Inspiration from David Lisle

What is a Shaker Kitchen? A Guide to Shaker Style Kitchens

If you’re planning a kitchen redesign, you’re sure to come across the concept of a shaker kitchen. But what is a shaker kitchen? And why is it such a popular choice among homeowners?

Here we share everything you need to know about shaker kitchens so you can decide if this style of kitchen is the right choice for your home.

Definition: What is a shaker kitchen?

Shaker kitchens have wooden cabinets and drawers with a recessed, central panel. This panel is surrounded by a four-piece wooden frame. Shaker cabinetry is most often painted. But some traditional kitchens feature oiled or stained wooden doors and drawers.

The shaker kitchen takes inspiration (and its name) from the Shaker religious community who lived in America during the 18th century. The Shakers were famed for their simple, functional and well-crafted furniture. And these are the same principles that you can see at work in shaker kitchens today.

Key features of a shaker kitchen

As well as framed wooden cabinetry, there are a couple of other key features you can expect from shaker style kitchens.

Clean lines: Sleek simplicity is built into every shaker kitchen. There’s no ornate or elaborate decoration. Instead, shaker cabinetry has clean, straight lines that create a minimalist look.

Functionality: Shaker kitchens have a functional, hard-wearing design. We often see cabinetry paired with simple, solid door and drawer handles that emphasise these characteristics.

Timelessness: This is a kitchen style that just doesn’t seem to age. Shaker cabinets have an understated, timeless quality that makes them very long-lasting.

Versatility: Shaker style kitchens have an incredibly versatile design. They act as a blank canvas for your interior style and are equally suited to traditional and contemporary kitchen spaces.

Quality craftsmanship: Quality craftsmanship lies at the heart of every shaker kitchen. You can expect beautiful joinery and an exceptional finish.

Here at David Lisle, we build all shaker kitchens from scratch in the workshop adjoining our showroom. Why not book a showroom visit to talk about your kitchen design and see our master craftspeople in action?

How to personalise a shaker kitchen: design tips

When you pick a shaker kitchen, you can take your interior design in any direction. A contemporary farmhouse style. A calm kitchen haven. A forever kitchen with an opulent finish. Industrial. Cottage. Scandi.

Whatever type of kitchen you have in mind, shaker cabinets – with their simple, minimalistic look –provide the perfect foundation. Here are just a few of the ways you can adapt a shaker kitchen to match your sense of interior style.


You have free rein when picking paint colours for your cabinets. So pick off-white or grey tones for a classic design. Or go for adventurous shades – midnight blue, olive green or dusky pink – to make your space feel more unique.

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Choose a darker, statement colour for your kitchen island to set it apart from the other furniture- Farrow & Ball “Railings” is a deep black-blue that makes this island pop.


Hardware helps to elevate your shaker kitchen. For a traditional aesthetic, consider classic cup handles and ornate taps with antique brass or nickel finishes. Alternatively, if your vision is more contemporary, opt for hardware with sleek, angular lines – and finishes in shiny chrome, lustrous polished gold or a striking matt black.

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Using a feature handle with a striking shape is a great way to add interest to a classic shaker kitchen design.


Shaker cabinets may be plain and simple. But if you have a passion for pattern, there are plenty of ways to incorporate it into your kitchen design. Patterned wall tiles or a bold splashback work wonderfully well. You could even go bold and beautiful with maximalist kitchen wallpaper.

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A curved, bold splashback and eclectic colours make this shaker kitchen fun and totally unique.


There are endless options when it comes to shaker kitchen lighting – industrial pendants, contemporary chandeliers, a single sculptural fixture. Once you’ve ticked the boxes in terms of task and accent lighting, pick out statement lighting that brings your interior scheme together and stamps your personality on a space too.

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The bubble glass chandelier is the perfect statement piece to complete the dining area of this inox oak shaker kitchen.


Shaker kitchens with wooden worktops have a traditional, welcoming feel. But if your interior style leans more high-end than homely, you can add a touch of luxury with glossy granite, marble or quartz worktops. These materials all pair exceptionally well with shaker cabinets.

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The bookmatched waterfall end to the Belvedere quartzite island worktop elevates the contemporary shaker cabinetry in this glamorous kitchen.

Why choose a bespoke shaker kitchen?

When you choose a bespoke shaker kitchen, you get a timeless, hard-wearing and versatile kitchen, crafted exclusively for you and your home.

You maximise available space, even in awkward alcoves and corners. You can incorporate a pantry, deep drawers, curved cupboards, pull-out shelving – everything you need to give kitchen essentials a neat and stylish home.

But a bespoke shaker kitchen isn’t just a practical choice. Working with designers and craftspeople, you create a kitchen that perfectly fits your personality and sense of style. You also get to include all of the unique features that make a kitchen much more liveable – and luxurious.

Here at David Lisle, we can bring your shaker kitchen dreams to life. To explore our extensive range of materials, finishes and design options – and discuss your ideas with us – book a showroom visit today.

Shaker kitchen FAQs

Can you put a shaker kitchen in a modern house?

Absolutely. The simple, timeless design of shaker style kitchens makes them suited to any interior. For a shaker kitchen that looks at home in a modern house, choose contemporary features like a kitchen island, a bold colour scheme and statement lighting.

Are shaker cabinets more expensive?

Because shaker cabinets combine natural materials and expert craftsmanship, they can be a little more expensive than other kitchen options. However, over the long term, you’ll find that the quality and durability of your shaker cabinets make them a very worthwhile investment.

What’s the best way to clean shaker cabinets?

A soft cloth and a simple soap and water solution are all you need when cleaning shaker cabinets. Avoid using abrasive cleaners as they may damage the cabinet finish. And be sure to dry your shaker cabinets after you’ve cleaned them.

Can you paint shaker cabinets?

Of course. With David Lisle, you have the option of lacquered timber furniture such as oak or walnut, or a hand painted finish for your kitchen. The beauty is, even after decades of use, our furniture can be sanded and repainted, to give your shaker kitchen a brand new look and feel.