Shaker cabinets are unique and simple in design. They have recessed panel doors, basic hardware, and light finishes.
These cabinets are a mirror image of the furniture that was designed by the Shakers who were skilled carpenters and craftsmen.
Many of the shaker cabinets are made of hardwood, and some may have veneer panels on the doors. Their style is normally complimented using light stains and natural finishes. You can also have them painted with distressed finishes which will give them an aged appearance. This will enhance their beauty and appeal.
Because of their simple design, the hardware is normally hidden. You can use wooden handles and knobs as they will complement the simple design features.
In most cases, they are normally labeled as Shaker cabinets so you can tell them apart from other designs, because you may find some mission styled cabinets with designs and arches that are similar to the shaker cabinets, which can be confusing.
What most people love about the shaker cabinet is that it is a timeless design. Timeless means that you shall not be spending your time after installing the cabinets looking for remodeling tips because the design lasts forever.
If all this sounds appealing to you, then, you should consider using shaker cabinets in your kitchen the next time you do some remodeling.[toc]
The style of shaker cabinets
Shaker cabinets offer users very many possibilities. The heart of shaker cabinets is plainness, pride, and practicability. These are able to reflect a very strong design. The stability and harmony of the cabinets make any space in which they are used classic and chic.
Most interior designers will recommend this style of cabinetry for the sole purpose of being able to keep the kitchen clean and uncluttered. In addition, it allows them to experiment with a whole list of colors since shaker cabinets open your imagination and the creative juices tend to flow very easily.
You can choose from many different colors such as white shaker kitchen cabinets, gray shaker cabinets, black shaker cabinets, and even maple shaker cabinets. Later on, we shall look at each of these in great details.
The characteristics of shaker cabinets
Shaker cabinets may appear plain in their squareness, but this is simply due to their panel and frame profile. This is also known as rail and stile construction.
There have been very many variations to the original look that was discovered in the 1800s when the Shaker community was extremely popular, and the panel can now be easily subdivided into many different sections by the use of small pieces known as mid-stiles, mid-rails or muntis.
You must also choose the best quality of wood such as birch, maple or chestnut when installing the shaker cabinets. Serious craftsmen will mostly focus on how functional the design is, and allow the timber to speak for itself.
Walnut will give a flawless look in your kitchen, and it is extremely recommended, plus, the modern walnut gives a richer looking timber compared to what was used in the past.
The finishing of shaker cabinets:
For the shaker cabinets style, what you need to remember is that repetition is king. All of the drawers and cabinets must look the same, and you must also ensure that they create a clean and orderly look.
The squared off rail that gives a purist approach to shaker cabinets is very popular, and this small detail adds a twist to any kitchen space.
You can also be able to finish off the cabinets as per the following methods;
1. Painted finishing:
Painting the cabinets will offer you a contemporary look which allows you to keep the sharp, recessed and squared-off edges. It also makes the cabinets intrinsically shaker like.
Depending on the timber you used; however, you may begin to see some hairline cracks on the joints of the wood which naturally expands and contracts over time. This, however, will not compromise the strength of the door.
2. Burnished finishing
This is normally done after the cabinets have been painted. The burnishing normally gives it an aged look. The process involves distressing the cabinet, sanding it, and then applying a burnishing stain on its surface.
This is a much more complex process than painting, and you may need to think through before applying it, plus you may need to speak to professionals who can offer you the correct advice.
The benefit of this process is that it gives the wood a shiny finishing that is very attractive. It is also frequently used by professionals who do not want to use too many chemicals on their products.
Once the burnishing is done on the wood, it exposes the wood’s harder cells, and these cells do not absorb any stains or finishes, and as a result, it gives it a glossy finish.
3. Thermofoil finishing
This is also known as a vinyl wrap, and it adds durability to the cabinets. The thermofoil laminate is normally applied to the medium-dense which uses an intense pressure bonding and heating process.
Be careful with where the panel meets the rail and also where the stile is located on the cabinet.
The thermofoil will not get as sharp an edge as with painting the cabinets. The machine used to laminate will not be able to reach into the corners, and therefore it will angle on the edges of the rail and stile.
4. Polyurethane finishing
This type of finishing is mostly used on island bench cabinets, and it brings out the natural and rustic look n any kitchen. The matte finish will enhance the grain, streaks, and knots. It is one of the most terrific examples of how a timeless cabinet should look like.
