The shaker style kitchen dates back to the mid-18th century and is still very popular today. The style embodies a combination of simplicity, excellent craftsmanship and functionality. The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing started this furniture style and the name “Shaker” given to this kitchen style is derived from these people known as the “Shaker Quakers.” The Shakers believed everything should be practical, have good functionality and be honest which is how they made this style of furniture. Today many kitchens around Scotland show off the latest in shaker kitchens. You can create your own shaker kitchen by buying shaker cabinetry from your local Scotland-based kitchen company. We would recommend visiting a kitchen showroom to get a better sense of the end product that these companies produce, in terms of colour and layout.

Depending on your budget you can arrange a quote or design to be drawn up by your kitchen company of choice. Some kitchen companies draw up a design and quote free of charge. This would be really worth your while. You can buy ready-made shaker cabinets to install in your kitchen, get custom-made bespoke shaker cabinets made or buy DIY shaker cabinets that you will assemble yourself. You could even sand and re-paint your existing shaker kitchen to give it a refreshed look if your budget is smaller. Depending on the size and layout of your kitchen and your budget, this will influence which option of cabinet you decide to use. You could then splurge on new appliances if you so wish.

Getting to know the qualities of a shaker kitchen

Shaker kitchens are uncluttered and organised. Shaker cabinet doors look good in both a country-style kitchen and a modern, contemporary-style kitchen. The panels are recessed and are either beveled or plain creating a simple, sleek style. The wood used to make this cabinetry is usually cherry or maple and sometimes oak. You can choose another wood if this doesn’t match the theme of your home in general. These cabinets go well in open plan kitchen design too. Shaker kitchens usually have a kitchen island in the centre of the room, lending itself to a workspace as well as entertainment and seating area. The shaker cabinetry can be painted.

The design phase of your shaker kitchen

Before you begin with your kitchen remodel you will need to get a design drawn up. If you are simply, sanding and repainting your existing shaker cabinet doors then the design work isn’t necessary. If you are removing old cabinets and replacing them with shaker style cabinetry, you will need to get a kitchen designer to draw up plans for the new look and feel in your kitchen. We would recommend visiting your local Scotland-based kitchen showroom to get a sense of what you want your remodeled shaker kitchen to look like. They will have a catalogue and some of their products on display.

Colour choice in shaker kitchens

If you are simply giving your shaker kitchen a refreshed look by sanding and painting, you will have a host of colours to choose from depending on the look you are after. The colours used in shaker kitchens vary from white to ivory, blue and wooden grain textures. Some people even choose unique bolder colours. Choosing the type of paint is based on the desired aesthetic look you are after. There is the gloss option to woodgrain to painted. Matte paint adds the honest authentic appeal synonymous with this style. Using bold, unique colours livens up your kitchen. Unique colours include colours like black, navy or emerald green, available at your kitchen company of choice or ask them to refer you to a paint company. You can also buy ready painted shaker cabinets, you can choose the colour ahead of time. This applies to bespoke and ready-made cabinetry.

Adding the open shelving element to your shaker kitchen

Incorporating open shelving into your shaker kitchen is a popular trend in many a Scotland kitchen in both farmhouse-style and modern kitchens. You could decide to keep your lower shaker cabinets and make the upper area open shelving, perfect for displaying special dinnerware or ornaments. You can create a flow with your colour palette here. For example, dark green cabinets on the bottom can be complemented by a green coloured vase on the open shelving. Or if you decide to go all-white, red and orange crockery will stand out well.

Choosing a natural wood finish for your shaker cabinets

Natural wood finishes on shaker cabinets were popular for decades until painted or lacquered cabinets started becoming popular. It can now be seen that natural woods are making a comeback. Cabinets made from oak are a wonderful choice for a neutral colour. Natural oak cabinets are popular in French style cottages, Scandinavian style kitchens or rustic style kitchens.

Choosing a clean and modern aesthetic

With shaker kitchens it is trendy to keep the design as clean and modern as possible. Shaker cabinets are well-known for their simple design- perfectly suited for modern style kitchens. In this style of kitchen, sleek hardware and uncluttered countertops supports the minimalist theme. Modern style kitchens suit white cabinetry. This can go well with chrome bar pulls complemented by a white marble countertop, adding elegance to the room.

