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Get the look - Shaker Kitchen Style

20 October 2023

Shaker kitchens have pretty much cemented their place in the kitchen design hall of fame over the last few years: seen as a design classic, they are the perfect go-to for anyone looking to achieve a natural, timeless look in their home.

However, the style is constantly evolving and adapting to reflect current trends and innovations. In this article, we’ll look at the history of the Shaker kitchen, the typical features you’d expect to find and how the industry is, quite literally, shaking things up!



Where did it all start?
The Shakers were a religious group that emigrated from England to the United States in the 18th century. Their guiding principles included simplicity, utility, and the pursuit of a harmonious, communal life. These principles extended to their approach to design and craftsmanship, including their furniture and kitchen styles.

Shaker aesthetics were orientated around the philosophy of form, function and proportion. In fact it was a Shaker belief that simplicity and beautiful craftsmanship were both forms of prayer. 

As a result, Shaker designs are characterised by their clean, unadorned appearance, featuring flat panel cabinet doors, straightforward lines, and a strong emphasis on craftsmanship. Having said this, the quest for a minimalistic look by the founders of this style may come as a surprise to homeowners today who are more inclined to associate the typical minimal look with sleek, handleless designs.


How is a Shaker cabinet defined?
The true definition of a Shaker cabinet is one made from wood that includes 5-piece doors with flat recessed panels and no bevel on the frame - click here for an example. Drawers also reflect this five-piece design or alternatively have a simple slab front. In recent years, the term ‘Shaker kitchen’ has become more of an umbrella term for a wide range of styles and finishes that nod to the origins of the style but also incorporate new trends and innovations.

Key features of a Shaker kitchen
Craftsmanship: The Shaker style places a high premium on craftsmanship and quality. Shaker cabinets should ooze attention to detail through every aspect of the design, from the precision of the joinery to the smoothness of the finishes.

Wooden Cabinetry: Shaker kitchens predominantly feature wooden or wood-effect cabinetry. This natural look not only adds warmth and character to the room but also ensures the durability of the kitchen. 

AK Fitted Interiors have showrooms in Bromsgrove, Kenilworth, Knowle and Studley, why not pay us a visit and talk to one our of expert designers about your next kitchen project.



Neutral Colour Palette: Shaker kitchens typically feature a neutral colour palette, such as white, off-white, or soft muted tones. This choice of colours allows the focus to remain on the craftsmanship and simplicity of the design. However, it is not unusual now to see shaker kitchens in two tone colours, often with one making a bold statement: click to see a striking turquoise and grey combination. For a more subtle but equally as striking example click to see this recently installed project in Knowle. With so much colour choice available to the consumer, many of our clients decide to express their personality with a stronger colour!

Open Shelving: Open shelves or plate racks are a common feature in Shaker kitchens. These elements add a practical touch, making it easy to access and display everyday items like dishes and glassware. See this look on display at our Kenilworth showroom, 

Belfast Sinks: Belfast sinks are incredibly popular in Shaker kitchens, enhancing the vintage and country charm that is so typical of this style. Check out a beautiful example on one of our Hampton-in-Arden installations.

How to achieve a modern Shaker look
If you love the fundamental look of Shaker cabinets but want a style that will fit with a more contemporary home, try tweaking some of the basic rules to strike a perfect balance. A simple way to modernise the style is to swap out the traditional wooden knobs for alternatives such as cups or bar handles in metal finishes. A mix of styles also adds a contemporary edge. Elsewhere in the kitchen, use granite or quartz worktops and integrated appliances to create a level of understated luxury. See a stunning example here.



In conclusion, whether you’re seeking a classic and timeless kitchen design or a versatile style that can evolve with changing tastes, the Shaker kitchen style remains a steadfast choice for those who appreciate the beauty of simplicity and the value of quality craftsmanship in their living spaces.

Here at AK Fitted Interiors, we are passionate when it comes to interior design and pride ourselves in delivering value for money. With over 40 years of experience under our belts, we work with our clients to design stunning interiors.  If you'd like to know more about us and what we can offer you, please get in touch.

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