Here are examples of Shaker cabinets in use;
Modern Shaker cabinets
This modern cabinet design appreciates the shaker cabinets by being clean and uncluttered. The doors are left plain but, you can decide to use different cabinet hardware depending on your preference. The finishing adds warmth to any kitchen, and it allows you to fully maximize the color scheme you have chosen for your kitchen.
The modern design incorporates plenty of ideas such as the use of different types of materials on the countertops and also being free to use the kind of flooring you desire as the cabinets minimalistic and plain approach leaves you plenty of room for creativity.
The shaker cabinet designs have recently become a hot trend, and most people are leaning towards them due to their clean look. When it comes to the kitchen, simple is far from boring. With a simplistic design, you can accessorize the kitchen as you wish, and seeing as this is an area characterized by many different appliances, keeping the cabinets clean and plain allows you to make the area much saner and more manageable.
Transitional shaker cabinets
The term transitional is quite subjective when you are talking about kitchen designs. Most designers nowadays are talking about transitional kitchen designs, transitional style, transitional kitchen cabinets, and even transitional home décor.
What it means is the mix of traditional designs with contemporary elements, but in a way that doesn’t look eclectic. A good example is the combination of black and white as seen in the image above; you can also incorporate some natural textures to make it more modern.
Another reason why we call this transitional design is the fact that it can easily be transitioned from one look to another with a simple change such as painting the cabinets. It is a simple blend of the old and the new.
Transitional cabinets are contemporary because they can go with any house. Choosing transitional kitchen cabinets goes a long way in helping you blend the old and the new, and you will feel great because you can change the décor any time you like through a very simple process as outlined above.
Traditional shaker cabinets
Traditional shaker cabinets use a very clean approach to their design. They have a beveled edge and, in some cases, they will tend to have some embellishments such as a raised panel among other design features.
The whole idea is to keep the look extremely traditional, and as such, they are easily recognized. They use a very light wood finish or the color of a farmhouse or a country kitchen palette such as a distressed glaze on the cabinets.
If you want to add that traditional look to your kitchen décor, you can simply choose an eclectic drawer or door handle, which will add a level of traditionalism to your kitchen.
White shaker kitchen cabinets
Nothing says elegant and clean like the color white. White kitchens date back to the porcelain ages of the 1920s. According to historians, the color is associated with cleanliness and hygiene, and most people love a white kitchen. It is both timeless and classic.
The elegant white shaker cabinets are the most extensive because they offer the user many different options to accessorize. The cabinets normally come with a solid hardwood frame, and they are made of plywood.
White will brighten up any room, and this is extremely important for your kitchen. The color prompts good appetites and high energy levels. Compare this with an all red kitchen. Although red is supposed to be an appetite stimulant, it can be a funny and uncomfortable feeling to be in an entirely red kitchen.
One point to note however with white kitchen cabinets is the fact that they tend to get dirty easily, and this dirt shows. Therefore, you must constantly keep cleaning the cabinets, to maintain the clean look.
You should also ensure that you invest in good quality wood or a good quality finishing, and one that does not retain stains, so your home can always be stain free. A dirty and stained white kitchen is not appealing at all.
Gray Shaker Cabinets
If you are thinking of gray for your shaker styled kitchen, then, you are making a very wise decision. This is because gray is a neutral color, especially with kitchens. Remember that shaker cabinets are a lifetime choice, and when you combine the gray with the shaker design, you will be happy with your kitchen for very many years to come.
Gray is a versatile color, which offers you very many options. In the market today, there are many versions of gray, and you can be able to choose the one that tickles your fancy, and keep your kitchen in the tone and feel that you want.
Another exciting benefit of this color is the ability to color code it. Gray is simply divine and, in most cases, it will go with virtually anything, you could even paint the walls yellow or green, and they will blend perfectly with your gray shaker cabinets.
Blue shaker cabinets
The above image of a blue and white blended kitchen is purely chic and elegant. Blue shaker cabinets are extremely stylish, and they bring out a certain level of creativity in your kitchen, as compared to having a simple color on your cabinets.
Here are some reasons why you should consider blue;
It is a neutral color. When you think about it, most people where blue on their every day lives. Yes. They do. Think about it: how many people wear blue jeans daily? It is neutral because you can be able to pair it up with virtually any color.
It comes in many different shades – you can choose from dark blue, light blue, pure blue, bright blue, etc. This gives you much room to showcase your creativity. It is however important first to consider all the other items you wish to accessorize with, so they can blend perfectly with the tone and shade of blue you have chosen.
