The Different Styles of Shaker Cabinets: A Visual Guide

The different styles of Shaker cabinets

The different styles of Shaker cabinets have long been cherished for their simple and elegant design. They bring classic beauty to any space while maintaining a timeless appeal. Besides having quality construction, knowing its various styles is just as important. In this visual guide, we will explore the different styles of Shaker cabinets and delve into their design elements to consider when choosing the right style for your home.

What are Shaker Cabinets?

The origins of Shaker cabinets can be traced back to the Shaker communities in the United States. The Shakers believed in minimalism and created furniture and cabinets that reflected their values. The designs were rooted in simplicity, quality craftsmanship, and functionality.

Clean, square-edged frames, recessed panel doors, and simple hardware characterize Shaker cabinets. They often feature a five-piece door with a flat center panel. The cabinets are typically made from hardwood, such as cherry, maple, or oak, enhancing their durability and natural beauty.

The Appeal of Shaker Cabinets

One of the main reasons for the enduring popularity of Shaker cabinets is their simple and timeless design. The clean lines and minimalist aesthetic make them suitable for both traditional and contemporary spaces. Shaker cabinets can seamlessly blend into any design scheme, whether you prefer a classic or modern look.

Another appeal of Shaker cabinets lies in their versatility and adaptability. They can be easily customized to fit any kitchen, bathroom, or living area. Shaker cabinets also provide a neutral backdrop, allowing you to experiment with different color schemes and decorative elements.

The Different Styles of Shaker Cabinets That Are Popular

Now that we have given you a small introduction about Shaker cabinets, knowing their various will allow you to pick one that will fit with your home. Below are the most popular shaker style cabinets in terms of aesthetics. Read on to learn everything about them.

Traditional Shaker Cabinets

Traditional Shaker cabinets stay true to the original design principles. They feature simple, unembellished doors and drawer fronts with minimal hardware. These cabinets evoke a sense of timelessness and are ideal for homeowners who appreciate the charm of a classic aesthetic.

Contemporary Shaker Cabinets

Contemporary Shaker cabinets give a modern twist to the traditional Shaker style. They keep things simple and functional but with smoother lines and new materials. These cabinets usually have smooth, straight doors without any fancy decorations. If you want a modern look that still honors the classic Shaker design, contemporary Shaker cabinets are trendy.

Transitional Shaker Cabinets

Transitional Shaker cabinets are a mix of classic simplicity and modern style. They blend the traditional Shaker design with contemporary elements, creating a seamless combination of old and new. These cabinets keep Shaker cabinets’ clean lines and minimalist features but add extra details for a transitional look. You’ll often find a blend of materials like wood and glass and decorative accents such as crown molding or modern hardware.

Mid-Century Shaker Cabinets

Mid-century Shaker cabinets are a type of cabinetry that came about in the middle of the 20th century, taking inspiration from the traditional Shaker design. These cabinets are known for their precise and neat lines, minimal decorations, and emphasis on practicality. Mid-century Shaker cabinets have a timeless charm and can easily fit into different interior styles. Mid-century shaker kitchen cabinet styles offer a polished and streamlined appearance.

Choosing the Right Style for Your Space

When choosing a style of Shaker Cabinets for your space, consider your home’s overall theme and design. Traditional Shaker cabinets work well in heritage or rustic settings, while contemporary styles suit modern and minimalist interiors. Transitional Shaker cabinets offer a flexible option that can adapt to various design schemes.

Materials and Finishes

Shaker-style cabinets can be crafted from various materials, each offering unique characteristics. The most common materials used in Shaker cabinet construction include solid hardwoods such as maple, cherry, oak, and birch. These hardwoods are known for their durability, strength, and natural beauty. Additionally, plywood and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) are often used for cabinet boxes and interior components to provide stability and cost-effectiveness.

