If you’re considering a kitchen refresh and the shaker style has caught your eye, you’re not alone. Shaker kitchens are one of the most popular kitchen styles around. In fact, Instagram data collected by Dulux found that they were the biggest kitchen trend in 2020 thanks to their simplistic and sophisticated design. But what exactly is a shaker kitchen, where did the style come from, and why is it so popular? Here, we’ll answer your questions about this popular kitchen design and offer tips for introducing the timeless style into any modern home.

What is a shaker kitchen?

Shaker style kitchen fronts consist of a single central panel with a symmetrical raised frame and very little decoration. The design originates from the Shakers, a community focused on an honest, equal, and self-sufficient way of living. Alongside architecture, music, and various technological innovations, the Shakers were widely known for their simplistic style of wooden furniture which focused on quality materials over intricate designs and was built to be durable and practical rather than ornamental.

It wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that shaker kitchens started to become popular in homes outside of the Shaker community. Once the style took hold, it never left. Today, the shaker kitchen still embodies the quality and craftmanship the style was originally known for. Modern shaker kitchens have evolved for the present day, but the focus on quality and practicality resides. The unassuming style of the shaker kitchen can be combined with up-to-date touches and innovative storage options for a contemporary look that still does the traditional style justice.

Why are shaker kitchens popular?

Today, just a few Shakers reside in a small village in Maine — however, the shaker style kitchen is still widely popular across the world, largely due to its minimalistic, timeless style. The design is highly adaptable and easy to manufacture, which is why it’s so widely available. Schüller expertly combines the quality and timelessness of shaker kitchens with the practicality and high calibre of German kitchens to create a range that’s guaranteed to stand the test of time.

The lack of detailing and matte wooden finish also makes shaker kitchens incredibly easy to clean and maintain, as there aren’t any small nooks for dust, grease, and debris to collect in and no shiny surfaces to polish. Their clean lines and pared back design also make them easy to incorporate into any home, no matter the existing interior décor. Whether it’s a traditional style home or a sleek, modern space, the shaker kitchen fits right in.

Shaker kitchen design ideas for a modern home

While shaker cabinets are a traditional style at heart, they can easily feel at home in modern kitchens thanks to their simplistic design. Mix and match traditional shaker styles with modern touches to pull the space together and create the room of your dreams. Below are just some ways you can incorporate a shaker kitchen into your contemporary home. For more kitchen styling tips, be sure to take a look at our kitchen design guide.

Go bold with colour

One way to instantly modernise your kitchen is by experimenting with colour. While traditional shaker kitchens retained their natural wood finish, contemporary options are available in a wide range of colours, from muted white and dove grey tones all the way through to deep navy and forest green.

For added depth, you might create a two-toned kitchen by pairing your shaker cabinets with an island in a contrasting colour. You can then add extra interest and brightness by choosing patterned tiles, flooring, and wallpaper to bring your classic shaker kitchen into the modern day.

Upgrade your handles

Shaker kitchens are traditionally crafted with rounded knobs or cup handles but switching them out for a more contemporary design can instantly transform the overall look of your shaker fronts. Bar and bow handles can both add a modern twist to your kitchen, while still staying in keeping with the shaker design’s unfussy style. Our Schüller handles are also available in stainless steel, black, and brass-coloured finishes, allowing you to create a style that’s unique to your home.

Feel free to mix and match your handles, too, by utilising different styles on your upper and lower cabinets. You could opt for a mixture of traditional and modern handle styles to add some extra character to your kitchen.

Update your worktops

Alongside cabinet fronts and hardware, worktops can also drastically transform the look and feel of your kitchen and dining space. Solid wood and granite worktops are a traditional style that works very well with shaker kitchens, but you can also shake things up by choosing a more modern finish. Quartz worktops, for instance, are a mixture of natural quartz, colour pigments, and binders moulded together. The result replicates both the look and feel of high-quality, natural quartz stone without being overly sleek and modern, making it the perfect pairing for traditional shaker style fronts.

Integrate your appliances

If you like the clean, fuss-free look of a shaker kitchen, make the most of this aesthetic by integrating your kitchen appliances into your cabinetry. This is a great option in small kitchens, as it can help keep the space looking neat and uncluttered for an overall sleeker, more contemporary look, but it can work just as well in larger kitchens, too.

Alongside appliances, you can integrate other essential features like extractor fans. Our collection of Wave extractor hoods includes a variety of designs, with plenty of built-in options that can be integrated into your cabinets, ceiling, or lighting for a discreet and stylish finish.

Incorporate storage solutions

Shaker kitchens are a highly practical design that doesn’t sacrifice function or style. When combined with the quality and innovation of a German kitchen and its tailored storage solutions, you can create a beautiful kitchen that works for you both aesthetically and functionally. From clever drawer inserts to narrow pantry cupboards and more, make the most of modern storage concepts to hide away all your kitchen essentials. As shaker kitchens are traditionally modest and minimalistic, you can retain the original look while still keeping everything within reach. For even more storage tips like this, be sure to read our guide to kitchen organisation.

Add extra lighting

Extra finishing touches like lighting can help to transform the overall style of your modern shaker kitchen. Sophisticated LED lighting can add atmosphere as well as brightness to your space, as can dressing up your kitchen island with pendant lighting. You might also install under-counter task lighting and ambient lighting in your open shelving to highlight accents and add a modern touch to the traditional shaker kitchen style.

The shaker kitchen is a popular design style for a reason, and with our tips above, you can incoprorate this classic style in even the most modern of spaces. For even more ideas, take a look at our shaker kitchen inspiration or visit our national showroom in Hexham. Our designers can help you create the bespoke shaker kitchen of your dreams, so book an appointment today.