Shaker Kitchens have been around for quite a few decades. From stunning big layouts to maximised organisation and great cabinetry, the interior design industry has fully embraced this style of kitchen.
So why are they so popular? What is it about this design that still makes people so excited about it?
In this post, we will explore some of the reasons for their popularity and review some tips on how to make the most out of a shaker style kitchen.
These kitchens originate from the 1600s. They were created by a religious sect - the Quakers - that originated in the English Civil War and then slowly migrated to America. This group of pacifists believed in principles such as peace, simplicity and rejection of slavery, creating a strong handmade labour culture. With time, they became self-sufficient, creating their own clothes, growing their own food and crafting their homes. This last craft started to pass from generation to generation, asserting a unique style of furniture created from natural products and made to last.
Throughout the next two decades, this lifestyle assumed the Shaker nomenclature, with its design becoming highly popular amongst numerous families.
Per definition, this design assumed an American aesthetic that was minimalistic and straightforward, without any clutter and primarily made out of timber. The craftsmanship of this style created warm and welcoming homes, designed with care and sometimes with bespoke engravings and carvings.
With the kitchen being the centre of the home and where people gathered the most, it became the symbol of this style. The goal was to create bespoke hand-crafted spaces to comfortably cook and share meals and experiences through a design that adapted to each family’s needs. Each part of the space was made to last, with simple elegance and smoothness.
How Shaker Kitchens have been modernised with time
With time, the kitchen allowed for more cupboards, appliances and anything electric. The layout started to change, opening up to islands, breakfast bars, and lounges or seating areas, turning this area of the house into a multifunctional space.
Colour was also brought into it, with hand-painted kitchens in different tones such as yellows, greens and blues.
The core of the design maintained the simplicity and symmetry of the handmade cabinetry, as well as the logistics, storage and organisation created in each space, from drawer runners to magic corners, spice racks, waste bins, etc.
Tips to make the most out of a Shaker Kitchen
1. Make the most of its simple structure and bespoke design
These kitchens are straightforward, designed to facilitate your day-to-day routine. Chat to your designer to make sure they understand your priorities and main requirements, so they can design a space that is bespoke to your family and how you will use the space.
2. Don’t overlook details
Aligned with the first topic, details really can make a difference when effectively designed. Like these tablet pockets that our Idmiston Kitchen Clients asked for.
3. Don’t be afraid to use colours and textures
Do you want a space with character that doesn't lose its touch of interior styling through minimal design? Then invest some time thinking about how you can incorporate the right colours and textures into your cabinetry. If you need some guidance, here are our tips for the best colours for your kitchen.
4. Make the best use of the natural light
Natural light makes a huge difference in any kitchen. From long horizontal windows to tall bay windows or skylights, your choice is unlimited to bring some good lighting into your space. Make sure you work well with this element especially when you have a darker kitchen, like a chalk blue or deep green, to guarantee that your layout looks open and inviting.
5. Use a combination of drawers, runners, pull-out baskets, shelves
Create some magic on the inside of your cabinets through a mix of well-designed drawers, pull-out baskets, shelves, magic corners, etc. These elements will break the monotony of your kitchen and give you all the extra organisation you need.
6. Incorporate good appliances and worktops
As we have made quite a jump in technology since the 1600s, it's only fair that we adapt this design to top-end appliances. These will transform your experience in the kitchen, making sure you have some efficient fun when preparing your family meals.
Have a look at our list of partners we work with for great appliances options.
The shaker kitchen is still an icon in Interior Design to this day. Even though it dates back to the 1700s, its strong foundation, core values and style remain one of the most sought out designs until today.
With new trends for tones, textures and finishes constantly evolving in the industry, this style has had constant revamps or add-ons, highly motivated by new technology. Nevertheless, their original values remain intact until today.
Here at IDW&D, the shaker style is still our top seller. The fact that it is a bespoke craft gives us room to keep innovating our projects according to our client’s needs. It also allows us to explore our creativity through multiple tones and textures that add a lot of character to our portfolio.
Overall, it seems that this art will be around for a long time, showing that all you need to create a timeless design is a strong foundation.
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Words by Sofia Gameiro Inacio and Rebecca Chan