In terms of finishes, Shaker cabinets offer a range of options to achieve different looks. Natural finishes are popular, allowing the beauty of the wood grain to shine through. This can be achieved through clear coats or light staining to enhance the natural color and texture of the wood. Painted finishes are also common, with white being a classic choice for Shaker cabinets, offering a clean and timeless look. Other color options are available to suit various design preferences. Techniques such as distressing or glazing can also be applied to achieve a more rustic or antique appearance. The choice of material and finish for Shaker-style cabinets allows versatility in creating a desired aesthetic and complementing the space’s overall design.

Shaker Cabinet Hardware

Hardware for shaker cabinets plays a significant role in enhancing cabinets’ overall aesthetic and functionality. Here’s a closer look at the role of hardware in Shaker cabinet design:

  1. Drawer Pulls and Knobs: Knobs or pulls on shaker cabinets are essential hardware components. Their design should complement the clean lines and simplicity of the cabinets. Opt for hardware with minimalistic, straightforward shapes and finishes. Common choices include brushed nickel, stainless steel, matte black, or oil-rubbed bronze. These finishes provide a subtle contrast against the cabinet’s surface while maintaining the cabinet’s timeless appeal.
  2. Cabinet Hinges: Hinges are necessary to attach cabinet doors to the frame. Concealed or hidden hinges are often preferred for Shaker cabinets, as they maintain the clean and uncluttered appearance of the cabinet doors. Soft-close hinges are also popular, adding a touch of modern functionality by allowing doors to close gently and quietly.
  3. Cabinet Handles and Pulls: If you have larger cabinet doors or want to add visual interest, consider incorporating handles or cabinet pulls for shaker cabinets. These elongated hardware pieces can be mounted horizontally or vertically along the center of the cabinet doors. Like drawer pulls and knobs, opt for hardware that complements the cabinet’s design and your kitchen’s overall style.
  4. Placement: Where to place handles on Shaker cabinets? The hardware placement can significantly influence their visual impact. For drawers, center the hardware on the upper edge of the drawer front. For cabinet doors, hardware is often centered vertically on the stile (the vertical frame piece) and horizontally on the rail (the horizontal frame piece).
  5. Consistency: Maintaining a consistent style and finish for all the hardware in your kitchen contributes to a cohesive and polished look. Choose hardware that coordinates with your faucet, lighting fixtures, and other kitchen elements for a harmonious design.
  6. Customization: While Shaker cabinets are known for their simplicity, you can still add a touch of personalization through hardware choices. Consider experimenting with unique shapes, finishes, or materials to add a subtle twist to the classic design.
  7. Functionality: Apart from their aesthetic role, hardware enhances the functionality of Shaker cabinets. Easy-to-grasp pulls, and knobs make opening and closing cabinet doors and drawers convenient. Soft-close hinges and drawer slides also improve the user experience by preventing slamming and ensuring smooth operation.

In conclusion, shaker cabinets with hardware are crucial in cabinet design, impacting your kitchen’s visual appeal and functionality. When selecting hardware for your Shaker cabinets, prioritize pieces that align with the cabinet’s clean and timeless aesthetic while also considering their practicality and contribution to the overall design of your kitchen space.

Maintenance and Care For Shaker Cabinets

Proper maintenance and care are crucial for preserving the beauty and durability of Shaker cabinets. Here are some key practices to keep in mind:

Regular cleaning is essential to remove dust, dirt, and spills from the cabinet surfaces. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the cabinets, avoiding abrasive cleaners that could harm the finish. Dry the cabinets thoroughly after cleaning to prevent moisture damage.

It’s important to handle Shaker cabinets with care. Avoid slamming the doors or placing excessive weight on them, as this can strain the hinges and hardware. Utilize knobs or pulls to open and close the cabinets, as they provide a better grip and protect the finish.

Moisture control is crucial to prevent warping, cracking, or discoloration of the wood. Keep Shaker cabinets away from excessive moisture and humidity, particularly in areas such as the kitchen or bathroom. Use proper ventilation and avoid placing cabinets near water sources.

