A perennially classic kitchen design is the Shaker style from the religious sect of the same name, founded in the late 1700s in New England. The Shakers believed that every object in a house had a function and that decoration was unnecessary, producing furniture that was proportionate and minimalist. From its humble beginnings, Shaker style is now renowned as a notable design movement, and is popular to this day.
You wont find exaggerated curves, intricate carvings or superfluous decoration in a Shaker-style kitchen the emphasis is on practicality and durability the Shakers intended their creations to last a lifetime. Heres how to achieve this timeless look in your kitchen:
Cabinetry and furniture
A typical Shaker kitchen is built around a model of a square framed, classically-proportioned doors with an inset panel, constructed in wood (cherrywood and maple were the most used woods in Shaker kitchens), which can be left bare, or painted a matt finish is more authentic than gloss. A simple trestle table and bare seats or benches were used for dining. You may wish to add padding or cushions to your dining chairs the Shakers may have forsaken such unnecessary comfort, but theres such a thing as taking a theme too far!
Keep walls pale and neutral ideally, finished in bare white plaster if your walls are in good enough condition. The Shakers stuck to a heritage palette of light and dark blue, blue-green, warm yellow and red.
Flooring and storage
Floors should be bare boards, but may be varnished or painted in a pale finish. As the Shaker lifestyle was one of practicality and austerity, everything had to be functional, and in a typical kitchen of the period, everything had its place. A classically Shaker-style storage solution is to have peg rails hung around the wall at head height, which cooking implements, mirrors or even chairs were hung. This kept the rooms tidy and the floors easier to sweep.
Of course, you dont necessarily have to follow the Shaker style bible to the letter in todays kitchens, an element of the classic design lends a heritage feel, but also creates a scheme neutral enough for you to put your own style stamp on a space. Have a look through 10 of our favourite Shaker-style kitchens
Add colour to your scheme with a bold blue kitchen island. Not only will this deep denim colour create a focal point for the space but it also works beautifully with wooden floors and worktops.
Wooden worktops matched with a neutral floor conjure up the simple, understated style that is key to Shaker kitchens.
Pale blue is a gentle way to introduce colour into a Shaker kitchen without overpowering the style. It also evokes a quintessentially country feel.
If you’re looking for a more traditional Shaker kitchen, then go for wooden units. Traditonally made from pine, cherrywood or maple, Shaker style is so versatile, it also lends itself to darker timber finishes.
Create a contemporary, urban look by teaming Shaker-style cabinets with a mix of granite and wooden worktops.
Opt for units that have glass fronts and look like traditional dresser units to display crockery and glassware. A simple white table and chairs continue the pared-down elegance of the units.
For a burst of colour in the kitchen, go for painted units in typical Shaker colours, which includes creams, blues, yellows, greens, and reds.
Consider combining two or three co-ordinating tones to help define different areas of the kitchen. Textured stone floor tiles and unfinished units create a rustic farmhouse look.
Choose Shaker units in painted whites or soft cream and add wooden touches, such as the door knobs and worktops, for a simple, light feel.
Keep walls neutral so that the colours of the units take centre stage, and stick to a light wood worktop that will balance the overall look.
Add sleek bar handles and glass doors to give the Shaker units a modern twist. The purple splashback pulls focus to the range cooker for a striking look.
Need more kitchen advice? See our essential guide to designing your kitchen, and our tips on how to create a Shaker-style kitchen. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and decorating ideas.