With their clean lines, high-quality wood, and versatile aesthetic, it’s no wonder shaker style cabinets are one of the most popular options for kitchen remodeling projects. The classic shaker look can lend warmth, durability, and an airy simplicity to your cooking space. If your kitchen is feeling dated or dull, installing new shaker cabinets can give it a fresh facelift that still provides plenty of functional storage.
We’ll also highlight creative accessories and finishes to enhance your shakers so they perfectly complement your overall kitchen decor.
What Are Shaker Style Cabinets?
Shaker style cabinetry gets its name from the Shakers, a religious group that immigrated to America in the late 18th century seeking spiritual purity through a simple life. Shaker communities hand-built sturdy furniture with clean lines, expert joinery, and versatile functionality to furnish their settlements.
Today, the shaker style lives on as a popular kitchen cabinet option defined by:
- Flat recessed panel doors with a simple frame and inset center panel
- Quality wood construction, often maple, oak, hickory or cherry
- A straight, minimalist design free of ornamentation
- Durable mortise and tenon joinery
- Versatile application in both modern and traditional kitchens
5-Piece Door Construction
The quintessential shaker cabinet door consists of a flat center recessed panel bordered by a frame made up of two rails and two stiles. This clean, uncomplicated 5-piece structure offers strength and highlights the beauty of natural wood grains.
While budget-friendly options like poplar and pine are sometimes used, maple and oak remain top choices for shaker cabinets. Maple provides a smooth, pale look that suits both traditional and contemporary spaces. Oak offers dramatic grain patterns and a darker, richer hue. Other excellent woods are hickory, withvarying brown tones, and cherry, which darkens beautifully over time.
Benefits of Choosing Shaker Cabinets
Beyond their pared-down aesthetic, shaker kitchen cabinets offer many practical advantages for homeowners and designers:
A Classic, Timeless Look
The clean simplicity of shaker cabinets gives them an enduring appeal that fits well with almost any style. Their fuss-free look pairs nicely with ornate trim or rustic farmhouse environments.
Achieve a traditional, transitional or contemporary kitchen look by choosing paints, stains and hardware that align with your overall vision. Shakers are a versatile foundational element.
Traditional shaker construction methods like dovetail joinery and quality woods ensure lasting durability. Their sturdy build withstands years of regular kitchen use.
With deep drawers, wide cabinets and design flexibility, shaker cabinets optimize kitchen storage. You can easily incorporate roll-outs, organizers, lazy susans and more.
A unified shaker cabinet look helps anchor the kitchen aesthetic. Matching uppers and lowers establish pleasing flow and harmony.
Simple shaker cabinets cost less than ornately detailed, highly customized options. The streamlined style also lends itself to DIY installation for further savings.
Incorporating Shakers Into Your Kitchen Design
When planning your kitchen, consider the following elements to complement your new shaker cabinets:
Stain, paint, glaze or distress cabinets to create the overall look you want. A rough-sawn look works for rustic spaces; glossy lacquers suit transitional kitchens; muted neutrals support contemporary styles.
Countertops & Backsplashes
Combine shaker cabinets with quartz, granite, butcher block or concrete countertops. Add backsplashes in natural stone, subway tile, exposed brick or accent tile.
Black iron knobs and pulls provide classic contrast on lighter cabinets. Opt for an aged bronze finish in traditional kitchens or sleek stainless in modern spaces.
Lighting & Accessories
Illuminate cabinet interiors with puck lights or under-cabinet lighting. Open shelving, glass door cabinets and unique wine racks complement the simple shaker look.
Shaker cabinets act as a subtle backdrop for bolder color choices. Try a two-tone look or vibrant backsplash tile to make them pop.
Achieving Specific Kitchen Aesthetics
The versatile shaker cabinet adapts effortlessly to all kitchen styles:
In traditional spaces, opt for an aged look with deeper stains, visible wood grains and wire brushed finishes. Add glass door cabinets to show off collectibles. Bronze hardware, subway tile backsplashes and butcher block countertops enhance the classic vibe.
Keep shaker cabinets looking current with glossy lacquers in cool hues like navy or gray. Contrast with upholstered bar stools, stainless steel appliances and concrete countertops. Frosted glass cabinets lend textural intrigue.
Embrace farmhouse charm with natural wood finishes, visible grains and distressed paint techniques. Black hardware pops against white shaker cabinets. Butcher block counters, apron-front sinks and open shelving enhance the rustic feel.
Bridge contemporary and traditional with a combination of stainless steel hardware, stone counters, subway backsplash tile and shaker cabinetry with a smooth painted finish in a soft neutral color for a refined yet relaxed look.
Enhancing Shaker Cabinets With Accessories
Personalize your new shaker kitchen with special accents and organizational elements:
- Accent lighting: Install puck lights inside cabinets or under-cabinet lighting to illuminate interiors and highlight architectural details.
- Glass doors: Glass front wall cabinets or upper cabinets provide an airier feel while safely showing off dishware.
- Pull-out shelves: Maximize corner cabinet storage with functional pull-out shelves of varying depths.
- Slide-out storage: Insert slide-out trays or baskets in base cabinet interiors for easy access to items toward the back.
- Spice organizers: Use spinning or pull-down racks to neatly arrange spices inside cabinets.
- Unique hardware: Update your shaker cabinets’ look with new knobs and pulls in an on-trend finish.
Shaker Cabinet Maintenance Tips
With proper care, your durable wooden shaker cabinets will maintain their beauty for years. Follow these tips to keep them looking like new:
- Clean regularly with a mild wood cabinet cleaner and soft cloth.
- Immediately wipe up spills and water to avoid finishes darkening or warping over time.
- Re-stain cabinets if finishes start looking dull or worn.
- Use wood fillers to fix any nicks and scratches.
- Tighten loose hinges, pulls and knobs as needed.
- Adjust doors and shelves if sagging or misalignment occurs.
With their clean lines, high quality wood, and adaptable style, it’s easy to see why shaker cabinets remain a sought-after staple of kitchen design. Their pared-down aesthetic lets your personal touches and decor take center stage. By selecting the right finishes and accessories, you can give your kitchen a stunning shaker style makeover that reflects your unique taste and needs.
Ready to refresh your kitchen with beautiful new shaker cabinets? Use this guide to achieve the perfect style and function for your space. With their timeless appeal and versatility, you’re sure to enjoy your remodeled kitchen for years to come!