What are Shaker Cabinets?

by | May 8, 2019 | BLOG | 0 comments

Minimal, precise, and evocative – there is no other kitchen design that can boast the same timeless beauty and, consequently, insane popularity. Shaker cabinets perfectly blend into any kitchen interior whether it is an elegant classic or bold modern. If you are nourishing a kitchen remodel idea, Shaker style kitchen cabinets should hold the top spot in your variants. Below, we will thoroughly explain, why…

What is Shaker Style?

The way how the Shaker style came to existence is unusual and interesting. The trend appeared three centuries ago, initiating a new direction in the interior design art.

The new style took its name from the English religious group called ” Shakers”. The group was originally established by working-class men and women in Manchester, England in the 1700s, but they gradually migrated to America and brought their grand ideas to the New World.

What is Shaker style in two words? It is simplicity and linear strictness.

Unlike the colorful and cheerful Country style that was at the peak of popularity in America at those times, the Shaker style is extremely simple, if not to say austere.

The strictness and tenuity of this style are explained by the fact that Shakers wanted to express their life purpose in every element of the interior design. They thought that accessories and ornaments are useless extravagances and preferred practical and functional solutions instead.

Despite its simplicity, however, the shaker style finally edged out the sumptuous Victorian style that was the hottest trend in those days.

So the shakers devoted their life to simple worship and thought that excessiveness was a sin. This belief was clearly visible in the furniture they made. They denied the use of inlays, carvings, intricate door handles, and pompous veneering. The outstanding features of a Shaker kitchen are:

  • Cabinets constructed from valuable wood. Doors may have a simple recessed panel. White shaker cabinets were in priority as the epitome of the impeccability. However, contemporary dark shaker cabinets are increasing in demand.
  • Drawers were placed in solid wood frames. The knobs were timber, too, the use of metal pulls was excluded.
  • Shelves substituted massive cupboards.
  • Pegs were all around the kitchen perimeter for hanging up different utensils. Pegs were so strong that could hang a chair while the floor was cleaned.
  • Shaker cabinet colors should be neutral: creamy, white or off-white. The wooden worktop and countertops should be left exposed.

What is a Shaker Cabinet?

Shakers created their kitchen cabinets which were unprecedentedly simple, ultimately functional, and surprisingly durable.

Shaker cabinetry was never made of artificial materials. Cherry shaker cabinets were most popular, however other valuable wood species like birch, oak, and maple were also used to manufacture the divine furnishings. Shaker cabinets are characterized by the dominance of straight lines and naturalness, the simplicity of forms and the absence of arrogant decorations.

Though these believers promoted modesty and austerity, the furniture they created was high-quality and illustrated unique craftsmanship of cabinet-makers. Surely, all the furniture was hand-made.

Strict square construction is a signature of Shaker cabinets for kitchen. Though dramatically simple, such construction gives the room an elegant look and never-ending charm. There is no need for excessive decoration, just let the wood speak for itself and it will tell much.

What is a Shaker cabinet? It is that with sharp lines, a proportioned frame and inset panel design. Cabinet doors are made of five panels assembled together without any bevel on the frame. Such a door is combined with five-piece drawer fronts or plain drawer fronts. Both doors and drawer fronts can be inset, partially overlaying or fully overlaying.

Shaker Kitchens Overall Tendencies

Reflecting natural simplicity, shaker-styled kitchens are painted in neutral colors. These include total gray shaker cabinets as well as variations of tender brown, creamy-white, gentle yellow, light green or celestial blue – all dyes must have a natural source and be completely safe for tenants of the house.

Furniture wax or oil in light wood colors serve as finishing for shaker cabinets. Wood flooring and walls are covered with varnish or paint. The use of stone flooring is also possible in Shaker kitchens.

Textile in Shaker kitchens is all-natural, too: wool, silk, and cotton harmoniously complement unpretentiousness and severity of Shaker cabinetry.

Doors, seat furniture, cabinetry, and flooring traditionally have natural wood shades, while walls and ceilings should be painted in restful monochrome colors like white, blue or pale-grey.


Other distinctive features of the shaker style include simple straight lines, the lack of intricate decorations, artificially aged surfaces of cabinets and countertops, the use of simple metal fittings and unsophisticated kitchen utensils. Repeating elements emphasize the great meaningfulness of shaker kitchens. Built-in furniture with massive doors and numerous drawers is most welcome.

Quartz and granite are the most prioritized materials for countertops in Shaker kitchens. Though soapstone would give a countertop the desired period look, too, this material is much softer compared to the previous two. The edges of countertops are generally squared and polished.

Shaker cabinetry is meant with maximum functionality in mind and offers place literally for everything, maximizing storage in a busy house. The modesty of Shakers was perfectly reflected in their kitchen interiors. The kitchen appliances were smartly concealed behind cabinet doors, so there was no irritating glaring around – this principle survived up to date.

Shaker kitchens are very functional; their space is well-organized thanks to the use of all possible rails, partitions, and draw-out systems inside cabinets and cupboards.

Sometimes the Shaker style is called “American country”, given its simplicity and convenience. Based on these considerations, Shaker is close to the modern urban style. Natural materials, scarce decoration, and the absence of unnecessary elements in the interiors are what make these two worlds so similar.

Turning to the Groysman Construction Remodeling Company, the experts will help you implement the best solutions.

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