Shaker Kitchen Cabinets for Modern and Timeless Kitchens

Shaker kitchen cabinets present one of the most popular kitchen cabinet styles. Thanks to their ability to complement all kitchen designs, modern, classic traditional, and transitional, shaker-style kitchen cabinets are the most common addition to kitchens across the United States. Always built with superior craftsmanship, elegant simplicity, and functional utility in mind, shaker kitchen cabinets add a visually distinctive look and timeless sophistication to any kitchen.

Whether you prefer a clean and simple kitchen cabinet look or enjoy some decorative edge detailing, various options of shaker kitchen cabinetry will be able to fulfill that need.

In this article, we bring you information on everything you need to know about shaker cabinets. We will also include expert designer advice on how to use them in your kitchen.

What Is a Shaker Style Cabinet?

Shaker-style kitchen cabinets feature a unique and highly characteristic look easily recognizable. This incredibly simple and elegant design features five flat piece doors with flat recessed center slab panels without the frame bevel, providing a clean and straightforward appearance. Cabinet doors and drawer fronts may be a full-overlay, partial overlay, or inset. A rail door panel may have some embellishment or no embellishment at all. Sometimes, the recessed flat panel may feature a raised center. However, the most common is the basic shaker-style cabinet door with five flat-piece doors, a recessed center panel, and no additional decorative details along the edges.

Highly symmetrical, shaker-style kitchen cabinet doors don’t include ornamentation or complex carvings. Being present in our kitchens for centuries, shaker-style cabinets have become the most universally loved kitchen design.

White shaker kitchen cabinets
All-white shaker kitchen

Why Are They Called Shaker Cabinets?

The name of this popular kitchen cabinet style originates from the people who were the first to create it — United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, commonly known as Shakers. This religious group from the 18th century, previously known as the Shaking Quakers due to the erratic movements practiced during worship, eventually separated from the Quakers. They emigrated from Manchester, United Kingdom, to the United States, and spread out across the New England area. Here, Shakers started creating cabinet doors and cupboards of very specific style and craftsmanship. They soon became well-known for their high-quality furniture and high standards of work. The furniture they created mostly consisted of timber wood such as cherry or pine. Their cabinets were painted and stained in various colors.

Subtle and simple, but durable, shaker kitchen cabinets lacked ornamentation, finery, or embellishments, as these were seen in the Shaker community as dishonest practices. The only intricate detail that could be found on their products was a small carving of ”the tree of life”, the Shaker’s symbol and signature.

Black shaker kitchen cabinets
Black shaker cabinets kitchen

The Evolution Of Shaker Kitchen Cabinets Style

As time passed, the style of these furniture pieces developed. Although still understated in style, today’s modern versions of shaker cabinets include elegant, sophisticated designs in various colors and finishes, aimed to suit individual needs.

Shaker-style kitchen designs of today kept sturdy construction, high-quality wood material, and practical, highly functional, and adaptable design from the past. The best quality shaker cabinets are made of high-quality wood like quartersawn oak, maple, cherry, and hickory sourced from the northeastern woods of the United States. Local American wood and superior craftmanship still stand as the signature of the best shaker cabinet varieties.

Regarding their appearance, shaker kitchen cabinets often come with a natural wood finish as a timeless option. They can be also painted in various colors, from white to black, or stained to bring out the natural hues of wood. Lately, the most popular shaker door styles are white and gray as they provide a clean and airy feel to the kitchen space. Their understated appearance in combination with light colors and hues can visually expand kitchen space which is a trait very high in demand nowadays. Contemporary hardware upgrades the look of shaker cabinets and can give them a straightforward or luxurious look.

White shaker style kitchen cabinets with modern appliances
White shaker-style kitchen cabinets with modern appliances

Paired with granite countertops, a shaker kitchen cabinetry will complete a classic, more traditional, or transitional kitchen style, while paired with quartz countertops, shaker-style kitchen cabinets will create a modern, contemporary style kitchen design. Modern kitchens utilize slab drawer fronts, while traditional and transitional cooking spaces usually feature five-piece drawer fronts.

How Much Are Shaker Kitchen Cabinets?

