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Shaker Style Cabinets: All You Need to Know

Shaker Style Cabinets: All You Need to Know

When it comes to kitchen cabinetry, one popular option is the shaker style cabinet. These cabinets are known for their clean lines and classic appearance, with a square shape and inset panel that creates the appearance of a four-cornered frame. The design of shaker style cabinets typically features straight lines and gentle curves, resulting in a timeless and versatile look that can work well with a wide range of kitchen styles. These cabinets are typically made up of five pieces, including two rails and two stiles.

So if you’re in the market for new cabinets, consider the timeless beauty and versatility of shaker style cabinets.

History of Shaker Furniture and Kitchen Cabinets

Shaker cabinetry has a long and fascinating history that dates back to its inception. Shaker cabinets and their distinctive style were created by the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, also known as the “Shakers” at the time. 

The Shakers were an association founded in Manchester, United Kingdom, and were once part of the religious group ‘Shaking Quakers’ until they separated and became independent. The Shaker community immigrated to America in 1780 with their architectural and technological knowledge, as well as their exceptional furniture-making abilities, and quickly became renowned for their craftsmanship. Today, Shaker cabinets are commonly used in modern kitchens for their functional and elegant design.

Shaker Cabinet Features

Shaker cabinets are popular due to their timeless design that blends seamlessly with surrounding furniture. A timeless custom kitchen cabinet is one that will last a long time, and this is achieved through both quality and design. While the features of the cabinet are important, its overall quality is equally crucial. This guide is intended for both homeowners and dealers.

Here are some features of shaker cabinets and other information you should be aware of:

1. Simplicity

Shaker cabinets are known for their timeless and elegant style. Their light finishes, recessed central panel, and inset doors are what distinguish them from other cabinets.

2. High-Quality Craftsmanship

Shaker cabinets reflect the original furniture designed by skilled craftsmen known as Shakers. They are characterized by beveled edges and shaker-style doors, and can be either inset or full overlay.

3. Solid Hardwood Composition

Most Shaker cabinets are made from high-quality hardwood and feature shaker-style doors made of either solid wood or plywood. These cabinet boxes come in a variety of natural and light finishes, making them suitable for both farmhouse and modern styles.

Shaker Cabinet Styles

Shaker cabinets offer a wide range of possibilities, combining practicality, charm, and elegance. This is why they are a beautiful addition to both extravagant and cool kitchens. The laid-back charm and stability of these cabinets can turn any kitchen into an elegant and chic place.

There are many different shaker cabinet colors to choose from, including black, white, gray, maple, and more. This cabinet style has been available in various variations since the 1880s.

Shaker cabinets can be divided into sections using mid-rails and muntins, which are also known as mid-stiles.

Shaker Cabinet Finishes

Consistency is key when working with shaker-style cabinets. You should ensure that all shelves, drawers, and cabinets match and are uniform in appearance. It’s also important to keep them clean and well-organized for a more professional look.

Shaker-style custom kitchen cabinets should feature flat panels and squared-off rails. This simple detail can make a big difference in the overall look of a kitchen and can provide a modern update to traditional kitchens with simpler construction.

Here’s how to enhance the quality of your Shaker cabinets and make them look more attractive.

1. Painted Finish

Painting cabinets can give them an elegant and sharp appearance, allowing them to maintain their squared-off and recessed edges and giving them a more natural look. Additionally, the type of paint used on cabinets can affect their appearance. 

For example, a paint with a pattern or a smooth surface can prevent the cabinets from expanding and contracting over time.

2. Burnished Finish

After shaker cabinets are painted, they can be given an aged look through a process called burnishing. This process involves sanding and distressing the cabinets before applying the burnishing. While it may seem simple, it is actually more complicated than painting, so it’s important to consider your experience and skill level before attempting it. If you’re unsure, it’s best to ask an expert or hire someone to do the work.

A burnished finish is a great way to give shaker style kitchen cabinets an edge and make wooden fixtures look shinier and better. It is also a popular option because it is free of chemicals and safe for cabinet surfaces.

