Shaker kitchen ideas seem to be eternally popular with homeowners of traditional and contemporary properties alike.
When designing a kitchen, getting the very most from your budget is important and what that often means is that choosing a kitchen style that won't date any time soon is a priority. It is perhaps because of this that the Shaker kitchen never seems to fall from favour — it's simple, timeless appeal means that it looks as fresh now as it did when it was first invented back in the 18th century.
Check out our stunning collection of beautiful Shaker kitchen ideas — we have included something for everyone, from designs that would slide effortlessly into period house renovations to those that would look perfect slotted into a contemporary interior design scheme.
Where did Shaker kitchen ideas first come from?
First things first, what is a Shaker kitchen?
They first came into being back in the middle of the 18th century, designed by the Shaker community. They applied their beliefs that all home fittings should serve a purpose and be highly practical, free from unnecessary decoration.
Wood was their chosen material for the construction of these kitchens — including for the knobs. While bare wood was a popular choice, it was not unheard of for the Shakers to paint their kitchens either.
1. Embrace nature with a green Shaker kitchen
One of the biggest kitchen trends of 2024 is shades of green and thankfully, this is a very versatile colour that works brilliantly with many different kitchen styles, including Shaker.
From soft sage to bold forest greens, it really is worth considering a green Shaker kitchen — the sense of nature it conjures up works particularly well with the pared back lines of these kitchens.
This bespoke green Shaker kitchen from Et Lorem is hand-painted. Note how well it pairs with the ceramic Belfast sink and heritage-style herringbone flooring.
2. Introduce curves into your kitchen
Curves are another big kitchen trend right now and just because Shaker kitchens are traditionally very pared back and simple, there is no reason why you can't still include a curved detail or two within your kitchen ideas.
"Curves deliver a harmonious ambience to the hustle and bustle of the modern home and look set to thrive through 2024," says creative director at Harvey Jones, Melissa Klink.
This Shaker kitchen, from Searle & Taylor, has been hand-painted in 'Joanna 130' by the Little Greene Paint Company and features a circular condiment cabinet with a polished oak worktop.
3. Pair a Shaker kitchen with cup handles
Different kitchen units suit different styles of handle and knobs — and some super sleek unit and drawer fronts look best with no handles at all.
When it comes to Shaker kitchens, cup handles are a particularly popular choice, though the Shakers themselves tended to favour solid wooden knobs. Cup handles in brushed metallics work particularly well, with warmer shades, such as bronze and copper, being favourited right now.
Here, the Luanda Kitchen from Wood Works Brighton has been finished off with brass cup handles and a crisp white quartz worktop.
4. Consider buying a second hand Shaker kitchen
Second hand kitchens make sense for several reasons — not only do they offer considerable savings when compared to buying a new kitchen, but they are also an eco-friendly option.
"What individuals must grasp is that ‘second-hand’ no longer signifies outdated or furniture nearing the end of its lifespan; instead, it represents an excellent and budget-friendly opportunity to acquire designer pieces at affordable prices,” says Looeeze Grossman, founder and CEO of Rehome.
This bright and breezy preloved Shaker kitchen from Rehome is made from solid wood.
5. Pair a Shaker kitchen with a Belfast sink
Shaker kitchens are perfect partners for both Belfast and Butler sinks, well matched to the simple, practical form of these chunky ceramic fittings. Firstly though, what is a Belfast sink and what makes it different to a Butler sink? in short, the difference comes down to the presence of an overflow — Butler sinks, common in London during the Victorian era, were designed without overflows to conserve water, while conserving water in Belfast was not so important at the time.
Whichever you opt for, you can be certain that it will work fantastically well with this kitchen style.
6. Be bold with your colour choices
Just because Shaker kitchens have traditional roots, there is no reason why they cannot be brought up to date with modern, bold colour choices.
Right now, homeowners planning a kitchen project are clamouring to inject personality into their spaces with warm, strong shades and the simple lines of Shaker kitchens stand up very well to these braver colour choices.
"Grey is gone and super warm tones and shades will be the new go-to — we’re talking rich burgundies, aged brass, muddy golds, warm terracotta, fresh greens and crisp teal hues, among others," advises Melissa Klink.
This kitchen is from Searle & Taylor Kitchens and features both hand-painted and natural lacquered oak cabinetry.
7. Keep a lid on costs with a flatpack kitchen
Those seeking out cheap kitchens need not discount a Shaker-style kitchen — there are some really modern interpretations out there these days and if you choose an off-the-shelf product there is no need to spend a fortune either.
