Our kitchens provide a backdrop to a variety of occasions, from enjoying a coffee with friends to hosting family get-togethers. They are so much more than a place to cook. Therefore, it’s vital that your new installation reflects your style and creates the perfect mood.

With so many designs out there, we understand that turning your ideas into a stylish and functional kitchen isn’t always an easy task. One of the first and most important decisions you will need to make is the style of your kitchen. Here at Orchard Kitchens, we are frequently asked about the style of the shaker kitchen, a timeless classic that has been popular for many years. But what exactly is a shaker kitchen? And could this design be just what you are looking for in your kitchen?

To help you decide if a shaker kitchen is the best option for your home, we’ll be discussing the style and features and also sharing some of our design ideas to inspire.

What is a Shaker Kitchen?

A shaker kitchen is characterised by its in-frame construction and classically proportioned doors. Their designs are incredibly versatile and renowned for being extremely well made. The easiest way to recognise the style is through traditional cabinets with their ‘shaker doors’ which consist of a large flat wooden central panel, surrounded by a raised frame with square edges. Traditional shaker cabinetry includes simple handcrafted features such as round wooden knobs and dovetailing inside the drawers which stem from the long-standing values of the Shakers of the 18th century.

The Shakers were a religious sect from Manchester, who emigrated to America and followed principles of honesty, utility and simplicity. This was reflected in everything they did – including the furniture they made. They considered decoration as unnecessary, and their designs were functional and minimal. They also believed that the quality of their work was a testament to God, which meant that everything they produced was made to perfection.

To this day, shaker kitchens have stayed true to these values and are designed with quality craftsmanship and durability in mind.

What are the Advantages of a Shaker Kitchen Design?

Although the Shakers have now vanished, their kitchens have stood the test of time for several reasons:

  • Easy to Maintain – with their simple designs and smooth surfaces, shaker cabinets are easy to wipe down and their emphasis on effective storage and high-quality design, means they are durable and low maintenance.
  • Versatile– the simple design of the shaker kitchen makes it an ideal fit for any home. They can be tailored to suit all sizes – from smaller modern apartments to large, open-plan spaces.
  • Practical – original shaker kitchens were designed for everyday lives in busy communal spaces, so the style incorporates creative storage solutions that make the most of the available space.
  • Customisable – shaker kitchens can be customised to suit all tastes, including using different materials, colours, and finishes and adding appliances and accessories. Their timeless designs make them a perfect canvas to get creative with your interior.

What Materials are used in a Shaker Kitchen?

Shaker kitchens are traditionally made from wood, ideally left natural to showcase the grains. The original Shaker communities used hardwoods such as maple, birch, or chestnut. Nowadays, shaker doors use sustainably sourced solid oak or walnut, materials which are both durable and beautiful.

Glass fronts can also be used in the door panels of shaker kitchens and customised with a glazed insert, creating a stylish and distinctive kitchen.

Due to the materials, shaker kitchens will bring style, function and value to the home for many years.

What are the Colour Palettes of Shaker Kitchens?

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a shaker style is the range of colours you get to play with. The colour palettes of shaker kitchens are timeless and elegant – ideal for anyone who wishes to enjoy their kitchen for many years to come.

Neutral colour designs are popular in shaker kitchens and white, ivory, or solid wood shades add a calm and inviting ambience. However, if you want to experiment with colour, shaker kitchens can be finished in almost any shade and work in the full spectrum of colours. Neutral hues like light grey provide a classic look, in contrast, warm reds and deep blues add a more contemporary aesthetic. You can also go bold in shaker kitchens, with tones such as dark greys or blues against lighter shades that will achieve a two-tone effect that is the perfect way to create impact in your kitchen design.

Can a Shaker Kitchen be Incorporated into a Contemporary Design?

There are endless ways to style a shaker kitchen to establish a more modern feel. Shaker kitchens can be easily aligned with a contemporary style by experimenting with different colours, combining various materials, and integrating modern lighting solutions.

Adding accessories such as splashbacks and bar stools can also make a space feel more contemporary.

You can achieve the best of both worlds with a handleless shaker design, which combines the framed fronts of a traditional kitchen and the streamlined finish of a modern interior. This shaker is perfect for anyone struggling to choose between the two. Consider opting for a navy blue or forest green hue to bring a classic yet stylish edge to your kitchen.

Are Shaker Style Kitchens Expensive?

Clients often think a shaker kitchen will cost an arm and a leg to install, but most of the time this is not the case. Due to the variety of options out there in terms of materials, finishes and appliances, there is a stylish and stunning shaker kitchen to fit any budget.

Durability and practicality also make them a sound investment and they are well known for being value for money. Shaker kitchens are a popular choice for those who want to get the most out of their kitchen design, with a beautiful kitchen that will stand the test of time!


Ultimately, the style you decide on comes down to personal taste and budget. However, you can rest assured that, whichever style you choose, you’ll find plenty of ways to put your spin on your space. If you would like to discuss your ideas with our knowledgeable and friendly team, give us a call on 0115 9308408 or email [email protected].