3. Thermofoil Finish

The thermofoil finish, also known as a vinyl wrap, is a type of finish that is commonly used to increase the durability of shaker cabinetry. This finish is typically applied by heating the medium-density areas of the cabinet at high temperatures and applying intense pressure.

It is important to take special care when performing this procedure around the areas where rails meet panels and the location of the stile. While a machine can be used to finish the cabinet, it may not be able to reach the corners and will only be able to angle around the edge of the stile or rail.

4. Polyurethane Finish

This type of finish is commonly used on Mission-style cabinets and Shaker-style kitchen cabinets, as it provides them with a rustic feel that complements Shaker kitchens.

This cabinet finish is matte and minimalist, giving a contemporary look to all wood frames.

Shaker Cabinet Types

Here are some examples of shaker-style cabinets.

1. Modern Shaker Cabinets

Modern Shaker cabinets can help achieve a clean, uncluttered look in a kitchen. Their simple and elegant doors, paired with warm finishes, can enhance the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. 

Moreover, they offer a lot of creative freedom and can be combined with any countertop material and flooring. This season, these cabinets are highly sought-after. Some argue that their simple designs and clean lines allow for a greater variety of kitchen accessories.

2. Transitional Shaker Cabinets

The term “transitional” is subjective when it comes to discussing kitchen design. However, many interior designers today are drawn to the transitional style, including transitional cabinets and transitional kitchen design. Modern kitchens often feature a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, but the design is typically not overly complex. For instance, a popular look is a mix of black and white cabinets with additional textures to create a modern aesthetic.

One of the reasons why the transitional style is so popular is because it can be easily transformed into a completely different look by simply changing a minor detail, such as the flooring or the color of the cabinets. In particular, the transitional shaker cabinets are unique in that they blend retro and modern designs into one cohesive package, resulting in a striking addition to any kitchen.

Transitional shaker cabinets are an excellent way to add depth and variety to your kitchen, while also allowing for the flexibility to change your decor whenever desired.

Shaker Style Cabinets: FAQs

How to Recognize Quality?

Shaker style cabinets are characterized by their straight, vertical and horizontal edges, flat panels, and square rails. An authentic Shaker cabinet door typically features a flat panel in the middle.

Despite their simplicity, Shaker cabinets have a classic look that can make a statement in any room. While they are not overly extravagant in design, their timeless and sophisticated appearance has made them a popular choice for bathrooms and kitchens in contemporary homes.

What Is the Difference Between Shaker and Regular Cabinets?

Shaker cabinets are known for their simple design, which typically includes a center panel and an overlay on the cabinet’s edge. The panels and edges of these cabinets often have a minimalist style, which sets them apart from more traditional cabinets.

Are Shaker Cabinets Made of Real Wood?

Shaker cabinets are typically constructed from solid hardwood, which contributes to their durability and stability. The cabinets are designed with recessed panels in the center, which can enhance their depth and dimension. Overall, Shaker cabinets are known for their high level of quality, and their solid wood construction is a key factor in this reputation.

Are White Shaker Cabinets Still Popular?

The white Shaker cabinet is a timeless classic that is unlikely to go out of fashion any time soon. These cabinets offer a sophisticated and classy look that can elevate the overall aesthetic of a kitchen. When selecting white Shaker cabinets, it’s often best to choose cabinets with simple design elements, as this can help create a clean and elegant look.

Are Shaker Style Cabinets Durable?

Shaker cabinets can last up to 35+ years. This may seem like a long time, but cabinets are the most durable components in a kitchen.

Final Thoughts: Shaker Style Cabinets

In conclusion, Shaker style cabinets offer a timeless and versatile design that can fit in any kitchen, regardless of the overall style. With its clean lines, sturdy construction, and minimalist approach, it’s no wonder why Shaker cabinets remain a top choice for homeowners and designers alike. Whether you prefer a classic white or a bold hue, custom Shaker cabinets can elevate your kitchen’s aesthetics and functionality for years to come.

If you’re interested in upgrading your kitchen with custom Shaker cabinets, The French Refinery is an excellent choice. With their skilled craftsmen and attention to detail, they can create custom cabinets that perfectly match your style and needs, ensuring that your kitchen is both beautiful and functional. Contact us today!

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