The shaker kitchen is an iconic style that has maintained popularity since it's beginnings in the 1900s. As we covered in an earlier article, the shaker style complements all manner of architectural styles from period properties to contemporary new builds.
Here, we share 12 design ideas to customise your shaker kitchen to your own style, with photos from real homes. Each of these kitchens has been thoughtfully designed and installed by KCA.
1. True Traditional
Although a shaker kitchen is inherently traditional, you can choose to lean into this style by opting for traditional features.
Embellished cornices, intricate pilasters and bullnose worktops add additional detail to your shaker kitchen cabinetry, while farmhouse sinks and ornate taps ensure that your modern fixtures don't detract from the traditional feel.
2. Get Creative, Go Contemporary
Because of the versatility of the shaker style, you can also give your shaker kitchen a more contemporary look. Large tiled flooring, modern pendant lights and trendy bar stools transform the design.
Linear design features can also be incorporated into a shaker kitchen to further enhance the contemporary feel, such as the chunky overhanging island worktop with minimalist stone leg support, pictured below.
3. Go Classic
A classic shaker kitchen sits somewhere between true traditional and contemporary interpretations. Intricate and more fussy details such as cornices and pilasters are paired back and combined with contemporary appliances. Accessories are modern renditions of heritage pieces and finished in aged materials, such as the pendant lights pictured below.
4. Open Shelving
Break up runs of cabinets with exposed shelving. Style your shelves with neatly organised coordinating dinnerware for a more classic look, or fill with an eclectic mix of art, photo frames, plants and objet d'art for a more rustic feel.
5. A Traditional Mantle
Modern extractor hoods can be integrated within a kitchen in a number of ways. Hoods can be made into a design feature or hidden out of sight in the ceiling or the hob itself. How you design your hob area can completely transform the final look of your shaker kitchen.
If positioning your hob on the island, a ceiling extractor will hide it out of sight so that it doesn't interrupt the view of the kitchen; ultimately, creating a more open design scheme. Alternatively, hobs with built-in extraction will remove the need for a hood entirely.
If your hob sits along a wall, your extractor hood can become a feature, by cladding the hood in a finish of your choosing or by building out the area surrounding your hood to create a large, opulent mantle that adds grandeur to your kitchen design.
6. Butcher's Block
Originally intended for quartering, filleting, deboning and chopping meat, the butcher's block conjures an association with age-old food preparation, making it a perfect choice for timeless, country style kitchen designs.
Although butcher's blocks are now often more ornamental than functional, they still have their place within a shaker kitchen design. A chunky butcher's block crafted from organic timbers not only looks beautiful, but it also adds country charm and natural texture.
7. Taking Storage To New Heights
In taller rooms, cabinets can be extended all the way up to the ceiling to create a sense of drama and provide additional much-needed storage space.
These cabinets are most practical for safely storing your finest dinnerware or glassware to be used on special occasions, or other items that you use less frequently.
This elevated height will give your kitchen a more commanding presence and added 'wow factor'.
8. Feature Kitchen Islands
A contrasting kitchen island is a popular design feature, especially for shaker style kitchens. Painting your kitchen island in a different colour or tone helps to create visual separation and gives your design a more dynamic appearance.
Two-tone colour schemes work well with paler cabinetry paired with a complementary darker shade on the island. Two shades of the same colour create a more refined aesthetic, whereas painting the island in an entirely different colour makes a more contemporary and creative design statement.
9. Reflective Finishes
Add a new dimension to your shaker kitchen with glass or mirror. Shaker kitchens often have a painted or natural timber finish, both of which are matte or low-sheen. Reflective materials create a contrast to these flatter finishes, reflect light around the room and add a sense of glamour.
A plain, clear or smoked mirror, such as the one pictured below, gives a shaker kitchen a more modern appearance, while an aged bronze mirror with heavy patina works wonderfully in a rustic, vintage design.
10. Integrated Dining
An integrated dining table can save space and maximise the functionality of your shaker kitchen, providing a dining area and even a place for children to do their homework. An integrated table can be designed according to the size of your family, ensuring that everyone has a place to sit and eat together.