Lack of fancy millwork in shaker cabinets often means less cost. According to Home Advisor, shaker cabinets cost the same as any other kitchen cabinet style, between $100 and $1,200 per linear foot. The price will differ depending on whether the shaker cabinets you’re interested in are stock, semi-custom, or custom-made. The material they are made of, the quality of construction, better wood quality, stronger hinges, sturdier drawers, as well as finishing, paint, and stain will also affect the price. All of these affect the price but also enable a proud owner to enjoy their quality day-in-day-out.

Stock shaker cabinetry can cost anywhere between $100 to $300 per linear foot installed. Semi-custom shaker cabinets offer a wide range of options, better quality, and are more convenient if you have a larger budget at your disposal. They can cost anywhere between $150 and $650 per linear foot installed.

Custom shaker cabinets come with endless design options and are perfect for your home if you have an oddly-shaped kitchen space. They come made precisely to your specifications. They will meet your needs 100% but they will also come with a high price tag. Custom shaker cabinets’ cost can range anywhere between $500 to $1,200 per linear foot installed.

Two-tone shaker kitchen
Two-tone shaker kitchen

Shaker Design — Timeless Choice That Surpasses Trends

The simple look and feel of shaker-style kitchen cabinets appeal to many homeowners. People naturally gravitate towards shaker-style cabinets as they look modern, clean, elegant, and always inviting, providing a clean, simple appearance. This framed kitchen cabinet style comes with straightforward, uncomplicated styling, minimum decoration, stained or painted wood, and refined styling. Shaker kitchen cabinets are considered both cutting-edge, contemporary choices, as well as a well-balanced option that can complete any kitchen style.

Whether you’re looking to remodel your slightly outdated kitchen with more modern features and colors, or a contractor designing and building a kitchen for a new home, shaker-style cabinets present a safe choice. Their clean lines will agree with popular kitchen decor choices like contemporary artwork, cutting-edge technology appliances, or one-of-a-kind accent details. At the same time, shaker-style doors will look equally great with traditional decors. Shaker cabinets can look traditional without looking rustic, farmhouse, or country.

shaker kitchens
Graystone shaker and Ice White shaker cabinets two tone kitchen design by Forevermark

Shaker Kitchen Cabinets with Granite Countertops for Transitional or Traditional Look

Durable and long-lasting, granite countertops complete the look of shaker cabinetry in the kitchen in the most elegant and sophisticated way.

Transitional Look

They will provide a depth of visual delight. Whether you prefer the sleek, clean look of Black Pearl Granite countertop brought together with white shaker cabinetry options, or you like the crispness of an all-white shaker kitchen with a touch of gold with a White Spring granite countertop, almost any styling idea is possible with this material combination. Perhaps the soothing blend of the Kashmir Gold Granite or earthy-toned Crema Bordeaux Granite with Wolf Dartmouth Honey shaker cabinets is the look you want. Many different colors and tones of granite will help you to complete the look of your shaker kitchen. Just as you always imagined.

shaker kitchen cabinets
Galaxy Cobblestone shaker cabinets by Fabuwood with granite countertops for an ultimate transitional look

Depending on the look you want, shaker cabinets with granite give you the flexibility you need.

Traditional Look

For a crisp and cool look, you can pair shaker cabinets in either white or natural with any white or beige-toned granite countertop. Namely, Andromeda White or Apollo Storm granite options are perfect for this purpose. For a more striking appearance, consider pairing the Fabuwood Hallmark Frost white cabinets with black granite countertops such as Black Pearl Granite or Black Galaxy Granite.

white shaker kitchen
Traditional Bright White shaker kitchen by Fabuwood. Granite countertops and traditional hardware complete the look.

For an even more surprising contrast, consider pairing shaker cabinets in a beautiful brandy tone with a white-toned granite countertop such as Bianco Antico Granite, Ivory Fantasy Granite, or Moon White Granite. For a daring look, consider New Venetian Gold granite with white shaker cabinets.

shaker kitchen cabinets
Wolf Classic Shaker Cabinets with gray stain with granite countertops for a traditional kitchen look

To achieve an exceptional traditional look with shaker cabinets and granite countertops, mix shaker cabinets and glass fronts. You can also add vintage and antique hardware, pulls, and knobs. Avoid stark white colors for cabinets. Instead, consider off-white and cream tones for cabinetry. Natural wood-stained shaker cabinet designs also work great in a traditional or transitional setting.

