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The best shaker style kitchen ideas

By Elise Hodge

Updated: May 4th, 2020

You can't go wrong with this classic style!

If you’re looking for a timeless design for your new kitchen, then you simply can’t go past a shaker style kitchen. It was one of the most popular choices last year, and this trend is showing no signs of disappearing in 2020. But what exactly are shaker style cabinets…

Where did the shaker style come from?

Shaker style furniture originated in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It was developed by a religious sect that had guiding principles which were centred on simplicity, utility and honesty. And shaker style furniture emerged as a reflection of these beliefs.

What is shaker style furniture?

If you could sum up shaker style furniture in one word it would be ‘unpretentious’ – it’s simple, repetitive and highly versatile. Shaker style furniture usually incorporates cabinets with recessed panel doors, light finishes and simple hardware.

Why create a shaker style kitchen?

If you’re after a charming design that’s very functional and easy to live in, a shaker style kitchen is for you. The best thing about a shaker kitchen is that it’s highly versatile. It can suit just about any home – from old, traditional suburban houses to country farmhouse retreats to slick modern city escapes.

Shaker furniture can easily be dressed up to go with a more fancy kitchen or dressed down for a laidback space. And it will work in with any other design style – whether you’re wanting to create a Scandinavian-inspired space, an airy Hampton’s home or a light and bright seaside oasis.

Key features of a shaker style kitchen



This is the very first place to start when it comes to creating a shaker style kitchen because it will make it instantly recognisable. Switch out your old cabinets for recessed doors and wooden knobs that are characteristic of shaker style kitchens.


Traditionally, shaker style kitchens have incorporated local timbers in the joinery. For a classic look think material like walnut, pine and maple. However, these kinds of timbers can be extremely expensive. If you’re after a more budget-friendly option, consider a cheaper natural wood or even using a wood-look material like linoleum or vinyl panels.


While classic shaker style incorporates more wood than colour, today’s shaker kitchens incorporate light or natural tones with white and grey being popular choices. However, darker colours like beige, black and navy blue can still be used to achieve the same kind of look.


Keeping in the vein of simple, unstructured kitchens, wood is a natural flooring choice. But any kind of earthy flooring, including pavers or tiles, will work a treat!

Think outside the box

When it comes to designing your very own shaker style kitchen, it’s OK to think outside the box! While traditional shaker kitchens are void of paint and colour, adding a splash of colour will make your space more contemporary. So feel free to mix things up a bit with different shades of neutrals as well as more bold choices like blue, green and other bright colours.

Another way to switch up this traditional style is to use modern hardware on handles and tapware. It’s pretty amazing how a simple change to hardware can completely transform your kitchen style. And there are so many options to choose from, depending on what look you’re wanting to create. Silver, gold and brass are always popular choices!

1. Make it blue

We’re kicking off the list with something a little bit different – a blue shaker style kitchen. While blue isn’t a traditional shaker colour, it looks great with the recessed panelled cabinets and brightens up this white space.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Chiddingfold Kitchens and Interiors

2. Sandstone flooring

As I mentioned, timber is the classic flooring choice for a shaker style kitchen. But any natural-looking floor will do the trick. Take these sandstone pavers, for example. They add a simple rustic touch to what is otherwise a very modern kitchen design.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Tom Howley

3. Creamy beige

If a light room is your kind of vibe but you don’t want to go with an all-white kitchen, consider using a soft beige shade like this one. It’s a lovely addition to this space and it works beautifully with the marble benchtop on the island. Not to mention it looks great against the warm timber floorboards.

Grey kitchen
Source: Freedom Kitchens

4. Black and marble

I love a good black kitchen, especially when it’s brightened up with plenty of white and natural tones, like this one. The marble splashback right at the back adds a luxurious touch to this space. And the timber stools around the large island add a rustic touch.

Black kitchen
Source: Freedom Kitchens

5. Galley kitchen

If you have a small galley kitchen you can still use this refined style together with colour to make maximum impact.

Source: The Design FIles

6. Simple grey kitchen

This shaker style kitchen is modern and clean. Grey is a colour that has been oh so popular for the last few years, and it’s easy to see why. It adds another dimension to your kitchen design. And the best thing about grey is that you can use it in multiple shades – from dark to light and everything in between.

Shaker kitchen
Source: DIY Australia

If you love this and want more, here are some more grey kitchen ideas.

7. Pale blue

This beach style kitchen is light, bright and airy. It combines a simple stainless steel sink, light blue-grey cabinets, solid white benchtops, a large white splashback and a beautiful island for a practical and pretty design.