Choosing mix and match finishes

You can mix and match finishes and colours for a unique aesthetic. You could try painting your upper cabinets white and lower cabinets in a darker colour like black or navy for a dramatic contrast. Or you could use a different colour on your kitchen island cabinet. The kitchen island cabinetry can be painted in a black or brown, with the rest of the kitchen cabinetry in a lighter colour. If you paint the kitchen walls in neutral tones and have neutral colours on your floors and countertops you can play around with colour combinations on the cabinetry.

Choosing a white finish

Although colourful cabinets are in, white is still in style. White works in bright and modern-style kitchens and even rustic country and also in sleek, high-end kitchens. White works well in smaller kitchens or kitchens with minimal natural light as it brightens the room and gives an extensive feel of more space. White finishes complete a room and leave lee-way to use colourful appliances if you so choose.

Choosing a grey colour for your cabinetry

Grey is a better option than white if you want a warmer feeling kitchen. A lacquered blue-grey shaker-style kitchen cabinet suits Scandinavian style kitchens. Dark grey will look modern and on-trend. A grey wash over natural wood is well-suited to traditional kitchens. Grey can be nice to pair with wooden or tile flooring and neutral-toned countertops like a granite, marble or quartz countertop.

Choosing high-gloss as your finish

High-gloss finishes in shaker kitchens are becoming more popular. The kitchen styles best suited to high-gloss finishes are minimalist, modern and industrial-style kitchens. High-gloss cabinetry is sleek and modern on the eye. Finish off your high-gloss cabinets with modern hardware like a nickel handle and play around with colours. White as well as black both look wonderful with a gloss finish. More unique colours like red or light blue cabinetry also look good with a high-gloss finish.

Choosing a transitional style of cabinetry

Transitional kitchens mix old and new designs, giving a timeless feel so the kitchen will never look outdated. If you modernise old pieces you will keep the traditional feel of your kitchen. You could try mixing old and new styles like traditional wood cabinets finished off with modern hardware or handles. Open frame cabinet doors blend modern and traditional in a shaker kitchen. This mimics the traditional cabinets that displayed fine china and can be updated to a transitional look by being paired with shaker cabinets. Similar to open shelving, mixing lower shaker cabinets with upper glass-front cabinets, will make your space appear


Choosing your countertop material

Quartz, marble and granite countertops are elegant and stylish but not suited to a smaller budget. Quartz is the most durable and doesn’t need to be maintained like marble and granite. Laminated MDF countertops are budget-friendly and do look good in a variety of patterns and colours for your shaker kitchen.

Planning where to place your appliances to fit in with the shaker theme

In the design phase of your shaker kitchen it is important to plan where you are going to put all of your appliances. The kitchen is a hub of activity from cooking to eating, drinking, cleaning and entertaining. Your kitchen needs to be aesthetically appealing and functional too. You need to look at your kitchen space at the outset of the planning phase. Drawing a rough sketch of the floorplan of your kitchen area is a good start, take note of windows, doors arches and openings. If you are hiring a kitchen designer they will probably start with a similar method. It is important to consider the work triangle. This means ensuring there is a connection between the three main work areas in the cooking area, namely the fridge, the oven and the sink. There are specific distances between these appliances that create the ideal cooking space. The triangle can be adjusted to your needs. Make a list of the essential appliances for your kitchen and organize them within your floorplan, or let your designer draw up a plan for each appliance.

Choosing a location for your smaller appliances

In your kitchen you will need space for your choice of smaller appliances. In a standard kitchen you would need a microwave, kettle, toaster, blender and possibly a grilled cheese machine. You can place these on your countertop surfaces near plug points. You can choose white appliances or stainless-steel appliances or a variety of bolder colours if you so choose. If you want less clutter you can store the blender and toasted cheese griller in a cupboard or in your pantry.

Deciding on a location for your oven

Ovens are located underneath or next to the cooktop. If you are installing a gas oven, think about where your gas outlet will be if you will be using natural gas and make sure you have enough wall space to place your oven next to it. Ovens can be found under-bench or in the wall. Under-bench ovens avoid taking up work and meal preparation space but can be annoying if you have to bend over to get your cooked food. Wall ovens are a good choice as they can be stacked above or next to each other if you have more than one. This will mean you will lose storage space.

