Designing a Shaker Kitchen

If you are looking for a timeless classic for your new kitchen design, a shaker kitchen may be the perfect choice for you. Shaker Kitchens never age. They look wonderful in both contemporary and traditional homes and are easy to decorate. This week, we will be sharing some design tips for the ultimate shaker kitchen.

There is not one other kitchen style that has stood the rest of time as well as the shaker kitchen has. They suited country cottages, grand period homes, post-war homes and still continue to make the perfect kitchen design choice today. The key to the timeless look of the shaker kitchen is its simple, unpretentious design, with no elaborate mouldings or fussy decoration.

What is a Shaker Kitchen?

A shaker kitchen is simple, practical and easy to live with and is a style which is extremely versatile. It can do so much to the home, all while giving the impression that it is an effortless look with the strength to stand the test of time. It can be dressed up or down, truly traditional or you can add a modern twist of your own.

The Shakers

The United Society of Believers, more commonly known as the Shakers, was a religious group that broke away from the Quakers in the late 18th century. Originally from Manchester England, they emigrated to America and settled in New York before spreading out across the region of New England.

The Shakers were keen craftspeople, who produced homespun furniture for their own, predominantly self-sufficient communities, and to sell on. They were well known for how high the quality of their workmanship was, with Shaker furniture known for being simple in style, durable and extremely functional. It was their belief that manufactured goods should be honest in both construction and appearance. They also believed that practices such as veneering and applied ornamentation were considered to be “deceitful”. Although certain features such as the heart or the “tree of life” were used as decoration, they were done so sparingly.

Shaker Furniture Design

While many American designers would use imported wood, such as mahogany, Shakers would make the majority of their pieces from local timbers such as pine and cherry. Most pieces would be painted or stained. Primary colours were the popular choice. Metal would not be an option as they would need to be imported, so Shakers used wood for handles.

With the Shakers ethos being so thoughtful towards the quality of craftsmanship, it is no wonder that many modern kitchens still follow this style today. However, these days designs are less than faithful, but shaker kitchens can be the perfect backdrop for modern day appliances and smart storage. While features such as glass and side panelling are not shaker features, they can certainly complement the aesthetic.

Creating a Shaker Kitchen

Simple, unadorned free-standing furniture made from real wood, either left as is or painted, with panelled unit doors, is the staple Shaker look. Separate modules will give you the freedom to rearrange the furniture to suit your lifestyle. If it is not a practical solution for your kitchen, then many manufacturers can produce beautiful built-in ranges. Given space, a kitchen island can give the space of a free-standing kitchen design.

Shaker Kitchen Design Details

Traditionally, cabinet door was made with timber knobs, painted or stained to match the unit’s colours, but satin nickel knobs or cup handles are a suitable alternative. Worktops are also wooden, but many opt for more modern materials such as granite or quartz as they are more practical and hardwearing. They are also a good option for contemporary kitchens. It is a good idea to include either open shelving with a few objects that are used regularly or glass-fronted wall united to break up a solid row of doors and allow you to show off your beautiful glassware or China.

Storage Ideas for Shaker Kitchens

It was believed by the Shakers that everything should have a place and to be kept there, making drawers and cupboards to fit each item perfectly. Why not take a leaf out of their book and opt for bespoke kitchen storage for essential items such as knives and a butcher’s block? Keeping appliances behind doors is a sure-fire way to keep the appearance of your shaker kitchen seamless.

One easy to recognise feature of Shaker kitchens is the peg rail. This is a simple strip of wood with round pegs, which was used for creating wall storage space for coats, hats, brooms and even chairs while the room would be cleaned.

Talk to Euan Begg Kitchens and Bedrooms

If you feel inspired by the idea of implementing a Shaker Kitchen into your kitchen design, then look no further. Get in touch with Euan Begg Kitchens and Bedrooms today to have a chat and arrange it a free home design visit.


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