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The Rise of the Modern Shaker Design

  • 6 minute read
  • Aug 2nd, 2022

Whether you are having a new kitchen built or your existing cabinetry replaced, it can often prove difficult to make a choice when it comes to style. A contemporary look is increasingly popular these days. And then there is the whole practicality angle too. The Shaker door style meets these requirements for many kitchen designers and homeowners today, so in this article, we’ll focus on why this door style has remained popular for so long.

We will outline why, despite first appearing in kitchens more than 200 years ago, the Shaker style is still relevant in our homes today – albeit it has been updated slightly in terms of size and colour. We will also explore why the Shaker style remains so enduring, including examining the fascinating history of this predominantly kitchen design style. It may have first appeared in America, for instance, but the Shaker look’s origins are very much British.


Shaker style: design with enduring appeal

The Shaker look encroaches on a variety of design styles, from minimalism to traditional Georgian and, certainly, country-style rustic, to the extent that Shaker door style focus has never really gone out of fashion.

And the reason for this is undoubtedly the design’s simplicity, combined with a sturdiness that comes from good craftsmanship and quality wood.


Shaker style: clean lines and simple geometry

In terms of design, the Shaker door style focuses on clean lines and a simple geometric pattern. This style tends to involve a raised wooden frame surrounding a flat central panel. At times the panels can comprise of smaller panels inside the large panel or even a large piece of frosted or clear glass (or, again, smaller panels of glass).


Shaker style: on-trend with multi-generational living

Today’s Shaker door style tends to be thinner than previously, with a narrower frame of around 60 to 88mm, compared to the 100 to 110mm for the Shaker doors of yesteryear. This skinnier Shaker-style door fits in with contemporary household trends. For example, studies show around one-third of UK homes today have several generations of the same family living in them; hence a ‘slimmer’ kitchen makes sense offering more room.


The reason Shaker style is simple

The simplicity of the Shaker door style was doubtless down to its origins. The design was the creation of an 18th-century religious group – one whose members eschewed fancy decoration and embellishments. And it is this choice of form over fashion, in fact, which is one of the main reasons the Shaker style is still around today. Unlike other style forms, such as Art Deco or Mid-Century design, the Shaker style doesn’t really date – and never has.

How Shaker style came into being

The original artisans were known as the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing. Or to give them their more popular name by non-believers, The Shaker Society. The reason followers were nicknamed Shakers was because of their fondness for dancing and talking in tongues.

Another way the Shakers differentiated themselves was in terms of their quality craftsmanship. As English emigrants, mainly from Manchester, who based themselves in New England, they impressed their fellow settlers by creating cabinets, beds, chairs and tables from the pine and cherry woods so abundant in local forests there.

The Shakers regarded the creation of beautiful artistry as a means of glorifying god. They sought to embrace the natural beauty of the wood by allowing it to shine through, unembellished by fancy decoration (intricate design regarded as akin to vanity). Instead, it was all about simplicity and symmetry. And it’s this type of look that fits the practical need of a kitchen perfectly – whatever century the cabinetry is designed for.

Popular Shaker-style door colours

Although the design style can be used for internal doors throughout the home, regardless of the room, the Shaker style is a top choice for kitchens. In the past few decades, white, beige, cream and other neutral shades have been popular Shaker-style door colours. Other times, the wood was left to speak for itself with its natural knots and grains.

Neutral colours are still prominent today, although more popular Shaker-style door colours have overtaken them. These include the likes of duck egg blue and denim as well as the bolder forest green and very dark indigo blue.


Popular Shaker-style door trends

Shaker-style doors can be made from a variety of different woods, not just timber. For instance, it’s possible to buy Shaker-style kitchen units today in various engineered hardwoods – walnut and oak being two of the more popular.

At Granite and TREND Transformations, we offer a large selection of modern replacement cabinets with a Shaker door style focus. These options include the Carrick – a simple design to make your kitchen feel organised and tidy. It is available in a range of popular Shaker-style door colours in bold, modern shades, such as graphite, kombu green, indigo blue, black and colonial blue. It also comes in the lighter but still colourful blush pink, denim and soothing cashmere.

Our Oakham Shaker-door style is what we would describe as ‘a timeless classic.’ The Austin design is one of our more contemporary ranges, featuring vertical lines on cabinet doors and drawers. It’s available in shiny gloss or matt and, again, with a large selection of colours to choose from.

When it comes to the most popular Shaker-style door trends, our traditional Helmsley design is hard to beat. It features a panel inside a panel but continues with that simplistic line appeal.

Those who want a break from solid straight lines may prefer the Canterbury replacement cabinet design with its curved edge at the top of the main panel. The rather sophisticated Stratford design offers a three-smaller-panel design – a larger horizontal panel and two vertical versions beneath.


Ordering your replacement Shaker door cabinets

You can find a range of other popular Shaker-style door trends on our website. Once you have decided which door style you prefer from our extensive Bella range, then it’s just a case of choosing a colour and finish (sophisticated matt or striking gloss).


Hardware to suit Shaker-style cabinets

Afterwards, you can take a look through our range of Shaker kitchen cabinet handles. These include the more decorative cage drawer pulls, crystal knobs, and satin chrome bars to the positively glitzy Swarovski bar handle and the rather Edwardian-looking Winchester D handle. Fans of simple styles may prefer the flatline handle, forged knob or cross handle. With more than 40 to choose from, we’re sure you will find something that fits perfectly.

For instance, if you are looking for a classic look for your Shaker-style kitchen, then knob handles will definitely fit the bill. Simple designs look good with brass knobs, while chrome bars are best for a contemporary look.

We suggest latches for a retro kitchen look, and pulls with exposed screws are best for an industrial design aesthetic in the kitchen. If you want sophistication, then opt for a sleek silver bar pull. The Winchester D handle is perfect for a vintage-style Shaker kitchen.

How to get in touch with the team

To find out more about popular Shaker-style door colours and replacement cabinets near you, as well as how they can be fitted, take a look at our website today. All our units are manufactured right here in the UK, and all come with a six-year guarantee.

And it’s not just replacement cabinets that you can have fitted. We can supply your entire kitchen. Our gorgeous, high-quality and eco-friendly overlay worktops, produced from engineered stone, are easy, mess-free and fast to fit. That’s because they can simply be placed over the top of your existing worktop. We also have fabulous flooring, colourful backsplashes and glass mosaic tiles to complement your new replacement cabinets and worktops.

You can download a brochure of our cabinets to take a closer look at popular Shaker-style door trends and our best-selling worktops today. And don’t forget to experiment with the fun 3D kitchen design tool on our website. It allows you to swap different kitchen products, colours and styles into your plan to see what your new kitchen will ultimately look like.

To set up an appointment with our team, please call us on 0808 271 6574. We can come out to your home, take measurements, and discuss your designs, so we can deliver a beautiful and stress-free kitchen transformation that perfectly meets your requirements.

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About Granite & TREND Transformations

We bring affordable luxury to life through home renovations, when people hear our name, they associate it with top-class kitchen and bathroom makeovers and high-quality materials. Since being established in 1996, we’ve become a well-known brand and a leader in the home transformations industry, with thousands of kitchen and bathroom makeovers taking place every month.

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