Shaker style kitchens are timeless, and very popular in cities like Melbourne where there are so many older homes particularly suited to this classic look.
But the truth is that a shaker kitchen works in just about any kitchen design – from modern and contemporary to the more traditional Hamptons or provincial you’d normally associate with these wonderful looking cabinet doors.
Elegance, simplicity and versatility are key to the enduring success of shaker cabinets, which were first popularised by an obscure religious sect in the late 1700s.
More than two centuries on the look might remain largely the same, but advances in technology have transformed the variety of finishes and colours.
So what is a shaker style kitchen?
A shaker style kitchen is typically one that has cabinets and doors with recessed panels – a framed profile sometimes referred to as “rail and stile”.
The shaker door was traditionally made with a 5-piece door front, two rails, two stiles and a central panel. It was strong and there was little wasted timber.
It’s a style that’s unpretentious and repetitive, and continues to be highly sought-after in a variety of designs.
See what we mean by looking at the examples of Rosemount projects on this page.
Did you know?
The “shaker” name comes not from the style itself, but the people who came up with it.
The United Society of Believers were a Manchester-based religious group who broke away from the Quakers in the late 1700s and migrated to America. They were commonly known as Shakers because of the way they moved and danced during religious ceremonies.
The Shakers were also master craftspeople who hand-crafted their furniture from solid timber. But they kept the designs simple because they regarded additional decoration, ornamentation and even veneer as “deceitful”.
This kitchen has been “dressed up” with decorative posts.
Key features of shaker style kitchen cabinets, cupboards and doors
While today’s shaker designs maintain that minimalist spirit, you can add your own flourish in a host of ways.
The clean lines in the framed centrepiece of the cabinetry remain the bedrock of the style, but today’s shaker door has come a long way from the original handmade timber style.
Most shaker doors are now made from Machine Grade Moisture Resistant EO MDF and the profile routed in. The door can be vinyl wrapped and painted to the desired colour.
Variations of the traditional shaker design include:
Simple minimal routed lines, like the ‘Oberon’ door from Polytec
This kitchen includes Polytec ‘Oberon’ doors.
Deeper routed lines such as the ‘Oceanic’ door from Polytec
This kitchen includes Polytec ‘Oceanic’ doors.
Shaker style doors are popular in a range of kitchen designs. It’s what you’ll usually find in a Hampton style kitchen.
That’s what our customers did below. This kitchen uses a shaker door, but they have added a mantel for the rangehood and decorative posts on the island. They also added small glass front doors on the overhead cabinetry.
Key benefits of a shaker kitchen?
The Shaker kitchen is extremely versatile. A number of different finishes can be used, and depending on the choice, that alone can produce a completely different style.
For instance, the vibe of a white 2 Pack shaker door in a satin finish is completely different to a black thermolaminated shaker door kitchen.
An example of a white kitchen with 2 Pack shaker doors in a satin finish
An example of black thermolaminated shaker doors.
2. It’s your choice – keep it simple or dress up
Keep it simple, like the original designers intended, or dress up and accessorise to create the kitchen you really want.
As we mentioned earlier, elements like fluted columns, corbels and mantels can create a more decorative provincial feel.
Handles and Knobs:
You can also make a great statement with your choice of knobs or handles.
There are so many options these days, although colour contrasting metal knobs or shell handles remain very popular.
In the kitchen above, a beautiful Calacatta marble splashback works perfectly with this painted shaker style kitchen. Cabinetry colour: Deluxe lexicon quarter strength, satin finish.
In the kitchen above, the back run bench is Caesarstone – colour Snow – teamed with a statement island benchtop in Bianco Carrara marble with a decorative edge profile.
Rosemount’s service was outstanding from start to finish. We love our new kitchen and couldn’t be happier with the experience we had. I would highly recommend Rosemount without hesitation.
Our designer was just fantastic. He wanted our kitchen to come to fruition as much as we did.
I’m sure we could have done our reno cheaper (although we did have a more expensive quote), but we couldn’t have done it better or had a smoother trouble free experience with such great trades and final result.
We’re thrilled with how the kitchen renovation has turned out. It’s gone from the darkest to the lightest room in the house. It looks so beautiful and I just love it.
Our decision to contract Rosemount resulted in a high end result, within budget and on time. The company’s wonderful team had the expertise, experience and dedication to guide the project from start to finish making the renovation a great experience and not a burden.
The quality of the build cannot be faulted and the level of service we have experienced from Rosemount has been exceptionally good. Everyone we spoke to over the phone and those that visited our house were a delight to deal with.
Tony and Michelle
Rosemount were by far the best of the trades we dealt with in our whole renovation, and continue to be. And we had a great kitchen designer who was clearly excited about doing something a bit different and edgier. He really brought some of my ideas in the kitchen to life.
We have referred loads of people to Rosemount. They weren’t the cheapest company but for me it’s about the quality of the product. You get what you pay for.
This was our first time renovating, so it’s fair to say there was a little bit of trepidation on our part. But our experience was very positive and we’re thrilled with our new kitchen.
A complete kitchen renovation was performed with as little disruption as possible to our household. Having had plenty of work done around the house over the years, I recognise and appreciate quality work, and Rosemount provide that in abundance. They’re also terrific people to deal with.
Our Essential Kitchen Guide
Check out the guide with all the important information you need to start a kitchen project