Know your styles: Shaker kitchens
The kitchen is one of the rooms of the house that is perhaps most subject to trends, one year slate flooring may be considered the ‘must have’ feature of the season. Then next year, the same interiors journalists may be singing the merits of granite flooring.
Some kitchen styles however stand the test of time, one of which is the Shaker style. Shaker kitchens are one of those styles, people have heard the name of, but they’re a little unsure exactly what it means, despite the fact they will have undoubtedly seen a Shaker kitchen before, some may even have one and not realise it!
So, here’s just about everything you need to know about them:
Origins in a religious sect
Shakers or the ‘United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing’, were a religious sect that originated here in England in the 18th century, but largely migrated to the United States and existed until the early 20th century. They shunned materialism, but embraced handwork, which led to them becoming renowned for their simplistic but well crafted furniture which influenced the modern Shaker kitchen style.
It’s all about simplicity and craftsmanship
Word spread about the quality of Shaker made furniture, and its popularity spread to the wider population. Which lead to it becoming a design staple. Today, a Shaker kitchen typically features robust, minimalist, wooden cabinets. Similarly to Scandinavian design it's all about balanced proportions, basic panelling and clean lines. Which has lead it to becoming a timeless design classic that always looks good no matter what the current trend.
Contemporary and traditional
The basic principles of Shaker design, means that it is an incredibly versatile style that works extremely well in any home. No matter whether you have a hyper modern Grand Designs style home, a suburban new-build or an ancient cottage. Shaker kitchens work well in just about any style of home, which makes them a great choice for those who are not sure what to go for with their new kitchen. Their timeless quality also makes them a wise investment, reassuring homeowners that their kitchen will look great for years to come.
A traditional Shaker made piece of furniture would have been made from a robust American hardwood, treated or stained with a varnish and perhaps fitted with understated brass handles. Today however designers have run with the style and given it many modern twists to spice up the trend, industrial accents such as by giving Shaker cabinets steel lining, or a concrete counter are particularly popular at the moment. But simple Scandi-inspired pine accenting also works well.
All this means there’s a wealth of incarnations of the style available for those who find the original Shaker design a little bland.
They are highly customisable
The enduring popularity of the Shaker style means that Shaker kitchens are extremely customisable from manufacturers. From choosing your ideal worktop and backsplash materials, to the types of woods used for the cabinets and shelves to the styles of handles used. It’s possible to create a Shaker style kitchen which is completely unique