Shaker design is characterized by clean lines that add visual depth and interest to the kitchen without being visually overpowering. Synonymous with understated style and craftsmanship, today’s Shaker style includes historically-influenced furnishings and accents that hide the thoroughly modern amenities homeowners want.
Style that Stands the Test of Time
No other kitchen style is as universally loved as the Shaker one. As well-suited for country cottages as it is for postwar homes or historical residences, the simple, unpretentious design is a versatile look that achieves so much with little to no fuss. Its effortless look continues to look fresh long after you’ve completed your kitchen remodel. The design style has a unique history.
The Shakers, also known as the United Society of Believers, were a religious group that in the late 1700s broke away from the Quakers. They got their name from the dancing and shaking motions used during their worship times.
Self-sufficient, the Shakers were skilled and passionate craftspeople and produced furniture made from local woods such as pine, maple, and cherry that quickly became valued for its simple style, durability, and functionality. Most pieces were stained or painted blue, green, red, and/or yellow and simple turned-wood knobs were used in place of metals.
How to Create Your Shaker Kitchen
A “true” Shaker kitchen uses free-standing furniture with paneled unit doors, with the separate pieces allowing you to rearrange the kitchen layout for different looks. Most homeowners choose a more traditional layout, choosing installed cabinets with flat panel craftsman style doors, and a Shaker-style central island as their “free-standing” piece.
Of course, what goes on behind those simple cabinet doors is another story! The Shakers themselves believed in having a place for everything, so feel free to indulge in today’s modern storage solutions.
Which cabinet door is best for your individual style? Here are the three most popular choices.
- If you want a more modern look, leave the cabinets hardware free. Paint the cabinets black, white or charcoal grey, or consider doors made from a darker grain wood, such as walnut.
- If transitional is more your style, consider a small design change, such a slightly beveled edge. Though not as “pure” as a true Shaker cabinet, a simple change can help keep your kitchen from appearing too modern.
- Are you a true traditionalist? Use a lighter wood finish or paint color and choose eclectic or antique hardware.
Other traditional Shaker elements include wood grain, stone, and earthy tones. Ideal paint colors are pale grey-blue, muted green, or cream, with deeper colors used for accent. Since your color scheme will not be vibrant, play off the texture, instead. For example, you might want to choose a butcher block island with surround counters in stone or concrete. Keep the backsplash simple; larger format 8×12 tiles work great. Countertops, too, should be clean, with no fancy edges.
Smaller details in a Shaker kitchen include wood knobs that match the stain or paint of the cabinets, but satin nickel pulls, or knobs are also nice. Some open shelving should be included, though what’s on the shelves should be simple and uncluttered.
Finally, no simple feature instantly defines a Shaker kitchen like the peg rail. Originally used to hang dining chairs, homeowners today use them for everything from dishtowels and aprons to gardening hats, cutting boards, and baskets.
The modern Shaker kitchen beautifully blends early 19th-century design with up-to-date appliances, materials, and fixtures. It uses the best in modern manufacturing but gives the warm and inviting look many homeowners prefer. No matter what architectural style your Greater St. Louis area home may be, this classic American design makes a beautiful and long-lasting addition to any kitchen remodel.
Ready to move ahead with your own Shaker style kitchen remodel? For over 20 years, J.T. McDermott Remodeling has been giving homeowners in the Greater St. Louis area the updated kitchens they’ve dreamed about. To learn more about how to get started, schedule a consultation with us today. We look forward to meeting with you!
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.