Shaker Kitchen Cabinets with Quartz Countertops for an Ultimately Contemporary Design

Contemporary-style kitchens are very popular among homeowners during the last couple of years. One of the best and safest ways to achieve this modern look in a kitchen is to choose shaker-style kitchen cabinets. Keeping things simple with white or gray painted cabinetry in combination with modern pulls and knobs will keep the cost low. At the same time, it will provide the sleek look you’re searching for. Adding a glossy quartz countertop to perimeter cabinets and the custom island will give your kitchen a unique flair and smooth and stylish look that is highly sought after in any modern kitchen.

white shaker kitchen cabinets
White Nexus Slate-Frost shaker design by Fabuwood with white quartz countertops for an ultimately modern and clean look.

Modern shaker design trend keeps shy of any decorations and embellishments. They provide you with a unique opportunity to style your kitchen to your liking. You can add any decoration elements you wish. At the same time, quartz countertops come in simple and refreshing patterns, colors, and hues. The combination of shaker kitchen cabinetry and quartz countertops creates a truly functional look. You can embellish it any way you see fit.

shaker style kitchen cabinets
Greystone shaker-style kitchen cabinets by Forevermark with quartz countertops

If you wish your kitchen to look modern but still appreciate the look of natural materials, consider pairing white shaker kitchen cabinets with quartz that looks like marble. You can choose from many options, from quartz pieces rich in veining and streams to pieces perfect in their whiteness and streamlined color depth.

More FAQs and Answers to Help You Decide Whether Shaker Style is For You

  • What does shaker style kitchen cabinets mean?

Shaker cabinet style defines a particular kitchen cabinet style that features square edges or a famous box-like appearance. The Shaker cabinet door style has a shape of a rectangle box. Within that rectangle box, there is another, smaller box that is also square-shaped. It is a box within a box look. The overall look of the shaker cabinet style is defined by a cabinet frame that is four-cornered with an inset panel.

  • What is so special about shaker cabinets?

At first look, you could say that the shaker cabinetry style is predominantly simple and even minimalist. However, time has shown how much this kitchen cabinet look is effective and is sought after. Shaker style is versatile and therefore timeless. Generations of families decide to use it in their kitchens over and over again. But shaker cabinets are so versatile that they fit not only in kitchens but also in other areas of a home. Their look is so appealing, classic, and elegant, that they look great in bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, mudrooms, etc.

  • What is the difference between shaker cabinets and regular cabinets?

There are many similarities between shaker cabinets and regular cabinets. Just like regular cabinets, shaker cabinets have a center panel, too. They also feature an overlay around the edges. The major difference between shaker cabinets and regular cabinets is in the design of their panels and edges. Shaker cabinetry style features minimalistic panels and edges in comparison to regular cabinets.

  • Is Shaker style modern?

Shaker cabinetry style has been in our kitchens for a long time, for more than a century. However, it doesn’t look or feel dated. While the trends come and go, the shaker style is consistent and present continually in kitchen design. From its inception, the shaker style had elements of modernity and class — crisp, sleek, and simple lines, a minimalist, sophisticated feel. These traits make shaker style all-time modern and timeless. It’s no wonder this style is one of the all-time favorites in American kitchens.

  • Why are shaker cabinets more expensive?

There are more and less expensive versions of shaker cabinetry. Overall, the shaker style is a bit more expensive than flat panel cabinets, for example. And this is mainly because of the quality, durability, and resilience shaker cabinets provide. They are also very easy to maintain and care for. At the same time, they add sophistication and class to any kitchen. And whatever style your kitchen design features, shaker cabinets will surely fit with it and even upgrade it.

  • What are the advantages of a shaker kitchen?

There are several advantages of a shaker kitchen to any other kitchen cabinet style. Shaker-style cabinets are very easy to maintain and clean, which is a significant benefit. If you’re going for shaker cabinets, it’s good to know that you can choose between painting or staining them to personalize them and make them your own. Being as versatile, simple, and elegant as they are, they are perfect for different hardware choices and styles. By choosing a certain kind of hardware you can transform or refresh their look.

  • Are Shaker cabinets real wood?

Shaker cabinets are traditionally and throughout history have always been made of real hardwood, usually chestnut, birch, and maple. Nowadays, shaker cabinets are usually made of cherry hardwood and maple hardwood. However, in modern times you can also find shaker cabinets manufactured of plywood and material combinations. All of these were made to be durable and resilient but lighter and easier to handle. You’ll find that shaker cabinets are not so well known for the material they are made of but for their unique design — shaker-style cabinet doors.

