Whether you favour traditional or contemporary interior design, live in the city or out in the countryside, Shaker kitchen design stands the test of time. It complements a variety of homes and could be perfect for your next kitchen fit-out or renovation project.
But while you may recognise its clean lines and recessed panel cabinetry, is that where your knowledge ends? Understanding the Shaker’s origins and principles can help you decide if its right for you and guide your other design choices.
Below, we ask our experts ‘what is a Shaker kitchen?’, before offering tips on how to design one yourself.
“Shaker kitchen design is owed to the Shakers, a religious sect guided by principles of simplicity, self-sufficiency and a rejection of luxury and ostentation. As a result, Shaker kitchens tend to be timeless in appearance, functional in design and generally easy to live with.”
The faith is understood to have settled in America in the 18th century and owes its nickname to the group’s often frantic movements during religious worship. Their desire for communal independence and to live off local resources led to the creation of high quality, durable furniture. They used foraged materials and handmade tools to build it, initially for their own use and only much later for sale.
Those beginnings have been built on since, with Shaker design’s effortless appearance a large part of why it remains so popular today. It’s easily dressed up or down to suit any home and offers an ideal backdrop for modern appliances, storage and decoration.
But looking closer, what are some of the key features to look out for?
“Traditional Shaker kitchen furniture reflected their devotion to their faith and moral code. Functionality and simplicity came above all else, while additions like embellishments, ornamentation and veneering were judged as dishonest and undignified.”
Heather, Hammonds designer
Modern Shaker kitchen design is therefore seen as thoughtful, well made, and simple. It’s a perception owed in part to the following traditional characteristics:
As touched on already, modern Shaker kitchens can be almost anything you want them to be. There’s no need to feel constrained by traditions. But if you do want to pay homage with a pared back practical feel, or simply desire a consistent aesthetic, here are just a few of the ways to do it:
If you’re completing a full kitchen fit-out, why not choose a beautifully fitted Shaker solution? We offer stunning contemporary and traditional Shaker kitchen ranges, including Croft, Highbury, Abbey, and Harraton. Explore available finishes and extras today.