Utopia    Guest Blog 14 Jun 2016

Classic shaker-style kitchens: How to achieve a timeless kitchen that will maintain decades of style


The kitchen is the heart of your home – a place where you cook, dine, socialise and spend quality time as a family – so it’s crucial that you invest in its design and opt for a timeless look that will be as attractive today as on the day you choose to sell!

We speak with Paul Rimmber, general manager at Sussex-based PD Kitchens, about classic shaker-style kitchens, and how their design has evolved to be more popular than ever…

“In most Shaker kitchens you find classic cabinets and panels that have been well-made from a range of different woods or HDF ready to be painted in an inspirational colour. These are typically square-framed and inset. It’s a very notable design feature of the style”.

“Shaker kitchens should instantly feel familiar as you enter, so will be crafted as warm, family spaces that are also functional. This leads to the typical wooden fixtures being painted to achieve a matte complexion and a slightly rustic edge.”


“The kitchens in this niche are ideal for achieving a modern kitchen with personality. The traditional look is updated with linear patterns throughout the space; from storage, islands and flooring. This style is easily admirable by guests and something a homeowner can appreciate every day. Known as a ‘clean’ look, floor length cabinets are also regular features.

“While the style has specific themes that make kitchens recognisable as ‘shaker’, there have been many creative versions building on the Shaker approach.”

Colour and practicality

“Here dark tones in the tiling, fridge freezer and surfaces have been balanced with the white paint work on the wooden cabinets and walls. This complements the shade of the wooden beams which are a fantastic feature.”

“The lines come in and give it an ordered look centrally with the angular island. In essence, this kitchen directs you to the middle where you can see the set-up for social eating and coffee mornings. This design is incredibly practical with all the core facilities close-by; this keeps spills to a minimum as the food prep is all contained in one space. You could create this look by purchasing a table of the same height as your preparation area, or having it commissioned, and placing them side by side.”


“It’s important to realise that Shaker kitchens, especially when bespoke, offer as much storage and kitchen appliance flexibility as other styles. Clever storage features can be installed to mean all of your necessities are out of sight, keeping the work surfaces organised.”

“This aspect of Shaker design isn’t to manage your use of space, but does give you flexibility. For instance it’s always a good feature to keep some luxury products on display, such as a juicer. As you use your kitchen more it becomes apparent which items are best to have ready at hand. This also comes into your layout plan and you can set-up your linear look based on how you want the space to function.”


“The versatility of Shaker kitchens mean they suit both country houses and flats in the city, locations which will have different degrees of natural light available. Whilst the traditional designs use light colours, sleek lighting can be used to accentuate the space.”

“LED plinth lighting on islands and fixtures draw attention to the straight lines and add to the inviting atmosphere. Rise and fall ceiling lights, a modern touch, are available in many styles and something simple is ideal for Shaker kitchens. Stainless steel or plain lampshades can give a fresh look.”

“With Shaker kitchens you additionally want to consider which wood suits your current home decoration. This fluid transition from one room to another accentuates the welcoming effects of having a traditional design that’s at the centre of family life.”


Take a look at these real-life homes – they are a fantastic way to inspire the design of your own kitchen. Click here