Designating an area for your sink

Some people like placing their sink below a window so there’s a view when washing the dishes. Others want their sink overlooking an open plan living room so they can keep an eye on their children playing. You will need your sink near a plumbing point and you can place your dishwasher next to it. If you are on a smaller budget you won’t want to re-plumb the room so plan your sink area and dishwasher station next to plumbing points and around other utilities.

Positioning your dishwasher in your shaker kitchen

The best location for your dishwasher is next to your sink to allow plates to be rinsed and put away to be cleaned. It will also mean all the plumbing points are in one place. Dishwashers save time and mean you can spend more time with your loved ones and simply stack the dishwasher at the end of your meal and let it do all the hard work. If you are on a smaller budget a nicely ordered sink area will be perfect for doing your dishes. It is important to invest in a dish rack to dry your dishes. A stainless-steel dish rack or even plastic one would fit in well with the shaker theme.

Choosing an area for clothes washing

The washing machine and tumble dryer need to be located near plumbing points too, or you can create an additional plumbing point for piping. You will need to employ a plumber to do this or make use of your kitchen company of choice’s installation team to install the washing machine and dryer for you. It is recommended that you keep cooking and clothes washing separate so that washing baskets of clothes and food preparation don’t clash. It is handy to have a washing machine and dryer at home for convenience sake so if you don’t already have these appliances it would be a good idea to invest in them.

Choosing an area for your fridge and freezer

The fridge is a popular appliance and used a lot by the meal maker and kids for snacks. It is one of the largest appliances alongside the freezer so allow space for the one you want to install. Make sure to chat to the kitchen designer you have employed at your Scotland-based kitchen company, about fridge and freezer options. You can choose white or stainless-steel fridges being neutral colours. Or you may want a different colour fridge and freezer as a statement. Place your fridge and freezer away from direct sunlight, as this will cause your two key appliances to heat up which is something you need to avoid. Your fridge and freezer also need to be placed away from the oven, but close enough to reach when cooking.

Incorporating a kitchen island into your shaker kitchen

Kitchen islands are versatile in their uses doubling up as a cooking space, meal preparation area and a space at which to sit down to one of the delicious meals you have cooked. If your kitchen island serves as a cabinet it will have valuable storage space under the worktop. Kitchen islands in the shaker style make a style statement. When you style your kitchen island, a fun idea is to place a book holder on the countertop. You can display your favourite cookbooks. Choosing the countertop will be easy as you can choose the same countertop material as used in the rest of the kitchen. Shaker kitchens suit marble, quartz and laminated MDF countertops.

Creating a shaker style pantry

It is handy to have a pantry in your shaker kitchen. Pantries can conceal messy and bulky foodstuffs and appliances that you don’t make use of a lot. All your tinned foods, pasta, rice, lentils, snacks like dried fruits, nuts and sweets like chocolates and chips can be stored in separate areas of your pantry. You can also keep your cooking oils, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the pantry.  If you enjoy baking the pantry is the perfect space to store cake flours, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powders, food colourant and vanilla essence. You can also keep your blender in your pantry and all your cake baking tins that you cook with. Pantries will help declutter your work surfaces and create order for the cook in the house.


Which floor surface you choose depends on your budget. Engineered hardwood flooring is durable and moisture resistant. Vinyl flooring is better on a smaller budget and available in a variety of colours. Porcelain tile flooring is durable and doesn’t stain. Natural stone tile flooring adds elegance and many of these flooring options will add value to your home.

Lighting choices

Lighting sets the mood in your kitchen. Downlights in LED are popular nowadays. Or you can have hanging lamps with lampshades as a lighting option. This will go well particularly over your kitchen island. You will need an electrician or the kitchen company fitment team to install your lighting for you.

Bringing all the aspects of your shaker kitchen together

The first place to start this process is to visit your local Scotland- based kitchen showroom of choice. There you can possibly get a free quote and design for your shaker kitchen remodel. You can also look at their catalogue of finished shaker kitchens to get a more detailed idea of what you want yours to look like. You will have a variety of colours of paint for your cabinetry to choose from or you can go with a natural wood finish. Plan ahead where you want your bigger and smaller appliances to go. With a kitchen company by your side you can order bespoke cabinetry or ready-made shaker cabinetry. It’s going to be a fun project from start to finish and you will end up with a stylish and unique shaker kitchen ready for use.