Cabinetry trends are always backed by a surprising amount of history. Humans have been carving wood into cabinets for almost as long as we've been building houses with indoor kitchens.
There have been ornate baroque style cabinets, round and carved farmhouse style cabinets, and sharp-cornered contemporary cabinets. However, one of the most popular styles is Shaker style cabinetry.
What are Shaker Style Kitchen Cabinets?
What are shaker style kitchen cabinets? These cabinets are inspired by the fine carpentry methods of the Shakers and Quakers back in the founding era of the US. Shakers were a strict religious sect that believed on an austere lifestyle free from excess decor.
Due to their sobriety and dedication to quality, the Shaker crafting style was extremely precise, though free of ornate details. Each piece fits together snugly and the lines form clean squared-off corners.
Who Were the Shakers?
Shakers were among the movement of Puritans who migrated to early America for austere religious freedom. What they wanted freedom to do was live simple, precise lives free of immorality or chaos.
They wanted to carve extremely straight lines into wood and fit their carpentry joints together snugly. While this may be a cabinet-focused view of Shaker history, it is certainly relevant to what you will find when you seek out shaker style kitchen cabinets.
The shakers were excellent craftsmen and they valued precision, avoiding anything that might lower the quality of their work. Their designs were simple and free of distractions in ornate carvings or decorative details. Instead, shaker cabinets are designed for clean, straight lines and absolute functionality.
Corners and Bevels of Shaker Style Cabinets
Shaker-style cabinets are not ornately detailed, but they are neither flat and plain. Each shaker-style cabinet door or drawer panel has a single rectangular depressions in the center. This depression has clean lines, usually with sharp or slightly dulled corners between the higher and lower sections.
Around the perimeter of each shaker cabinet door and drawer cover are straight lines and clean corners that fit perfectly together. The front of a shaker kitchen cabinet line is flush all the way across, marked by door handles and the depression in the center of each door.
Some shaker cabinets have a very slight bevel in between cabinet doors and drawer covers that is more comfortable on the fingers and shoes slightly deeper grooves between doors. This is purely functional so fits well with the shaker's cabinet design philosophy.
Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Handles
The shakers were less consistent with their choice of cabinet handles, leaving the choice up to you. You can choose any style of cabinet handle and drawer pull that you prefer based on the other design elements of your kitchen remodel.
If you want to stay within the spirit of shaker-style cabinet design, choose handles for their simple appearance and practical functionality. Many choose square handles to reflect the squared-off lines of shaker style cabinetry.
But you can also choose smooth rounded cabinet handles for their simple aesthetic and universal comfort and function in the kitchen. Avoid ornate, detailed, or carved handles to align with the austerity of shaker-style design.
Paint or Finish for Shaker Style Kitchen Cabinets
What color should you paint or stain shaker cabinets? Most people prefer to keep their shaker cabinets stained in natural wood tones or painted in the range of white and gray. This keeps your shaker cabinets simple, taking advantage of the way the lightly beveled design plays on natural wood grains and rich wood tones.
When painted, we rarely see shaker cabinets that are not either white or gray. However, paints that reflect natural wood tones are not unheard of and pale blue has been seen on the far side of gray neutral paint tones.
Redesigning with Shaker Style Cabinets?
If you've been thinking about installing new cabinets in your kitchen, would you prefer the shaker style? These classic cabinets always feel both sleek and familiar because they have been a historically popular kitchen cabinet design.
If you want a cabinet design that feels like home or reminds you of a special kitchen you grew up in, shaker cabinets might have that perfect balance of practical functionality and warming nostalgia. Contact us today to discuss your kitchen cabinet design plans.