What is a shaker style door?

A Shaker Kitchen is a kitchen style which is distinctly minimalistic with a clean-lined design that has little or no decoration which creates a simple, open plan design.

Shaker kitchen cabinet doors consist of a recessed panel and a four-piece wood frame. Most of these kitchen cabinets are constructed from wood and dovetail joints. The original Shaker Kitchens were modest due to the Shaker’s religious views.

A Shaker style kitchen has simple lines and understated elegance about it that has stood the test of time. The cabinets themselves have a significantly unadorned look with a focus on practical design and its unique craftsmanship.

“This design style comes from a religious group’s need to create furniture from bare essentials and without embellishments”.

Because of its unique style, you can find a simple Shaker kitchen in modern, traditional, high-end and budget homes alike.

Who are the Shakers?

The Shakers, officially The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearance, was a religious sect founded in England in 1783. They were initially part of the Quakers but broke away in the mid-18th century. The Shakers name comes from “Shaking Quakers”, which is what they were called because of their restless worship style. However, after religious persecution, the group fled to America.

Equality was the cornerstone of their faith, specifically of the sexes and races, alongside pacifism and communal ownership of property. However, Shakers also practised celibacy that significantly shrunk their numbers. As a result, only two members remain today in Sabbath-day Lake Shaker Village, Maine.

shaker style furniture

Shaker fundamentals

Traditionally, Shaker kitchens were made from best wood available. Fruit tree or pine was often used in their furniture, resulting in the quintessential light-wood look. However, present-day Shaker cabinet kitchen designs can incorporate mixed new material and almost any wood type.

The Shaker kitchen doors are without adornment, consisting only of the four wide frame pieces with a flat panel in the middle. The frame is constructed with traditional dovetail joints that hark back to its humble origins. While the original kitchen doors would have been treated with oil only to retain its natural look, modern Shaker kitchen cabinets are also stained or painted.

Shaker kitchen cabinet colours are as varied as the rainbow. Depending on the rest of your interior, unfinished shaker kitchen cabinets can be bold and contemporary or traditional and minimalist to suit any style.