10 Tips to Create a Modern-Feel Shaker Style Kitchen

couple reviewing finishing touches of their modern shaker style kitchen

Whether the style of your home is classic or contemporary, a shaker-style kitchen can be the perfect choice. A timeless classic with its distinctive recessed panels, the shaker design is versatile and easy to personalise for a modern kitchen renovation.

Let’s take a look at how to put a fresh spin on the enduring style of a shaker kitchen to make your kitchen look modern for years to come.

What is a shaker-style kitchen?

The Shaker design originated with a religious group, The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, which formed in England in the 18th Century before making its way to America.

The Shakers believed in simplicity, utility and honesty. Their functional, minimalist designs reflected their principle of high-quality craftsmanship.

Shaker furniture has stood the test of time and remains the most sought-after kitchen style centuries after its design.

example of shaker style kitchen

Modern shaker kitchens are a fresh take on this classic style

Instantly recognisable by the recessed panel doors, the modest style and clean lines of shaker kitchen cabinets can be found in nearly every style of home. Their timeless beauty stems from the fact that were created for practicality over a desire to follow the latest trend.

10 tips to modernise shaker style kitchens

Giving your shaker-style kitchen a modern twist is easy to achieve by merging the traditional look with modern Hamptons elements. But you certainly don’t need to have an all-white kitchen. Modern shaker kitchens can embrace colour, natural elements and unique design elements to create a dream kitchen that’s beautiful and functional.

1. Add modern fixtures to shaker cabinet doors

The flat surface of shaker cabinets is the ideal canvas for more intricate kitchen hardware than the traditional understated wooden knobs. Modern shaker-style kitchens can feature bar handles or half-moon shapes in a range of finishes from stainless steel to black or brass.

However, many modern kitchen renovations up the ante when it comes to a modern look with handleless shaker cabinets using push-to-open doors to save space and give the kitchen a sleek finish.

fixtures to shaker cabinet doors

2. Use a modern colour palette

Don’t be afraid to use colour in your modern shaker kitchen. Using a single bold colour or even two tones is a popular choice. You don’t have to choose something bright to make a statement. Design experts say ‘New England’ style kitchens using light blues and off-whites are a popular choice right now.

Taking inspiration from Hamptons-style kitchens, luxe deep blue cabinetry is a great way to update shaker-style kitchen cabinets while sage green will bring a relaxing ambience to your space.

3. Create a pantry of plenty

Practicality and purpose were key in a traditional shaker-style kitchen and the number one want on most people’s wish list for a new kitchen is more storage. Whether you have the space for a walk-in pantry or just enough room for a cupboard, the area where you store your dry goods must be as beautiful as it is functional.

Look for ways to add extra storage space in your kitchen wherever you can. Use spice racks or full pantry door racks inside your cupboards, consider installing drawers instead of shelving in your pantry, and use floating shelves or even freestanding pieces to maximise space.

4. Mix up the cabinetry

Hamptons-style kitchens are the most obvious base for Shaker-style cabinets but you can incorporate other contemporary design elements such as glass-fronted cabinets or open shelving.

Shaker cabinets can even be paired with flat panel or vertical joint cabinetry to add texture or interest to your kitchen.

cabinetry example

5. Integrate your kitchen appliances

Integration is becoming an increasingly common part of a modern home, and shaker-style kitchens are no exception.

As well as hardware, range hoods, fridges and freezers, dishwashers and powerpoints can be hidden to allow shaker cabinetry to be the star of the show in your kitchen renovation.

6. Combine benchtop materials

Another way to create a unique space for your family to enjoy is to mix and match the materials you use for countertops.

From concrete to wood or stone, or marble, incorporating different materials is a relatively new style trend that can add texture and warmth to your kitchen design.

7. Tap into the power of a classic sink

The style of the sink can define the look of a kitchen. Farmhouse styles can be a standout feature, while integrated sinks can disappear this kitchen necessity. Either way, both styles complement shaker-style cabinetry.

When it comes to tapware, consider function as well as style. As it is the most regularly used part of a kitchen, it pays to go for the highest quality you can afford.

classic sink example

8. Plan for an open layout

An open layout is essential for a modern shaker-style kitchen, and it can make a huge difference to the overall value of your home. From young families to frequent entertainers, having a kitchen open to the rest of your home will appeal to most people and allow you to showcase your new shaker kitchen.

9. Incorporate an island

As well as being a place for relaxed seating, socialising and entertaining, a kitchen island is a great way to add storage to your kitchen.

Combining shaker doors with other design features, such as fluted columns or vertical joint panelling, can also help define your kitchen style.

island bench example

10. Carefully consider the finishing touches

  • Choose an interesting tile for your splashback or run a traditional tile, such as a subway in a more modern layout. For example, a stack bond style, where subway tiles run vertically instead of horizontally in a brick bond layout.
  • Steer clear of period light fixtures and use modern lighting options to add some spark.
  • Choose an unexpected style for your accessories, such as barstools or artwork. This will help you create a unique modern kitchen that’s easy to update when the time comes.

couple reviewing finishing kitchen touches


High-quality shaker-style cabinetry to suit every budget

If a shaker kitchen is on the cards for you, call in the experts to help bring your kitchen ideas to life. With a 100% fixed price guarantee and more than 40 years of experience, a custom-designed kitchen by Easy Living Kitchens is the easy way to transform your home and ensure it will look great for years to come.

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