11. Mix & Match Worktops
Combining two or more worktop finishes creates a more exciting material palette. You could introduce a bolder, patterned material as a feature section of your worktops, such as a textured timber, marble or granite. This will help to create zones and works especially well to zone a breakfast bar area.
12. Complement or Contrast With Handles
Handles can transform the look of a kitchen and shaker kitchens can be accessorised with handles in a variety of designs and finishes. Cup handles are one of the most popular choices for traditional and classic design schemes. Choose polished chrome for an authentic aesthetic or aged brass, bronze or copper to give your shaker a vintage, antique quality. Ornate ceramic or glass knobs are another perfect choice for a more vintage look. You could even use an eclectic mix of different handles sourced from antique stores.
For a more modern twist, simply choose a complimentary modern handle such as a knob or bar pull. As a general rule, modern designs are less fussy or ornate so look for handles with a simple, linear shape.
There really are no rules when it comes to your kitchen handles so experiment and don't be afraid to try something different to add your own personality.
Although shaker kitchens are an iconic style, there is still plenty of room for customisation to make your shaker kitchen a perfect fit for you and your family.
To design your very own shaker kitchen, contact KCA to speak with a friendly Design Consultant. Call us on 01344 883777 or book an appointment online.
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Very professional company. A pleasure to work with. The kitchen designed and workmanship was stunning. They really listened to our wants and lifestyle needs. Would wholeheartedly recommend.Mr. Magal
It really is an excellent service. No detail is left unchecked. Everything from the beginning has been amazing. The initial design was well thought out, imaginative & exciting. All our questions no matter how silly were answered. Measurements on site were checked very carefully which meant when issues were found they could be resolved before the kitchen was ordered. It arrived on time & was fitted with the same care & attention we'd come to expect. The kitchen itself - WOW!Mrs. Scott
After visiting a number of kitchen specialist, KCA were the only ones who listened and were able to translate my ideas into reality. The final product was perfect and the service and after care provided was exceptional.Mr. & Mrs. Bhalla
We found their design to be unique, resulting in a bespoke kitchen which excelled our expectations. Excellent aftercare and would not hesitate to recommend.Mr. & Mrs. Gilbert
KCA have been a pleasure to work with from the very start of the project. They listened to my requirements, designed a beautiful kitchen and built it on time and to budget. The whole team have an excellent eye for detail and a great sense of customer service; I could not recommend them more highly.Mrs. Alexandrou
I cannot recommend the team at KCA highly enough. From concept to completion the whole experience was seamless.Mrs. Robert's
Having previously worked in kitchens, I know how painful having your kitchen fitted can be - I think our experience was as painless as it could have been.Mrs. O'Doherty
From concept design to finished kitchen the process was seamless. KCA not only produced a great design but their interface with the architect and builders made the project a great success.Mr. & Mrs. Cardwell
KCA came up with the design for our open plan kitchen/dining/family space and we loved it immediately. No other kitchen designer/supplier came close!Mrs. Gibson
We are THRILLED! KCA are a very professional, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and caring business. Their attention to detail and our requirements were always top of their list.Mrs. Chapman
From concept to completion the whole experience was seamless. Being interested in interior design I had quite a specific vision for my kitchen and KCA wholly embraced my input making me feel very much part of the decision making process whilst using their expertise to guide and steer regarding practicality and functionality.Mrs. Roberts
Just Perfect from the point of walking into the showroom and the journey taken to the end product including aftercare.Mr. & Mrs. Perera
The customer service is second to none. The kitchen design and choice is superb.Mrs. Hanson
KCA were the 3rd kitchen design company we approached, they were the only ones to listen to us and our design requests and ideas. The 3D view of how the kitchen would look was perfect.Mr. Ryan
The kitchen fitter is very efficient & an excellent communicator, his work is to a very high standard & he is very tidy!Mr. & Mrs. Cass
Very friendly, informative and helpful service. I would definitely use KCA again. Thank you all.Mrs. Tucker
The design of the kitchen differed hugely from any of the others we received. This really was a "design". Clever and inspiring, not just someone drawing what we'd said. The fitting was efficient with the same regard to detail.Mr. & Mrs. Scott
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KCA have installed a new hob and oven, a Quooker tap and new work surfaces. I am overjoyed with the results.Mrs. Burston