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Redefining Shaker: 7 Ways to Make Your Shaker Kitchen More Modern

Shaker kitchens are universally loved and found in nearly every style of home, from modern to period properties; they’re just so versatile. At KCA, we have designed shaker kitchens since 1993, and it’s a topic we have explored in previous articles. For an introduction, read our guide to shaker kitchens or visit our 12 shaker kitchen ideas blog for inspiration.

While the shaker style is iconic and has endured over time, this doesn’t mean that the style is rigid or uniform. There are many ways to design a shaker kitchen to create different looks to suit each client, and one of these ways is by designing a modern shaker.

In this blog, our designers share seven ways to make a shaker kitchen look modern.

 

Shaker Kitchens & Modern Design

Many people associate shaker as a traditional style; after all, it is named after a mid-19th-century religious sect called The Shaking Quakers. However, the style’s simplicity, craftsmanship and minimalism make it easily modernised. 

When discussing shaker kitchens with our clients, we often hear comments like, “a shaker kitchen is a shaker kitchen. We want something a little different”, which is understandable because the shaker is a clear, precise and classic style which has the potential to restrict the design. However, with a keen design eye and a client willing to test the boundaries, there are many ways to elevate the standard traditional shaker. Read on for seven design tips.

1. Combine Shaker & Flat-Panel Cabinetry

For a more contemporary look, combine traditional shaker and modern flat panel doors. This juxtaposition of classic and modern styles creates something that feels transitional.

Man-made flat panel doors also offer a wide variety of finishes beyond just different colours, so there’s plenty of opportunity to incorporate textures such as concrete and metal for a more intriguing result.

To ensure the final design is cohesive, we recommend using flat panel cabinetry in a matte or satin finish to complement the shaker.

2. Contemporary Detailing

Shaker kitchen doors might look similar to one another. However, subtle nuances between each shaker-style door can create a more traditional or modern look.

For instance, industrial and art deco shaker designs tend to have a thinner profile than the traditional shaker, which would have been wider, so this is a great choice for that modern style.

Other design decisions to consider are details within the door, such as beads or steps, along with the style of the cornice or whether to have an ornate mantle or contemporary cooker hood. Pairing back the intricacies and detailing will make the kitchen look more linear, minimalist and modern.

3. Contemporary Hardware

Shaker kitchens traditionally feature cup handles and knobs, so for an instant modern look swap these in favour of a long bar handle.

To elevate your bar handles, opt for those with stylish detailing such as knurled, fluted or linear, as these retain the modern aesthetic whilst offering a premium finish and unique detail.

4. Handleless Shaker

Go one step further than modern handles by removing them completely with a handles shaker. A handleless shaker combines the iconic style of a shaker with the minimalism of modern designs.

This is a brand new concept and will challenge the more conventional design ideas; however, it elevates the furniture to a new level for modern-day living.

The shaker kitchen display at our Winkfield showroom features handless, so why not visit us to see this new style for yourself?

5. Modern Finishes

Shaker kitchens are traditionally crafted with timbers such as tulip, poplar or hardwood, which gives the furniture a very tight grain, and a smooth painted finish can be achieved over the top.

The shaker can be modernised with a manufactured finish such as a smooth satin lacquer. This has the added benefit of being incredibly hard-wearing, offering excellent durability for daily life.

6. A Modern Kitchen Island

A kitchen’s layout itself can be more traditional or modern. For instance, swapping a traditional shaker island with ornate pilasters and plinths for a contemporary waterfall-style island can give your kitchen a modern look.

The kitchen shown here features a solid stone island with breakfast bar seating and an integrated dining table. This stone island design is a popular feature for modern kitchens. However, it works just as beautifully in a modern shaker.

7. Sleek Integrated Appliances

Shaker kitchens are often combined with classic appliances such as range cookers. Choose minimalist, integrated appliances from the leading brands Miele, Siemens, Neff and Bora to give your kitchen a more modern look.

Swap the traditional range cooker hob or gas hob for a sleek induction version to create a more linear design with the added benefit of the latest cooking technology.

As with all of the kitchens we design at KCA, there are many ways we can personalise a shaker kitchen for you and your home. To find out more about the incredible design possibilities we offer, contact our showroom in Winkfield to book a free design consultation.

 

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