How to achieve the perfect shaker kitchen

The simple styling and convenient design of shaker kitchens has become world-famous, so it’s unsurprising that the style is one of the most enduringly popular. If this is the sort of look you’re hoping to achieve in your kitchen, read our guide to what you should consider when planning and designing the space.

What defines the shaker style?

The shaker kitchen style originally emerged in the simple, handmade designs of the Shakers – a religious sect that formed an offshoot of Quakerism in 1700s America. Construction of understated yet well-made pieces of furniture was seen as an act of prayer, so the focus was largely on the quality and hard work that went into the designs, rather than on the elaborateness of the pieces themselves.

Using lightly-coloured woods, the Shakers fashioned all sorts of items, including objects for the kitchen, and their simple style has trickled down throughout the ages to influence even the most modern kitchens.

Can I achieve the look in my home?

Regardless of the type of property you live in, you can introduce elements of the shaker style in your kitchen. Period homes, contemporary flats, family homes – they can all benefit from the unfussy shaker design, which helps bring about a cosy, calm ambience in the home.

The pieces you invest in will usually be constructed of pale, lightweight wood like pine, maple or beech – often painted in light shades – and the style of things like cupboard doors and drawers should be traditional yet simple. Shaker kitchens have a rustic charm that really ensures the space is the heart of your home.

Shaker kitchens are also ideal if you want to ensure the area is low maintenance, as there are no elaborate elements to regularly clean, just simple lines and a traditional yet minimalist style.

How can I get the look?

As well as investing in the right, high-quality units for your shaker kitchen, you’ll need to give some thought to the room as a whole, and how you’ll achieve the desired look throughout. The style of shaker kitchens is understated, with wooden elements and muted colours, so consider leaving your floorboards uncovered and finishing them with some varnish rather than laying some modern lino, for example.

Alternatively, pale stone tiles can also help you achieve a traditional but not old-fashioned look in the kitchen, while chalky whites offset unfinished pine pieces well, so consider having your units finished in a matt white colour, along with parts of your table like the legs or base for consistency.

Utilising materials like stone in the space adds to the natural effect of the wooden units and gives the kitchen a rustic homeliness. However, if you’re keen to incorporate a little modernity into your shaker kitchen, you can bring the design up-to-date with little touches like matt metal knobs for the drawers and cupboards, contemporary integrated units and angular edges.

Freestanding units are also a characteristic of the shaker style, so take a look at how this sort of design might fit into your kitchen. If you’re not sure how to turn your ideas into the perfect shaker kitchen, enlist the skills of a bespoke kitchen manufacturer and you’ll be able to control every aspect of the design and layout, so you can really achieve the look you’re hoping for.


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