Shaker Kitchens: A Timeless Classic

One of our favourite kitchen styles here at Kellyvision Kitchens & Bedrooms is the timeless Shaker kitchen trend. Simple and functional yet classically elegant. This is a trend that has truly stood the test of time. Hailing back over two centuries, the Shaker style focuses on high quality craftsmanship, which is exactly what you want from a new kitchen. 

Read on to learn more about this classic trend. 


The Roots of Shaker Style

During the mid 18th century, a small group of people who were originally part of the Quaker Society, became known as the ‘Shakers’, due to their charismatic style of worship. Forming their own communities, the Shakers adopted a communal style of living. Hard working and self sufficient, the Shakers grew their own food and built their own furniture. Among their community values included honesty, simplicity and utility. 


A Shaker Maxim

classic shaker kitchen

In particular, utility was a key value by which the Shakers lived. Their saying ‘beauty rests on utility’, demonstrated their commitment to simplicity over ornate style. To the Shakers, flashy things represented pride. So, they preferred instead to focus their efforts on making things that were of excellent quality and were functional. The Shakes were also careful to avoid waste where possible, making the most of everything they owned.


Shaker Cabinets

shaker kitchen cabinets

You’ll recognise a Shaker kitchen by its stunning cabinetry. These finely built, sturdy cabinets are an essential feature in any Shaker kitchen. Notice the square frame, featuring rails and panels. The Shakers would have used locally sourced wood that is solid and designed to stand the test of time. 

Locally sourced wood such as cherry, oak and maple were commonly used for Shaker cabinets. You can see in a traditional Shaker kitchen the way the grain shows through the layers of paint to give that rustic, Shaker look.

Primary colours were a popular choice for traditional Shaker cabinets. Reds, blues and yellows helped brighten up their functional spaces and contrasted beautifully with their white walls. The Shakers created dyes using plants, to produce the natural, earthy tones we love today. 


Functional Storage

shaker kitchen storage

Function means having the right amount of storage for food supplies and cookware. The Shakers were anti-clutter (before it was cool). In fact, they would have wholly embraced today’s minimalism trend. Their aim was that everything should have a home and be accounted for. Functional storage was, therefore, an essential element of Shaker design. Consider tables with built in cutlery drawers or rails for hanging pots and pans. Many modern Shaker kitchen designers utilise the popularity of kitchen islands for some smart and functional storage.     


Whether your kitchen style is more modern and contemporary or period, the Shaker kitchen trend fits perfectly. Sleek and minimalist, with traditional elements and natural vibes make Shaker kitchens the ideal choice, whatever your style. 


Core Features of a Shaker Kitchen

shaker kitchen

Neutral Tones

Your Shaker kitchen should begin with a neutral colour base. Something along the lines of classic white or eggshell is always a good starting point. Stick to warmer shades, ideally over cooler ones. That way, you’ll make more of the natural light. However, if you’re feeling bold, there’s no reason why you can’t go for something a little darker, such as navy or forest green.

Solid Cabinets

It wouldn’t be a Shaker kitchen without those sturdy wooden cabinets in the classic Shaker style. Opt for a good, solid wood such as oak, which is built to last and will offer that lovely grainy effect. 

Contrasting Shades

Time to get creative with colour. Be sure to pick a lovely contrasting shade to go with your neutral colour base. If you want more of a natural look, seek out those nature-inspired earthy tones. Or, why not go bare and leave your cabinets unpainted like the early Shakers?

Natural Materials

Continuing the ‘natural’ trend, look for complementary materials such as wood, stone, marble or granite for your flooring and countertops. If you’re on a budget, you can find affordable vinyl or laminate alternatives that look and feel just like the real thing. 


Functional beauty and simple living is something we can all appreciate. No wonder the Shaker style is so beloved by designers the world over. 


If you love Shaker design, contact a member of the Kellyvision team to discuss your kitchen renovation. Or, why not visit our kitchen showroom in Peterborough. Kellyvision is the leading installer of Shaker kitchens in Peterborough. To see some of our Shaker kitchens, visit our page, or request a brochure today. Call us on 01733 208 787.