You can blend in more than one color – A very good example is the image above. Blending in blue and white cabinets is a terrific idea as it will make your kitchen look far from boring. Another color combination can be grey and blue, black and blue, etc.
Blue also works with many different types of countertops. This is yet another great example of how you can use the blue color to accessorize your kitchen. If you have quartz or granite or even soapstone countertops, do not worry, they will go perfectly with your blue colored shaker cabinets.
Black shaker cabinets
Black is a powerful color, and as much as you love white, most people admit that having a black kitchen is much better. This will, of course, depend on your preference, but here are some reasons why black shaker cabinets are more popular:
- Black makes you more creative – This is true because you wouldn’t want to have a dull kitchen in your hands. As a result, the color makes you more creative when it comes to other areas of your kitchen. As seen in the image above, the black was paired with white, and this makes the kitchen look both elegant and chic.
- You can choose to use any other color other than white because what black does is blend with everything. You could even have orange and green walls, and you will still be in style.
- It is easy to keep clean – This is why most people also love to dress in black. Black rarely shows dirt, and in a kitchen, this would be an added benefit. We are not saying that if you use black cabinets, you can neglect cleanliness and hygiene, we are simply saying that it will be harder for people to notice the dirt if you have been very busy in the kitchen.
- Back is versatile – it comes in many different shades, and you can choose whichever one you want for your kitchen.
- Black brings out the other colors – Black helps bring out the rest of the colors in your kitchen. This means that you can go crazy with chandeliers, accessories, paintings, flowers, etc. because the black cabinets accentuate their look.
The drawback of having black cabinets is that, if you use too much black in your kitchen, it will tend to make the space appear smaller than it is.
Another drawback is that; while other bright colors such as white absorb light, black tends to absorb it, and this means that your kitchen will have little to no natural light, and may feel like a cave, and less like the spacious kitchens we all crave to have.
The secret of a black kitchen, however, is to have proper lighting. Talking to a designer who will help you figure out how to light up the kitchen can go a long way in making it the space you want it to become.
Maple Shaker Kitchen Cabinets
Maple is simply beautiful and elegant, plus it has that natural look. Choosing maple wood for your kitchen cabinets is a very good idea, and as seen in the image above, it transforms your kitchen from ordinary looking to out of this world.
Maple is timeless, meaning it is the kind of look you can have in your kitchen forever. It has been in use for very many years, and here are some of the reasons why it is so popular;
It is versatile – Maple takes in stains, paints and other types of glazes very well, and this can help you have more control over the appearance of your cabinets. If you have a specific design or color scheme, maple will help you achieve this. In addition, you can also choose to leave them as they are, in the natural maple color and you will still have a beautiful kitchen in your hands.
Maple is highly durable – this is one of the reasons that make maple a great choice for your kitchen cabinets. Cabinets naturally endure plenty of wear and tear, with constant changes of temperatures, such as humidity, and this will not cause it to crack or warp up like other types of wood.
It is super strong, and if properly taken care of you can expect it to last over 30 years, in the same look and color.
It has a lovely appearance – Maple looks good. It has a smooth and even grain that is very pleasant to the eyes. It generally has a light color with a reddish tone, and since it takes color extremely well, you can easily stain it, so it looks more expensive like the walnut or cherry wood.
It is cheaper compared to other types of wood – maple is much more affordable compared to different kinds of wood.
One of the benefits of having a kitchen with shaker cabinets is its timeless appeal. The uncluttered and sleek look of the shaker cabinets ensures that it transcends design trends and makes for a solid foundation for your kitchen remodel.
Another point you will appreciate about this kitchen design is its ability to help you express yourself. With the subtle and plain principle behind the shaker cabinets, you are free to choose whichever type of flooring or countertops you want.
These cabinets will transform your kitchen into a modern and slick space, that anyone will enjoy.
Please remember that you also have the freedom to select whichever finishing you want on your sleek kitchen cabinets. The finishing also impacts the overall look of your remodeled kitchen significantly and must be chosen with care.
If you are looking to have a more traditional and aged appearance, a burnished or distressed finishing will help you achieve that. On the other hand, a painted finishing will open yourself up to many choices, and it will leave your kitchen looking cool and crisp.
Perhaps the best news about the shaker cabinets is the fact that they are long lasting and durable. Most of the wood used is of good quality, and it means that you can be able to keep your kitchen with the same appealing look for decades to come.
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