Shaker kitchens have been around for centuries, shaping an era of stunning and efficient kitchen design. If you run a kitchen company, you’ll know that a big part of the projects you conceptualise fall into this category; and if you’re a kitchen design enthusiast, you probably have your Pinterest full of Shaker Design Kitchens. Both factors led us to write a blog post on this theme a couple of months ago- Why are Shaker Kitchens still so popular?.
Since then, we have been surprised by a new and quite frequent request within the spectre of this design- Skinny Shaker Kitchens. So in this blog post, we’ll focus on this aspiring trend and what it might mean for its original style.
What is is
The original shaker kitchen had an aesthetic that was minimalistic and straightforward, primarily made out of timber. With time, it involved into a style whose core maintained the simplicity and symmetry of the handmade cabinetry but incorporated new logistics, storage and organisation, from drawer runners to magic corners, spice racks, waste bins, etc.
Nowadays, it still maintains its shape, with framed cabinet doors and drawers, usually coated by modern colours and finished with simple handles.
So, what’s the biggest difference in the last year or so on this design? It’s as simple as the reduction of the thickness in the framing.
Let’s illustrate it
Below, it’s an illustration of a standard shaker door and its parts. As you can see, the rails and stiles have the same thickness- broad enough to accommodate handles and balanced with the panel’s size.
Now, in the following photo, you see that the stiles and rails have assumed a new expression, with a must skinnier frame.
Why the change?
With modernisation, society kept looking for ways to make things simpler and more minimalistic. Design has been massively influenced by this, with layouts offering clearer and wider surfaces and a lot less clutter.
This slimmed-down version of shakers falls into this process, giving the genre a renewed elegant but classical profile, with retro and mid-century tones.
The benefits? It doesn’t require more expensive budgets, and it’s just as malleable, fitting within multiple material and colour choices.
What does this mean for handles?
Through this trend, you can have a ‘barely-there-hardware’ look, without massive handles, keeping the aesthetic of your kitchen super clean.
You can still place traditional handles on this shape (just on the panel instead of the rails or stiles), but this shape offers almost a challenge and opportunity to find more creative ways to open and close your doors and drawers.
Here are a few examples:
Finger Pull Handles
Final thoughts: Is it here to stay/ Should I go for it?
Like any trend, this thinner shaker can stay or go according to how fast design changes. However, at least this year (2022) we have already lined up a few designs that fit within this category, so it seems like it's staying.
As for our recommendation on whether to get it- as we do bespoke projects, we always like to dive into each project discussing design and function ideas with our clients. This means that we not only look at what looks good, but it’s lasting through any kitchen’s use. If this style fits within your minimal clear style, and if you think you will still be please with it in 20 years, then it’s worth going for it. If you would rather stick to a style that’s proven to work (considering it has existed for centuries) and never goes out of style, then stick with the more traditional and wider shaker shape.
Need help discussing which style suits you best? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Words by Sofia Gameiro Inacio