Light blue kitchen
Source: Houzz

8. Dark timber

And at last, here it is – the timber-style cabinetry that is a hallmark of traditional shaker style kitchens. I love how the richness of the timber has been combined with brass/silver lighting to create an ambient, rustic look.

Shaker kitchen
Source: braam’s custom cabinets

9. Clean and modern

This timber and white kitchen is the epitome of a modern shaker style kitchen. It’s minimalist and uncomplicated but also clean and beautiful. It really is the perfect blank canvas for decorating. And my favourite decor of choice – a gorgeous bright bunch of native flowers sitting pretty on the kitchen bench.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Kinsman

10. Ceiling moulding

Peep the ornate ceiling moulding on this kitchen roof. It takes this modern shaker style kitchen back in time for the perfect blend of old and new!

Shaker kitchen
Source: Kinsman

11. Black and white

Why choose black or white when you can go with both? This simple L-shaped kitchen combines both so well for a modern shaker style kitchen that won’t go out of style!

Shaker kitchen
Source: Kinsman

12. Simple grey

This farmhouse style shaker kitchen is quaint and sweet. It reminds me of a home in the country. The key features include iconic shaker style cabinet moulding, timber furniture, a gorgeous exposed dark timber beam and a white painted brick wall.

Shaker kitchen
Source: deVOL

13. Green and grey

This is a more moody style shaker kitchen. I would have never considered these shades of dark grey and green together but they’re a perfect match. And the sleek black pendant lights above the kitchen island really top off the space!

Shaker kitchen
Source: Kesseler

14. Chic farmhouse

This is not your average country kitchen. It’s infused with modern glamour while retaining traditional elements with hints of wood and brass knobs. And I like how stainless steel has been incorporated for a contemporary finish in this farmhouse kitchen.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Kesseler

15. White and bright

If you’d prefer to skip the colour, consider going all out with a striking white kitchen like this one. Of course, you can keep every single element white. Or you can add detail with a contrasting black set of cabinets. And I love the marble splashback – you can never go wrong with marble.

Shaker ktichen
Source: dan

16. Ambient lighting

Take your kitchen to the next level with strategically placed lighting. Consider elegant pendant lights in twos or threes as well as down lights around your cabinetry.

Shaker kitchen
Source: dan

Lighting design is always very important when you’re preparing food and cooking. Here are some more kitchen lighting ideas so that you can pick the right lights for you.

17. Patterned splashback

Have a bit of fun with your shaker kitchen by installing a fabulous mosaic splashback like this one. This is one very simple way to inject character to your space!

Shaker kitchen
Source: Martin Gemmola

18. Pops of pink

If you simply can’t decide whether to go traditional or contemporary, why not fuse both? This design does this so well with classic timber fused with soft pink pastel walls and gold hardware.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Wren Kitchens

19. Light timber flooring

While most people tend to go for dark timber flooring, light timber is a beautiful option, especially with white cabinetry! But be warned, it will require a lot of attention to keep it from looking dirty.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Wren Kitchens

20. Tiled floor

Make a statement with your shaker style kitchen by installing fun flooring, like in this kitchen. Black and white tiles strike just the right balance of pattern and colour!

Blue shaker kitchen
Source: Kitchens France

21. Timber cabinets

One clever way to integrate more timber in your kitchen is to use it for your cabinetry. Any quality material will do – from light timber to dark wood and everything in between!

Shaker kitchen
Source: Kitchens France

22. Add an island

Make the most of your large kitchen by installing a huge island using the same shaker style cabinetry as the rest of your kitchen.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms

23. Storage space

The biggest mistake people make when designing their kitchens is they fail to factor in enough storage space. So make sure you install storage in all different forms, including plenty of cupboards, drawers and smart solutions.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Kitchens & Bathrooms

24. Timber flooring

This kitchen has set its foundations right! True to traditional shaker style, it has beautiful polished timber floors. They’re a great choice against the dark  cabinetry.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Harvey Jones

25. Navy blue shaker kitchen cabinets

This is a favourite colour of mine! Navy blue is the perfect choice if you’re wanting to add colour without going too bold. It always looks elegant and works beautifully with neutrals.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Harvey Jones

26. Classic stove

I can’t get enough of this traditional farmhouse style black stove and matching rangehood. Installing a feature piece like this adds heaps of personality to your all-white kitchen.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Azztek kitchens

27. Skylight

If your kitchen area is a bit too dark, think about creative ways to let the light in. One way to do this is with a gorgeous wide skylight – it’ll brighten up your entire space!

