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The Shaker Kitchen: Timeless Style Adding Value to Your Home

The shaker kitchen remains one of the most popular kitchen styles due to its timeless design, low maintenance and versatility to be personalised. What’s more, in recent years the designers’ love for the shaker movement has inspired some stunning interpretations such as bevelled or beaded edges and more ornate shaker cabinet hardware.

In this blog, you’ll learn what a shaker kitchen is and its design benefits. We’ll also share examples of shaker kitchens that may inspire your kitchen design.

What is a shaker kitchen?

The shaker kitchen is the perfect example of simplicity, sophistication and practicality. The shaker furniture design consists of a five-piece door or drawer – four flat panels to create the frame and one central recessed panel. The uncomplicated design focuses on form, proportion, strength and straight lines. 

Timeless Design

The shaker movement has been inspiring furniture designers as early as the 1900s. Its sophisticated, minimalist features allow the furniture to be paired with multiple interior styles allowing the design to transcend trends and suit both modern and character properties. Shaker kitchen furniture can be finished in a range of wooden veneers, or a painted finish either painted by hand or factory sprayed.




Bespoke Hand Painted Shaker Kitchens

Shaker kitchens are traditionally made by hand. As well as boasting all of the qualities of English handmade kitchens, they can be hand-painted. While a hand-painted finish requires a little more maintenance, hand painting gives you the freedom to choose any paint colour of your choice and allows you to refresh the colour as trends evolve or your taste changes.

Cost-Effective Shaker Kitchen Alternatives

The simple squared edges and lack of ridges in a standard shaker design stop dust and grease from being trapped, making the kitchen easier to clean. Many European manufacturers now offer shaker styles. Instead of being hand painted, this furniture is often finished in a hard-wearing lacquer available in a selection of colours. Whilst this deviates slightly from the original shaker design qualities, the furniture is easier to wipe down and it allows you to achieve the look for less.


The unassuming shaker kitchen forms the perfect foundation for personalisation. The simplicity of the classic shaker design means that it pairs nicely with both neutral and bold colour schemes.

Personality can be added to a shaker kitchen through the choice of worktop. For example, you could choose to combine your blue shaker cabinets with a subtle white quartz worktop. Alternatively, you could choose granite with a strong pattern to add interest.

Shaker Kitchen Design Ideas

In-Frame vs Lay-On Shaker Kitchens

You can choose to have a shaker kitchen with a ‘lay-on’ or ‘in-frame’ door design. A lay-on door is fitted to the front of the frame of the cabinet, whereas an in-frame door is fitted to sit within the frame. The easiest way to tell between the two is to see if the frame of the cabinet is visible.

As you will see in the first image, the cabinet frame is visible around the doors. However, in the second image, the frame is not visible around the doors and nor are the hinges. The lay-on design is a more contemporary shaker kitchen aesthetic.

‘In-frame’ kitchens create a more bespoke look. This is because mass kitchen manufacturers don’t tend to offer in-frame options due to complexity and cost, so in-frame shaker kitchens are made using handmade techniques. Handmade in-frame kitchens often have exposed butt hinges which further showcase the craftsmanship involved. The hinges can be finished in a choice of metals to suit your kitchen colour scheme including chrome, brushed steel, brass or bronze.

Two Colour Shaker Kitchens

Bespoke shaker kitchens are handmade and can be hand painted in any colour of your choosing. This shaker kitchen was a particularly large open-plan design and the shaker cabinets extended into the dining area to create additional storage. To break up the large expanse of cabinets, the kitchen was hand painted in two colours. The dark blue on the island draws your focus in to the centre of the room. Our clients chose to paint the walls in Teal, making the grey kitchen cabinets stand out against the wall.

Hybrid Shaker Kitchens

Sometimes you just simply can’t decide between a modern or traditional new kitchen, and you don’t have to. Although shaker kitchens tend to have a more traditional style, it is possible to add more contemporary design features to give your shaker a modern twist. This quirky KCA kitchen combines graphite grey shaker kitchen cabinets with flat slab furniture in an oxidised finish on the island which gives the kitchen a modern, industrial look. This style is enhanced by the exposed brick wall and the client’s accessories such as the filament pendant lights and bar stools.

Glass Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

Shaker kitchen cabinets don’t have to be made entirely from wood. In fact, adding glass to your shaker design can make your kitchen feel more individual.

Glass shaker cabinets can come in many forms, some in one piece with large panes of clear glass which show off the contents within and others with glazing bars to create smaller panes of glass.

The interior of the cabinet can be finished in your choice of timber such as walnut or oak, or you can choose a painted finish in a colour to complement or contrast the rest of the kitchen.

The cabinets can also be designed with internal LED lights. These lights transform your cupboards into beautiful display cabinets to illuminate the items within.

Shaker Kitchen Curves

Although the design of a shaker door remains largely the same, the design of the kitchen itself and design details can give each shaker kitchen a different look from the next. Shaker kitchen cabinets can be crafted in curves in the form of curved kitchen islands or curved features such as this butchers block breakfast bar.


Handcrafted shaker kitchens can be personalised with carvings. For example, you could include the name of the house or family slogan on a top rail of a pantry, or children’s names on their own drawers within the pantry. Carvings are a way of adding personality to a shaker kitchen and showcasing its handmade qualities.

With so many design possibilities, it’s no surprise that the shaker remains one of the most popular kitchen styles. The universal appeal, enduring design qualities and opportunities for personalisation make the shaker kitchen the perfect choice for any kitchen renovation.

To learn more shaker kitchen ideas, or for expert advice on how to create your very own shaker kitchen, contact our designers.


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Welcome to our new Blog
Since 1993 we’ve been designing kitchens and bedrooms for prestigious properties and learnt a wealth of hints and tips along the way; knowledge we would like to share with you here on our Blog.

Welcome to our new Blog