We’ve been designing Shaker kitchens at Harvey Jones for over 30 years, honing in on the Shaker principles of simplicity and craftsmanship to create refined, minimalist kitchens to complement any home. This is a traditional style — named after a mid 18th-century religious sect called the Shaking Quakers — but it can easily be modernised. In fact, the Shaker-style lends itself to modern kitchens, as the clean lines and minimalism are both considered popular in current interior designs. Here we look at some ways to create a modern Shaker kitchen.
1. Incorporate a kitchen island
Kitchen islands are a popular feature in Shaker designs that come in different sizes and shapes. You can have a bespoke kitchen island tailored to your specific space, making it perfect for homeowners wanting to add a functional twist to their modern Shaker kitchen. For example, our grey Shaker kitchen has a bespoke island with marble worktops and features both a wine chiller and relaxing seating area. An island could serve as somewhere to cook for your family, work remotely, or socialise with friends.
They also offer plenty of additional storage space, allowing you to incorporate solutions such as drawer inserts, run-end storage, and integrated bin cupboards. A kitchen island can house your appliances too. Concealing your kitchenware like this will create a sleek, clean-looking space.
2. Upgrade your door handles
Shaker-style cabinetry often features a knob or cup handle. Traditionally, these were very understated and made of wood in alignment with the Shaker principles. Craftsmen avoided metal as it was considered to be too ornamental. However, modern kitchen designs often include metal versions that are simplified to ensure they don’t stray too far from traditional principles.
Cups are commonly used on drawers and knobs on cabinets. However, you may prefer a bar pull that matches the straight lines of the Shaker-style. Look at our dark grey design, for instance, with simple silver pulls that seamlessly blend into the cabinetry. For a modern Shaker kitchen, round or oval knobs made of chrome, stainless steel, or any other metallic material are a good choice. Another option is to mix knobs and pulls to blend tradition and modernity, like this dark shaker kitchen with cup pull handles offering easy drawer access.
3. Install integrated appliances
A modern shaker kitchen design often features innovative storage options to complete its sleek, streamlined look. Bulky ‘white goods’ may ruin the aesthetic of your kitchen, so you could integrate your appliances into the design. Everything from your fridge and freezer, to the oven and washing machine can be embedded within your shaker units, resulting in a tidy finish and increasing space.
For example, your fridge, dishwasher and washing machine can be concealed behind cabinet doors, while ovens installed at waist height slot nicely into your kitchen units. Our classic white shaker kitchen has the oven and microwave fitted into the units, while this yellow shaker design features a fitted oven.
4. Use bold colours
Traditional Shaker kitchens feature decorated furniture in shades of blue, green, red and yellow, while neutral shades like grey and cream are also popular. Bold colours will instantly modernise a Shaker kitchen and draw attention to the cabinetry, as seen in our green Shaker kitchen. A lick of paint is a great way to bring life into your kitchen and add depth and character. For example, the dramatic look of inky black or dark green put a contemporary spin on the traditional Shaker style.
Our Shaker kitchen designs are hand painted in any shade. You can even choose to repaint your cabinets a different colour whenever you fancy a change. Another option is to use multiple shades to help create different zones. This two-tone effect works beautifully in our blue Shaker kitchen, separating the worktops from the curved island.