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The Shaker kitchen dates back to the mid-18th century and shares its name with the Shaker religion from which the design originates. The Shakers believed in simple living and that every object should be functional, without any decoration or ornamentation.
The Shaker kitchen door is made from just 5 main pieces of wood: 2 rails, 2 stiles and a central panel, which gives the Shaker kitchen its signature framed panel style – sturdy, simplistic and stylish.
Shaker is a notable design movement in architecture and furniture and remains popular due to its classic style.
The Shakers intended their designs to last a lifetime and so the wood used was top quality timber such as pine, cherry, maple or oak. The simple yet elegant design means a Shaker kitchen suits both traditional and modern homes and it gives the perfect base to make the kitchen your own.
Shakers would traditionally either leave their kitchen cabinets in their natural wood, just oiling them to maintain them, or they would paint them using plant dyes, which left a beautiful earthy tone to the kitchen units and allowed the natural grain of the wood to show through.
Renowned for being practical, simple and, above all, purposeful, there are many ways to bring your personality out in a Shaker style kitchen and to bring this classic design into the modern day. Below are just a few kitchen design ideas to think about.
If you have space, a kitchen island works wonderfully well in a Shaker design. Keeping functionality in mind to ensure you follow the design ethos, you may want to double up your island as a place to sit and eat, or to maximise on kitchen storage and preparation space. An island could house a sink, breakfast bar area or wine rack. Just be aware of the flow of your kitchen and make sure it is situated in the optimal place for food prep, cooking and/or socialising.
The Shaker kitchen is an ideal design for a wide range of kitchens due to its versatility and simple design. If you want to create a modern kitchen style, think about worktops in granite or quartz. This will add a gloss finish and high quality aesthetic to your kitchen. You can also go bolder with your colour choices, perhaps use stark black, or brilliant white, or marble tones for a super luxe finish.
If you want to create a classic Shaker kitchen and remain true to its roots, it's worth considering wooden worktops. The natural grain and feeling of homeliness wood creates indoors will work perfectly with the Shaker kitchen units. If you want worktops that are lower maintenance and more cost-effective, think about laminate worktops in the style of wood. High definition printing means that laminate can mimic any material to look like the real thing.
If you want to emulate a classic Shaker kitchen, you may want to consider wood flooring as this will bring the original practicality of the design style through to the modern day. This works well as either vanished wood, wooden vinyl, or a painted wood if you would prefer to add some colour to your flooring.
Stone effect flooring looks amazing with a Shaker kitchen and suits the philosophy of the original design. A popular combination is a country kitchen style with Shaker units, where stone flooring works well to bring the outside in, helping create a natural look.
Traditionally, handles on a Shaker kitchen were timber knobs, which work well if you want to stay in keeping with the original look. Good alternatives include metal knobs, bars or shell handles, which all work well with a Shaker design.
If you’d like more advice on a Shaker style kitchen, why not speak to one of our kitchen experts at your local showroom? We can offer a free consultation with one of our designers and an estimate of the cost of a new kitchen makeover, with no obligation.