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What Are Shaker Style Cabinets?

Shaker kitchen cabinets are cabinets that are built in a style made popular by the Shakers. The Shakers are an 18th-century religious movement that emphasized simplicity and function in terms of design. The cabinets that they designed, and the ones inspired by their designs, are five-piece cabinets with a recessed center panel. You’ve likely seen several of these cabinets.

What Do They Look Like? 

Shaker cabinet doors are rectangular doors, taller than they are wide. The center of the door is recessed, and the edges are raised. The pull is in the bottom corner of the cabinet door, and the hinges are typically hidden. 

Shaker cabinets have been popular since the 1700s because they have clean, simple lines. For a minimalist look, they are absolutely perfect. They’re also perfect for homeowners who are looking for pops of style and design in other spaces and don’t want their cabinets to distract from the design. 

What Are They Made From? 

The first Shaker cabinets were likely made from local hardwoods that were near the crafters. Now, they’re made from just about every wood imaginable. In the United States, red oak and white oak are very common. Hickory, pecan, and maple are also very popular. They can be unfinished or finished, depending on your preferences. 

Unfinished hardwood is wood that has not been stained, sealed, or painted. It’s open to damage from moisture, oils, and high temperatures. So, it might not be appropriate for cabinets above the oven. However, unfinished cabinets are also easier to repair. You just sand away the damaged parts, and your cabinets are back to normal. 

If you want to customize the look of your cabinets, opt for a wood that you like. Alternately, you can opt to have them stained. A stain can transform wood from its natural color to white, black, or even green. A coat of polyurethane will seal them from moisture and oil damage. 

What About the Hardware? 

The hardware on your cabinets consists of the hinges and pulls. Traditionally, shaker cabinets would have very simple cabinet pulls, typically made from brass or steel. Those are great choices. Something a little more ornate could also help offset the simplicity of the cabinets. 

Polished metals, glass, or antique hardware would really stand out against the plain cabinets. Shaker cabinets have a timeless look that has been popular for hundreds of years now; if you choose Shaker cabinets, they’ll likely never go out of style. 


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