Shaker kitchen
Source: Wickes

28. Modern black hardware

If you already have shaker style cabinets but want to bring your kitchen into the 21st century, then you can’t go past black hardware. It’s always a winner and it’ll go with everything!

Shaker kitchen
Source: Kitchen Connection

29. Warm yellow

This kitchen has all of the warmth and homely comforts of yesteryear. It proves that even the most simple of additions, like decor lining the shelves and hanging lights, can foster an authentic and atmospheric kitchen. And the yellow and dark grey combination creates the perfect ambience.

Shaker style kitchen
Source: Devol Kitchens

30. Add a pop of pink

Who says shaker style kitchens have to be strictly one colour? Have fun with your rustic shaker style kitchen by adding a striking feature piece like this hot pink cabinet. This definitely adds the ‘wow’ factor this simple kitchen needs, taking it from basic timber and white to super interesting!

Shaker kitchen
Source: John Lewis of Hungerford

31. Tiled splashback

Add interest to you simple off-white shaker kitchen by incorporating a gorgeous tiled splashback. This design has been created using subway tiles with light grey grout. And I love the look of the floating timber shelf above the tiles – it’s a practical spot to display mugs, cups or your favourite pieces of decor.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Darren Chung

32. Farmhouse sink

This modern shaker style kitchen is something to behold! Firstly, I love the combination of deep blue cabinets with floor-to-ceiling white cabinets. But the real hero of this kitchen is the farmhouse sink. It adds a rustic, lived-in feel and it works well with the sleek silver tapware.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Douglas Gibb

33. Checkered floors

While natural flooring is the preferred option for shaker style kitchens, there’s no reason why you can’t have a bit of fun with your choice. I love these checkerboard tiles – they’re classic and they completely liven up this space.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Lizzie Omre

34. Make it rustic

Shaker kitchens are simple – they use minimal design elements and stick to natural materials. So if your kitchen has a beautiful exposed brick wall like this one, keep it in! It will only add to the character of your space.

Shaker kitchen
Source: A & T Cabinet Makers

35. Moulding

If you’re sticking to a fairly simple colour scheme like white on white, think about how you can make a statement with your space. One way to do this is to transform your cabinetry with decorative moulding. Take a look at the ornate moulding in this kitchen for inspiration!

Shaker kitchen
Source: A & T Cabinet Makers

36. Decorative posts

If you want to incorporate an additional layer of detail in your shaker style kitchen, consider dressing up your cabinets with decorative posts. This mimics the style of the rest of the cabinets and drawers but fancies them up for a more sophisticated look.

Shaker style kitchen
Source: Rosemount Kitchens

37. Fancy splashback

This shaker style kitchen is sleek and modern. And something that makes it so contemporary is the all-encompassing black marble splashback on the far side of the kitchen. I love how this stands out as a striking feature piece against the white and duck egg coloured cabinets.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Alder and Stone

38. Make it yours

When it comes to designing your kitchen, don’t settle for what everyone else wants to do. Instead, think of ways that you can personalise your space. I love how this cabinetry frames the space above the oven and uses wooden boards for decorations. I also love the fun mustard yellow and black dishes at the top. It’s these little touches that make a kitchen stand out.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Adrian Briscoe

39. All white

If you want to keep things clean and simple, opt for a striking white design like this one. This is a really simple look to create because it only uses one colour. But you can add character to the space by using detailed glass cabinet windows (see the geometric-shaped ones in this design) and interesting pendant lights.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Juro Design

40. Scandinavian style

While shaker style kitchens originated in the US, they’re known for incorporating Scandinavian elements. Take this kitchen, for example. It sticks to the simple light timber, white and grey shades commonly found in Scandinavian homes. But it also uses shaker style cabinets with recessed doors.

Shaker kitchen
Source: Magnet

That’s the round-up of 40+ shakers style kitchen ideas, from modern shaker kitchens to farmhouse retreats to light and bright beachside escapes. I hope you’re leaving with a renewed sense of appreciation for shaker style kitchens. I love that they’re so versatile and that you can incorporate this design into your home, no matter what existing styles you have!

If you have any more ideas for shaker kitchens, I’d love to hear them. Comment below and share your thoughts.


Elise H

I've recently moved into a new home and I've been having so much fun decorating it with pretty wall prints and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. So as well as being a freelance writer, I'm always on the lookout for new design pieces for my home!

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