The GoodHome Artemisia Matt graphite Shaker Kitchen, from B&Q, comes ready to be fitted on a DIY basis and can be fitted with a choice of different knobs and handles.
8. Swap wall units for open shelving
More and more people these days are choosing to stick to a selection of base and full height units rather than a combination of base and wall units as was the norm for some years. The Shakers tended to keep their walls muted and white and often included hanging peg rails and shelves into their designs so this actually works very well in this instance. Minimising the use of wall units is a great one for those after small kitchen ideas as it can make a space feel less cramped.
In the case of this Inset Handle Painted Shaker Kitchen from Higham Furniture, the soft green units and crisp white worktops take centre stage, while the simple open shelf provides the perfect spot to include personal belongings.
9. Include some full height units
Full height units are a brilliant use of space, giving you maximum storage without taking up too much floor space — and the good news is that they can also slot in really well with a Shaker design.
These Shaker-style cabinets were handcrafted from birch plywood by Wood Works Brighton. Within the full-height units is concealed a walk-in pantry, while the soft green and pink of the scheme sits in harmony with the exposed timber elements of the property.
10. Be clever with built-in storage
We feel that the Shakers would probably be well on board with clever kitchen storage ideas, given their practical leanings. Make sure you discuss your storage needs with your kitchen designer early on to ensure there is a place for everything in your final design.
Storage was a key feature in the design of this new in-frame Shaker kitchen from Searle & Taylor Kitchens and so there are 26 pull-out drawers in the kitchen and pantry. Next to the canopy over the hob, there are slim cabinets on either side that include oak internal shelving, with one that houses a knife rack mounted on the interior door. Each features single spice drawer beneath.
11. Go back to basics with bare wood
After some beautiful wooden kitchen ideas to marry up with your dream of a Shaker kitchen? The good news here is that the Shakers very often left their kitchens unpainted, so if the bare wood look is one you like, then you will be in good company. By leaving the natural grain of the wood exposed, you not only get to appreciate the detail in the grain, but there is also no competition for the design of the kitchen itself, meaning it really can shine.
The Ash Kitchen Collection, from Olive & Barr, starts from just £12,500 and is definitely a timeless design that would suit any style of home.
12. Update the look with on-trend colours
The beauty of the simple lines of Shaker kitchens is that you can really go to town in terms of colour and additional details without the risk of the whole thing looking over-the-top. Take the opportunity to inject some colour into the space and look to the latest colour trends for inspiration. Even homeowners after easy kitchen remodel ideas can benefit from a new colour scheme.
Warmer shades are definitely winning in the favour stakes right now — with cool greys and whites taking a back seat. Perhaps it has something to do with the Barbie-fever that took hold last year, but pink remains popular in the world of interiors and is easy to live with in the kitchen.
This Olive & Barr Shaker kitchen has been finished in Farrow & Ball's Pink Ground and Bamboozle.
13. Include a larder unit into your design
Larder units – or appliance garages, as they are sometimes known – are a great way to maximise the storage capabilities of your kitchen and they come in all kinds of designs, including Shaker-style.
In this Shaker kitchen from Searle & Taylor Kitchens, the larder unit has been designed with bi-fold doors and conceals a useful coffee station and section of practical marble work surface.
Are Shaker kitchens always made of wood?
While the Shakers made their kitchens entirely from wood, including the knobs, these days, other materials are available. Many ranges are now made from particle board with a melamine, timber veneer or foil finishes. Timber veneers are also popular.
What is an in-frame kitchen?
When looking at Shaker kitchens (as well as some other styles) you will see that you generally have a choice between 'in-frame' and 'frameless' designs.
The main difference here is whether there is a ‘face frame’ — a visible frame that runs around the outside of the doors and the drawer fronts. In-frame kitchens have a visible face frame and are generally considered to have a more traditional, hand-crafted look, whereas frameless kitchens tend to feel more sleek and contemporary. Shaker kitchens are almost always in-frame, although some modern versions take the frameless route.
Designer Melissa Klink is Head of Design for Harvey Jones.
Looeeze is an expert in all things related to second hand and used kitchens. In 2005 she started The Used Kitchen Company (now Rehome), responsible for introducing the concept of recycling kitchens from showrooms and private homes, saving 1000s of tonnes of waste from landfill, promoting sustainability and introducing an ethical choice to the kitchen industry.
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Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.