Shaker kitchens are timeless, effortlessly stylish and incredibly durable. Described as “simple, yet striking” by Ideal Home Magazine, Shaker kitchens are an ever-popular choice for new homes and older style properties. But what specifically is a Shaker kitchen and what does it look like?
What is a traditional Shaker-style kitchen?
Shaker kitchens were originally designed by the ‘Shaking Quaker’ people who believed in simplicity, utility and honesty. Their “beauty rests on utility” ethos lead to uncluttered, classically simple kitchen designs that were handcrafted, built to last and highly functional. Shaker style was all about creating a functional space, with clean lines and a quality finish, without excessive ornamentation.
What period is Shaker style?
Shaker-style was founded as far back as the mid-1700s, but Shaker kitchen designs didn’t reach the mass market until 1860s. Find out more about the history of Shaker kitchens here.
So, what is a Shaker kitchen nowadays?
Modern Shaker kitchens take the best of the Shaker style and design principles and combine it with modern convenience to create stunning kitchens that are a celebration of craftsmanship and functionality. The Shaker fundamentals have given way to beautiful, modern kitchen designs that focus on quality, effortless style and space optimisation. The uncomplicated design of Shaker kitchens means they work well in any property, from farm cottage to a modern apartment.
1. Shaker-style cabinets
Shaker-style cabinet doors are defined by the classic bevelled edge and recessed centre. The high-quality finish and uninterrupted straight lines of Shaker kitchen cabinets are simple and elegant, with minimal embellishments. And above all, Shaker kitchens are built to last. Here at Olive & Barr, our handcrafted Shaker kitchen cabinets are made with solid oak drawer boxes and stunning tulipwood doors to ensure the longevity of our designs.
2. Shaker-style clever storage
Shaker kitchens are also characterised by clever storage, thanks to the age-old Shaker principle of utility. Shakers believed in a place for everything, so Shaker kitchens have wide, deep drawers, large larders and bespoke cabinetry to fit even the smallest of spaces. At Olive & Barr, we offer a kitchen fitting service where we visit your home, assess your space and create a bespoke design to maximise the functionality of your kitchen, whilst meeting your aesthetic goals.
3. Clutter-free Shaker style
Due to the Shaker ethos of simplicity, modern Shaker kitchens also allow for tidy and clutter-free kitchen spaces. With built-in, hidden away appliances and minimalist design, Shaker kitchens boast clean lines not clutter.
4. Shaker-style islands
Shaker-style islands create striking, practical centrepieces. Kitchen islands are a traditional Shaker way to create extra storage and worktop space, in keeping with the clutter-free ethos. Shaker-style islands are also a clever way to manipulate the space in a kitchen, moving the stovetop or sink for example, allowing conversations to continue throughout meals, from preparation through to cooking and cleaning.
On the whole, Shaker kitchens combine impressive style that’s ripe for entertaining, with the practicality you need for everyday life.
How to make a Shaker kitchen look modern
The timeless Shaker-style cabinetry and use of space, work well in traditional properties, but you can give the classic design a modern twist too through bold colour choices and contemporary handle selection.
What handles work on a Shaker kitchen?
The simple style of a Shaker kitchen means it lends itself well to most types of handles from wood to metal, cups to knobs. With a Shaker kitchen, you have the versatility to choose handles that work with your personal taste, the style of your home and your practical needs. At Olive & Barr, our creative kitchen designers can take this all into account and propose a range of styles that will complement your kitchen perfectly.
What colour is a Shaker kitchen?
Traditionally, Shaker kitchens were painted or stained, and popular colours were blue, green and red. Depending on whether you’re going for a traditional look or more modern feel, there are a number of colours that work well in a Shaker kitchen.
Ivory Shaker kitchens
Ivory Shaker kitchens look crisp, clean, modern and stylish. The neutral colour scheme creates a blank canvas to which you can add your own style of worktop, handles and accessories. Ivory adds comfortable elegance to your kitchen and is an ideal colour to brighten up a space that lacks natural light.
Grey Shaker kitchens
Grey Shaker kitchens are hugely popular and very much on-trend for 2020. Grey adds a contemporary flair to the classic Shaker style. Whether you opt for a smart dark tone or a warm and inviting light hue, grey works well in most Shaker kitchen spaces.
Green Shaker kitchens
Green Shaker kitchens are beautifully bold. If you want to make a statement, while keeping a peaceful and uplifting feel, green is an excellent colour choice for your Shaker kitchen.
Blue Shaker kitchens
Blue Shaker kitchens ooze class. Dramatically different, deep blue tones create the ideal backdrop for stylish kitchens that are made for entertaining. This up-and-coming colour is warm, homely and deeply luxurious.
Can you paint Shaker kitchens?
At Olive & Barr, we meticulously hand paint all our Shaker kitchens with high-quality durable paint that adds lustre and a subtle sheen. We offer Shaker kitchens in a range of colours or we can finish in the colour of your choice (for a small charge). And if you want to change the colour of your kitchen in the future, we can do that for you too.
How much are shaker kitchens?
The price of a Shaker kitchen depends on the size of your kitchen and the scope of your requirements. They can be very cost-effective though. The incredible durability and longevity of Shaker kitchens mean that they offer great value for money over the long term. And if you choose a kitchen supplier that offers a quality product at a competitive price, like Olive & Barr, it might cost you less than you think. We conducted a price comparison recently and our handcrafted kitchens were 40-50% cheaper than our closest competitors, so it pays to shop around.
Shaker kitchen examples
If you want to see more examples of stunning Shaker kitchens, browse through our range of Shaker-inspired designs and kitchen ideas. They’re all handcrafted right here in the UK by our skilled artisans and offer unrivalled value for money.