Shake things up with a Shaker Kitchen


In the fast-paced, all-action world of today, it is often difficult to find an interior design style that stands the test of time. However, there are a few perennial classics that remain steadfast in their popularity – and a Shaker style is one of the few.

The origins of a Shaker kitchen can be traced back to the late 18th century. The Shakers were a religious group that broke away from the Quakers in Great Britain before moving to New England.

Shakers were master craftsmen and produced beautiful furniture from local timbers such as maple and pine. Other craftsmen often used imported wood such as mahogany but the Shakers prided themselves on their simplicity in style using local material.

This mantra of quality craftsmanship and simple stylings with hints of muted colour has stood the test of time and the style is now adapted in a huge variety of homes across the world – from cosy country cottages to newly built detached properties.

If you are looking to shake your kitchen up, why not go for Shaker. Some small but ultimately significant changes will go a long way to transforming the heart of your home into that timeless Shaker style.

Malmsbury Shaker

Furniture Materials

The key to finding the essence of that timeless Shaker style is to use simplify everything. This goes for all of the furniture in your kitchen. Unembellished, simple free-standing furniture made with real wood is a perfect place to start. Leaving the furniture natural is an option but if you are looking to inject some colour into the room, paint the wood with a muted blue or green.

Brand new real wooden furniture can often be a huge expense, so if you are working on a budget, visit your local flea market and see if you can find any unearthed gems. Older pieces of furniture will give your Shaker kitchen an unrivalled authenticity – every scratch and unintentional groove in the furniture tells a story of its past.

Shelving and Storage

The simplicity of a Shaker kitchen means that clutter and overcrowded sideboards are a definite no-go. This includes larger appliances that in any other kitchen style would sit nicely on display. Instead, create some clever storage solutions for all of your appliances, whether it be a simple draw or a more elaborate system.

A classic feature of many Shaker kitchens is a peg rail, which is a simple length of wood on the wall, with round pegs attached. These can be used to hang all types of kitchen accessories and will ensure that everyone knows that your kitchen is in the Shaker style. It is simply a more unique variant to a modern dresser.

Handles for your storage drawers are of significance when trying to capture the essence of a Shaker kitchen. Traditionally, timber knobs and handles were used that matched the material of the furniture. However, you can inject a modern twist on the handles of your storage drawers with some satin nickel for example.

Colour Schemes

One of the most important aspects of a Shaker kitchen is the colour scheme, or more specifically, the simplicity of the colour scheme.

Firstly, it is important to remember that patterns are a definite no-go, unless they are barely visible or their colours are extremely muted. Patterns directly contradict the simplistic, clean style that a Shaker kitchen should portray.

The best colours to use in a Shaker kitchen are cream, pale grey or blue, or any primary colour providing it is muted. Always try a dual colour scheme if possible. For example if you decide to plump for cream or neutral walls, add some colour to your furniture and/or storage, and vice-versa.


Traditionally, countertops in Shaker kitchens would be made from wood. However, in a modern kitchen, with so much activity going on, this can often be a nightmare to keep clean.

Adding a modern look to your countertops is a more than acceptable way of introducing the Shaker style to the 21st century. Granite counters will work perfectly fine and will not detract from the overall look. However, it must be remembered that countertops, whether traditional or modern, should be kept clear of appliances and accessories, otherwise the overall style that you are hoping to achieve could be compromised.

We’d like to thank Stonehouse Bespoke Kitchen Design for this insight.


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