  • Can you paint Shaker cabinets?

Yes, you can paint shaker cabinets! If everything else is good with your shaker cabinets in the sense that there aren’t any dents or ships and construction is still functioning, you can give them a new life with new paint. Don’t forget to clean them well first, prepare, and prime the surface of the cabinets. This is how you will prepare your cabinets for the new paint. You can paint them in any color you like! Just make sure to choose a high-quality color and hire a professional to do the painting for the best and long-lasting results.

Are Shaker cabinets durable?

Yes, shaker cabinets are durable. In fact, this is one of their best know traits besides their perfect functionality. Shaker cabinet doors are usually made of high-quality, solid, and thick wood which makes them long-lasting. Doors made of high-quality materials are guaranteed to last longer, avoiding cracking or warping over time. This is a well-known fact about shaker cabinet door exteriors. When it comes to shaker cabinet doors’ interiors, craftsmen also do the best possible job there as well. They design the interior of the door with purpose and function in mind, to maximize storage and make their use purposeful and convenient.

  • Can Shaker kitchen cabinets be customized?

Shaker kitchen cabinets have a defined design in terms of shape, size, proportions, and lines. This is what makes them particularly shaker, recognizable, and famous. However, some customizations are allowed. Shaker cabinet doors can be customized in other ways. You can choose a style of hardware to add to your shaker cabinets. Choosing minimalist, simple hardware, in silver or black color will make them look modern and contemporary, perfect for a modern kitchen. Choosing more intricate handles and pulls, with more details, will make your shaker cabinetry look more classic, and more traditional. When it comes to colors, there are no limits to what you can choose. Make your shaker kitchen truly your own with a color of your choice.

  • How to clean and maintain shaker kitchen cabinets?

To properly clean and maintain shaker kitchen cabinets, always use only mild soap and warm water with a soft cotton cloth once a week. There is no need to clean your cabinets more often than once a week. When it comes to daily maintenance, whenever you’re cooking, you can wipe down your cabinets with a damp cloth. This is enough for proper daily maintenance. Once a month, it is recommended to use polish or wood cleaner to give your shaker cabinets a good shine. Whatever finish your shaker cabinets have, don’t ever use abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals on them, because these will damage them irreversibly.

  • Are Shaker Kitchen Cabinets timeless?

Yes, shaker kitchen cabinets are timeless because they are classic that everyone loves. They will never look outdated, just as they are always easy to combine and match with any style or trend. Color and hardware can make them even more timeless. Choosing white, black, or a combination of colors will make them unique and always interesting. Classic hardware will upgrade them in a similar way and give them another, additional dimension of timelessnes.

Are Shaker Cabinets Right For You and Your Kitchen?

Whether you prefer traditional, transitional, or modern kitchen design, shaker cabinetry possesses a universal appeal and agrees well with any of these styles. Is your heart set on a modern two-tone kitchen design? No problem, two-tone shaker kitchens are currently one of the most popular options. If you love the classic, open and airy look of white kitchen cabinets, you’ll be happy to learn that white shaker cabinets are one of the most common choices of U.S. homeowners.

We’ve offered you many arguments on why shaker-style kitchen cabinets should be the best pick for your next kitchen remodel project. But, are shaker kitchen cabinets right for you?

shaker kitchen cabinets
Luxor Shaker Birch Kitchen Cabinets by CNC Cabinetry

If you believe they are and you would like to take the next step of looking into various options for shaker kitchens, take a look at our kitchen cabinet selection. Explore all options stock kitchen cabinets and custom kitchen cabinets of shaker style offer. Brands like Wolf Cabinets, Fabuwood Cabinets, Forevermark Kitchen Cabinets, and CNC Cabinets offer a plethora of gorgeous shaker-style kitchen options at affordable prices. If your kitchen space demands more customizations, you can always choose custom shaker design.

Our expert kitchen designers stand by to help with your next kitchen remodeling project. Contact us for a free estimate on shaker kitchen cabinets for your kitchen or visit us at 1107 Rt 23 South, Wayne, NJ 07470, Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm. On Saturday, we’re open from 10 am to 6 pm for your convenience. We will help you take measurements of your kitchen, help you pick products that are right for you, give you free 3D design so you can see the update in real space, advice on how to make any improvements and stay on your project until you’re 100% happy with your new shaker style kitchen cabinets.

Happy remodeling and welcome!