Designing a kitchen is no mean feat – it’s a huge investment that is likely to last for years to come, if not decades. So what better inspiration to follow than the Shaker kitchens that past generations have stuck to?
Classic is no longer being seen as old hat, instead, we’re seeing a revival in interiors that remind us of bygone eras viewed through rose-tinted glasses. Reminiscent of the kitchens of our parents and grandparents, Shaker cabinets are a classic design that shows no sign of slowing down.
‘Each generation, in its own unique way, experiences the allure of nostalgia, often centred around the cultural trends and iconic styles that defined their youth,’ says Jen Nash, senior design lead at Magnet.
‘The quintessential British Shaker brings a sense of nostalgia for a simpler and more authentic way of living. This is particularly prevalent in younger generations seeking a comforting echo of better times,’ Jen adds.
So how is this traditional kitchen trend making waves in the modern market? We’ve rounded up how to integrate the look into your home in a format that is stylish, on-trend, and steeped in nostalgia.
How to add style to Shaker
Shaker is undeniably classic, and while that might suit country kitchens, you might be looking for ways to put a modern twist on the look. Whether your taste is more trend-led or your property is asking for a contemporary touch, there are many small and large ways to update Shaker cabinetry to meet your exact style.
‘Shaker style cabinetry has a timeless, classic feel and is defined by simplicity of lines and purity of materials. Although still rooted in classic form and function, today’s Shaker kitchens can be infused with added personality and character through the use of bold colours and beautiful natural materials.’ says Richard Moore, design director at Martin Moore.
And if you’re looking to update your kitchen on a budget, the good news is that Shaker is now much more in reach.
‘Halesworth and Bridgemere ranges are made with an elegant woodgrain emboss and a soft matt lacquered finish giving a very accurate replica of painted wood that, combined with design details of the door, creates the look of a timber shaker at a more affordable price point’, advises Ady Heaton, head of design at Howdens.
1. Go for a trendy tone
The easiest way to make Shaker work for a modern home is by choosing an on-trend colour scheme. Gone are the days of traditional kitchens primarily coming in cream, there’s now a plethora of different shades to choose from and each season brings a new characterful colour to our attention.
Green and navy cabinets have been popular in modern kitchens, while the new season is seeing a surge in brown, mushroom and sage tones for a softer look. Many shaker kitchens also now come in paintable formats, so you can be safe in the knowledge that your investment can be updated for years to come.
2. Opt for handleless
The framed look of Shaker cabinets is what offers the infamous look, so why not make it the focus of the design by opting for handleless cabinets? It’s an easy way to achieve a modern kitchen aesthetic and will bridge the gap between contemporary slab designs and classic Shaker.
Handleless is especially great in small kitchens as it reduces visual distraction caused by jewellery-like handles and knobs, instead helping to streamline the design as much as possible.
3. Upgrade hardware
The beauty of Shaker is that it’s a reminder of classic interiors like those we see in grand period properties. With this in mind, opting for an elegant approach with statement cabinet hardware will make a Shaker design look super premium.
You can mix and match cup and bar handles with knobs for added interest, and even match the specific metal to other features such as a tap or lighting. This creates a cohesive design that oozes timeless charm while still looking unmistakably modern.
4. Don’t forget to accessorise
While a kitchen is a primarily practical space packed full of storage ideas, there is still plenty of opportunity to decorate. You want a cooking area to still feel like an extension of the rest of your home and interior style, so making room for accessories will make a shaker design feel more up-to-date.
Open shelving is a simple way of achieving this, as it provides the space to display your favourite glassware, crockery, cookbooks, or even a family photo. By opting for base cabinetry and keeping the top of the room reserved for open shelving, the room won’t feel overwhelmed by the classic look.
5. Update with trendy tiles
Classic Shaker cabinetry forms a great foundation for a kitchen design that will stand the test of time, but this means that it’s begging to be updated with playful tiles. They’re a more affordable way to make a kitchen look fashionable and there’s so much selection in terms of shape, shade, and texture.
Whether you want to play it safe with a chic monochrome design, go sophisticated with subway tiles, or make a statement with a Barbie-pink look, there are plenty of kitchen tile ideas that will easily make your Shaker shine.