern Shaker Style Kitchen

While the Shaker style originated in the 18th century, its enduring appeal has led to modern interpretations that blend classic elements with contemporary aesthetics. A modern Shaker style kitchen often incorporates sleeker lines, updated materials, and a more minimalist approach. These kitchens retain the fundamental Shaker principles while adapting to the demands of contemporary living.

Kitchen Shaker Style Doors

One of the defining features of a Shaker style kitchen is the style of the kitchen doors. Shaker doors are typically characterised by a five-piece construction, with a flat centre panel framed by four sturdy rails and stiles. The simplicity of the door design contributes to the overall clean and uncluttered look of the kitchen. Modern variations may feature inset panels or subtle embellishments, maintaining the essence of Shaker style while adding a touch of sophistication.

Kitchen Shaker Style Cabinets

Kitchen with shaker style cabinets.

Shaker style cabinets are the backbone of a Shaker kitchen, and their design plays a crucial role in achieving the desired aesthetic. Cabinets are often made of solid wood, reflecting the Shaker commitment to craftsmanship and durability. White or light-coloured cabinets, like in this modern Shaker style kitchen design in Lincoln Avenue are popular choices, contributing to the bright and airy feel associated with Shaker kitchens. However, modern interpretations may explore a wider range of colours, allowing for personalised and contemporary expressions. For example, this Wolfington Road kitchen extension uses Shaker cabinets in a deep, elegant green.

Classic Shaker Kitchen Ideas

For those who appreciate the authenticity of the classic Shaker style, there are several ideas to consider when designing a kitchen that pays homage to this timeless aesthetic.

Unpainted Cabinetry for an Authentic Shaker Look

Kitchen with unpainted counter tops to give it a shaker style look.

To capture the essence of traditional Shaker design, consider choosing unpainted cabinetry or countertops. Natural wood finishes, such as oak, maple, or cherry, showcase the beauty of the wood grain and emphasise the craftsmanship behind Shaker-style furniture. Unpainted cabinets exude warmth and authenticity, creating a connection to the past while remaining relevant in the present.

Storage for Shaker Kitchen

Efficient storage solutions are integral to Shaker kitchens. Embrace the Shaker commitment to simplicity by incorporating built-in storage options. Consider pull-out pantry shelves, deep drawers, and customised organisers to maximise space and keep the kitchen clutter-free. The result is a functional and organised space that aligns with the practicality of Shaker design.

Patterned Wallpaper and Colour to Add Character

While Shaker style is often associated with neutral colours and simplicity, there’s plenty of room for creativity within the aesthetic. Introduce character to the kitchen with patterned wallpaper or a carefully chosen accent colour. This can be applied to a feature wall or incorporated through accessories and textiles, adding personality without compromising the overall simplicity of the design.

Embrace Natural Materials from Ceiling to Floor

In keeping with the Shaker commitment to authenticity, embrace natural materials throughout the kitchen. From hardwood floors to wooden ceiling beams, the use of natural materials adds warmth and a sense of connection to nature. Stone countertops, such as marble or granite, further enhance the timeless appeal of the space.

Quintessential Shaker Elements

To ensure that your kitchen remains true to Shaker style, incorporate quintessential elements such as simple hardware, unadorned light fixtures, and a farmhouse sink. These details pay homage to the historical roots of the Shaker design while maintaining a cohesive and harmonious aesthetic.

Incorporating Shaker Kitchen Ideas with Other Styles

Kitchen design that incorporates shaker style ideas with other styles.

While a classic Shaker kitchen holds its own charm, there’s room to experiment by blending Shaker elements with other design styles. This fusion allows for a personalised and unique kitchen that combines the best of both worlds. One great example is this Barry Road kitchen extension, where the Shaker style is used as a foundation for an artistic, character-filled space.

Mix Different Colours on Cabinetry

Shaker style kitchen with mixed colours on cabinetry.

While white or light-coloured cabinets are synonymous with Shaker kitchens, consider mixing different colours to add visual interest. Choose a two-tone cabinet scheme by combining a neutral shade with a muted pastel or a darker hue, like in this Kingsway kitchen extension. This modern twist on Shaker style injects personality into the space while maintaining the overall balance of simplicity.

Glazed Cabinets

Kitchen extension with a shaker style glazed cabinet.

Introduce glazed cabinets to reflect and bounce light around the kitchen. This not only brightens the space but also adds a touch of elegance to the Shaker aesthetic. Glass-fronted cabinets, including free-standing pieces, can be used to display carefully curated items, balancing the practicality of Shaker design with decorative elements. A great example of this is this Petergate kitchen extension.

Accessorise with Rustic Materials

Kitchen with rustic materials to give a shaker style kitchen look.

Enhance the Shaker kitchen with rustic accessories that complement the simplicity of the design. Consider wrought iron or black metal hardware, open shelving with reclaimed wood, or vintage-inspired lighting fixtures. These rustic touches, which you can see in this Clyde Road kitchen extension, add character and warmth, creating a lived-in feel within the clean lines of the Shaker style.

Add a Timeless Sink

Incorporate a farmhouse or apron-front sink for a timeless touch that complements the Shaker style. The simplicity of the Shaker cabinets pairs well with the classic, practical design of farmhouse or butler sinks, creating a harmonious and functional focal point in the kitchen. You can also incorporate some glamour into this design with a copper or metallic sink.

Add Texture with Tiles

Experiment with textures by incorporating patterned or textured tiles into the kitchen design. This can be achieved through a decorative backsplash or tiled flooring. The juxtaposition of texture against the simplicity of Shaker cabinets adds depth and visual interest, creating a modern and inviting space.

Shaker style kitchens have stood the test of time, and their enduring popularity is a testament to the timeless appeal of clean lines, functional design, and craftsmanship. Whether you prefer a classic interpretation or a modern twist, Shaker kitchens provide a versatile canvas for creating a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. By embracing the fundamental principles of Shaker design while incorporating innovative ideas, you can achieve a kitchen that seamlessly blends tradition with contemporary living, ensuring a timeless and elegant atmosphere for years to come.

See more kitchen style ideas here.

Use the Best Kitchen Design and Construction Specialists in London

As a leading design and build company in London, we bring a wealth of experience and dedication to every project we undertake. Our family-run business takes pride in crafting beautifully tailored kitchen extensions that cater to homes of all sizes. 

From the initial concept to the final finishing touches, we oversee every aspect of the design, planning, and construction process, ensuring your kitchen reflects your unique style and fulfils your specific needs. We even have a cost calculator that you can use to help plan your kitchen design. At Plus Rooms, we understand that your kitchen is the heart of your home, and we are committed to transforming it into a space where memories are made. With our expertise and passion for excellence, you can trust us to turn your kitchen dreams into a reality. Contact us today for more information.