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7 kitchen designs that prove how versatile shaker cabinets really are

These kitchens stun with timeless shaker cabinets

Kitchen with blue frame fronted cabinets
YinYang / Getty Images

Shaker cabinets have been around for centuries, and with good reason — they are timeless, elegant, simple, and clean. Whatever kitchen design you have landed on, shaker cabinets can add a ton of style to the space. Shaker kitchen cabinets are best known for their square edges and some with inset panels.

First coined by the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing — the term “shaker” came out of the “Shaking Quakers” group in the U.K. In 1780, the Shaker community came to the U.S., where they showcased their furniture-making skills, among others — and the style has remained popular across the country ever since.

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The good news is no matter what style kitchen you currently have, shaker cabinets most likely will work. They make a great update to a tired old kitchen and are easy to paint if you already have them installed but want a fresh look. If you need some inspiration, look no further than these seven Instagram kitchens to give you a boost.

Blue kitchen cabinets in farmhouse design
phototropic / Getty Images

Shaker-style cabinets in the kitchen

If you’re looking to brighten your space, lighter shaker kitchen cabinets work wonders. We adore this kitchen for its airy feel. If you don’t love chrome, you could always add brass or muted gold hardware to warm up the cabinets a bit. The contrasting stove and decor make it a place where you can entertain for hours.

Another way to add shakers in a more modern kitchen is by using a trendy hue like pink. This minimalistic approach to decor makes it easy to add to a more modern home, complete with see-through glass, open shelving, and gold hardware.

Shaker cabinets for large kitchens

If you have a lot of space to add cabinetry, try going bold like this designer with emerald green shaker cabinets. We love the amount of storage space these cabinets offer, and the open shelf allows you to show off your favorite cookbooks or other decor. Who wouldn’t want to entertain in a warm space like this?

Similarly, this deep blue color and patterned tile make a large space feel more intimate. These, paired with dramatic hardware and lighting, create an interesting backdrop for family dinners, holiday guests, and the everyday hustle and bustle of life. We adore the marble backsplash, which provides a bit of elegance to the room to offset the more simplistic shaker cabinetry.

Shaker cabinets to brighten a kitchen

If you have a small kitchen or want to brighten up a dark kitchen, look no further than these kitchen styles to inspire you. We love the coordinating gray island that offers more character against a backdrop of cream shaker top cabinets. What looks like original beams make the perfect design element to bring an older room into this century and still keep the kitchen’s natural charm. They also draw the new flooring into the overall kitchen design flawlessly.

This kitchen has an added wet bar in the space, complete with shaker cabinet doors and back paneling to give even more character to the room. It’s light, bright, and has everything on hand to make entertaining a breeze. The glass door knobs give the area the perfect amount of elegance and charm.

Shaker cabinets can help modernize your kitchen design

While many homeowners crave natural aesthetics in the home, there is a tendency for natural elements to become too heavy and grounded. While rustic design can be a delight to some, others may seek more modern and light touches in their spaces. Shaker cabinets are an excellent choice for homeowners who favor natural wood cabinets but don’t want their home to feel ultra-traditional or overly rustic.

These wood shaker cabinets featured by @archdigest on Instagram show off the stunning woodwork in the cabinetry while keeping the design light and modern. The simple gold hardware and addition of white marble countertops help prevent the design from feeling heavy. Also, the natural allure of the organic wood shaker cabinets helps keep the kitchen grounded and adds a biophilic touch.

The simplicity of the shaker style allows the handmade wooden furniture, cabinetry, and other decor to really shine through. These woodworkers put so much work and time into their design that it speaks for itself without a lot of fuss or over-complication.

This “rail and stile” construction works whether you have a more traditional home, farmhouse-inspired design, or modern edge, and each offers the shaker cabinets enough nuance to make them pop. If you want to make them more modern, you can bevel the edges slightly, but true traditionalists update the look by using paint, hardware, and decor to get the job done.

Typically, shaker cabinets are made from solid wood, which can get a bit pricey, depending on how many cabinets you have in your kitchen. If you’re on a budget, you can look into refacing your cabinets with laminate doors, which still offer the gorgeous shaker characteristics but achieve this by spending far less. It helps to shop around and get referrals for a craftsperson to do this so the end result is what you expect. There are so many unique ideas on Instagram that can help you narrow down the choices, which can feel overwhelming. As long as you do your homework, we’re sure shaker cabinets in your kitchen will be everything you dreamed of.

Julie Scagell
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
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