Shaker Cabinets in Different Rooms

Shaker cabinets are versatile and can be used in various rooms throughout the home. The kitchen provides a classic and clean look; the bathrooms create a serene and spa-like atmosphere. Shaker cabinets can also be incorporated into other areas, such as laundry rooms, home offices, or entertainment centers.

Enhancing Shaker Cabinets And Design Trends

To further personalize and enhance the functionality of your Shaker cabinets, consider incorporating accessories. Pull-out trays, spice racks, and drawer dividers maximize storage efficiency. Glass doors or open shelving can showcase your favorite dishware or decorative items.

The different styles of Shaker cabinets have stood the test of time and have remained popular for homeowners and interior designers. Their simplicity and adaptability align with current interior design trends prioritizing clean lines, minimalism, and functionality. By choosing Shaker cabinets, you can create a timeless and contemporary space.

Pros and Cons of Shaker Cabinets

Shaker cabinets are a popular choice in kitchen and bathroom designs, known for their timeless elegance and clean, minimalist aesthetic. They offer a versatile and adaptable option that can complement various interior styles. Like any design choice, Shaker cabinets have their own pros and cons. Understanding these advantages and disadvantages can help you make an informed decision when considering Shaker cabinets for your home. In the following sections, we will explore the pros and cons of Shaker cabinets, covering aspects such as design versatility, durability, maintenance, and cost, to provide a comprehensive view of this cabinet style.


  • Timeless and versatile design
  • It fits various design aesthetics
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Customizable options available
  • Can increase the value of your home


  • It may be more expensive than other cabinet styles
  • Limited ornamental details for those seeking intricate designs


The different styles of Shaker cabinets are popular for homeowners looking for a timeless and elegant design. Shaker cabinets are great for different design styles and rooms in your home because they are simple, versatile, and adaptable. You can choose the perfect Shaker cabinets to create a beautiful and functional space. Consider the different styles, materials, and customization options. Our store, Badger Cabinets, is located in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and offers a wide range of colors and finishes in Shaker cabinets for your home.


1. Are Shaker cabinets only suitable for traditional-style homes?

Shaker cabinets are not limited to traditional-style homes. While a classic aesthetic complements traditional designs, Shaker cabinets can also work well in transitional, contemporary, and even modern interiors. Their clean lines and minimalist appeal make them versatile and adaptable to various design styles.

2. Can I paint my Shaker cabinets a different color?

Yes, you can paint your Shaker cabinets a different color. Painting your cabinets is a popular way to update and customize their look to your desired color scheme. Ensure to properly prepare the surfaces, use appropriate primer and high-quality paint suitable for cabinetry, and follow proper painting techniques to achieve a smooth and professional finish.

3. Are Shaker cabinets more expensive than other cabinet styles?

The cost of Shaker cabinets can vary depending on factors such as materials used, construction quality, finishes, and customization options. Generally, Shaker cabinets fall within a moderate to high price range compared to other cabinet styles. However, comparing prices and exploring options is important to find the best fit for your budget and design preferences.

4. Can I install Shaker cabinets myself, or do I need professional help?

While it is possible to install Shaker cabinets yourself if you have the necessary skills and experience, cabinet installation can be complex and time-consuming. It requires precise measurements, proper tools, and knowledge of structural considerations. If you’re unsure or inexperienced, it’s advisable to seek professional help to ensure the cabinets are installed correctly and securely.

5. Can I add glass doors to my Shaker cabinets?

Yes, you can add glass doors to your Shaker cabinets. Glass doors can be stylish, allowing you to display and showcase items inside the cabinets. Shaker cabinets can be customized with glass inserts in the center panel or by replacing entire door panels with glass. This adds visual interest and a touch of elegance to your cabinets while still maintaining the timeless appeal of the Shaker style.

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