All You Need to Know About Shaker Kitchens
It’s often said that style never goes out of fashion. Something that applies just as much in interior design circles as anywhere else.
Kitchen trends come and go, but certain approaches to kitchen design are truly enduring. One example of which being the Shaker kitchen, which in one form or another has been popular for hundreds of years. Based on design principles of function, simplicity and quality, it’s no wonder that Shaker Kitchens are still one of the most popular choices centuries after they were conceived.
But what is it about the Shaker kitchen that makes it such a timeless classic? More importantly, what exactly is a Shaker kitchen and how can you nail the Shaker design in your own home?
The Shaker kitchen dates all the way back to the 18th century. Historic records suggest that a community of Shakers – a religious sect officially known as The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearance – believed that all objects within the home should have a function.
Ultimately, their focus on practicality and the use of quality materials would go on to form the basis of what’s now referred to as a ‘Shaker’ kitchen. Today’s Shaker Kitchen’s are all about smooth lines, clear spaces and simplicity, and can be made in a wide range of colours and materials to suit the modern home.
Who Were the Shakers?
The Shakers were originally a part of the Quaker religion, but broke away from the main group of Quakers in England in the late 1700’s. Perhaps ahead of their time, a main focus of their faith was on equality, both of sexes and within their community – with no ordained clergy and anyone within the community being allowed to speak and contribute during worship. The term “Shaker” is quite literal, and comes from a portmanteau of Shaking and Quaker.
After their split from the Quakers, they moved across to New York where they settled in small, self sufficient communities, and sold their simple furniture to support themselves – the design of which now shapes the shaker style.
Today, just two Shakers remain, but their gift to the world of excellent design principles very much remains in vogue.
Shaker kitchen design focuses on functionality, orderliness and the avoidance of clutter, which are exactly what most of us desire in a kitchen – a space that allows for the practical functionalities of cooking and preparing food, while being a place that feels almost zen-like.
In the modern world, this can mean including extra deep drawers, or clever storage spaces which are designed to minimise clutter and maximise the available surface space. While smooth lines are the order of the day, shaker kitchen units with curved edges or sleek acute angles can both work well.
Many Shaker kitchens are designed with a central island, in order to make the best possible use of all available space. The Shaker style is essentially quite minimalist, but opens the door to limitless experimentation and interpretation meaning that while a tradition style, there is still a lot of scope to bring your own personality to the design.
Shaker kitchen colour schemes are designed to be timeless and elegant, as opposed to ‘on-trend’ – ideal for anyone who wishes to enjoy their kitchen for many years to come.
The vast majority of classic Shaker kitchens are finished in blue, ivory or white, though in many instances let the natural colour and grain of the wood take centre stage. However, more contemporary Shaker kitchens can be finished in almost any colour (or combination thereof) imaginable. Why not consider stunning shaker graphite kitchen units, or dove grey units.
The modern Shaker kitchen also tends to make use of more creative and elaborate hardware, such as taps, contemporary handles, and other finishes. For many individuals who are planning a new kitchen, mixing modern colours and textures for items such as tiles, splash backs, worktops and even appliances with a traditional shaker style is the ideal blend of traditional and contemporary.
What Is a Shaker Kitchen Cabinet?
As with the rest of the kitchen, Shaker kitchen cabinets are all about practicality and functionality. They were traditionally made using the strongest yet cheapest hardwoods available – often maple or cherry wood. Whites, greys and cream finishes have been the most popular choices, though colour and material choice today is much broader, though many households still favour oak shaker units.
Nowadays, one can choose to have a Shaker kitchen cabinet in almost any material available, and even choose to blend finishes across base and top units, or focus on different cabinet styles in zones of your kitchen.
Can You Paint a Shaker Kitchen?
One of the most appealing aspects of a Shaker kitchen is the way in which there’s limitless scope for experimentation. If you change your mind at a later date, your wooden drawers, cabinet doors and so on can be repainted in any colour you wish.
In addition, there’s also the option of choosing between a gloss or matte finish – the latter being more faithful to the origins of the Shaker kitchen. Choose to replace your doors to
Contrary to popular belief, an immaculate and timeless Shaker kitchen needn’t be expensive. These days, there are so many options available in terms of materials, finishes and general configurations to suit all budgets. What’s more, the durability and practicality of a Shaker kitchen always adds up to exceptional value for money, and a kitchen design which will stand the test of time.