Why Shaker Style Kitchen Cabinets? Pros and Cons

Shaker Style Kitchen Cabinets

There are many cabinet designs in the market. Some are centuries old, while others are new designs. They range from simple shaker-style to more complex ones. This wide selection of design styles has mixed reactions among property owners and homeowners.

Today, we will look at what shaker-style cabinets are, their pros and cons, and whether you should consider them for your property or not. We also have other related topics to discuss. Keep reading!

What Are Shaker Kitchen Cabinets?

Shaker cabinets are characterized by cope-and-stick recessed panel doors. In general, the door is rectangular with straight edges. Visually, you can picture shaker-style cabinet doors as two in one. That is to say, a large outer rectangular door with a small one grooved from it.

Shaker-style kitchen cabinets do not have lots of ornamentals. Instead, they are a simple design, which originated about two and half centuries ago. Today, these cabinet styles still rock the market like never before.

Shaker Style Cabinet

How Shaker Cabinets Got Their Name

Shaker cabinets have a rich history that dates back to the 18th century. The name was borrowed from the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second coming. This society was referred to as shakers, formed after detaching from Quakers. Both groups were natives of Manchester in the United Kingdom.

The shaker community migrated to the United States in around 1780. It was famed for a simple life, architecture, woodwork, and other innovations. They adopted this simplistic life because they believed that God is not pleased with materialistic people.

The Shaker society settled in New England, where they became the best in crafting furniture, including the shaker-style cabinets, from locally available materials. They possess unrivaled woodworking skills that were their pride and stamp.

What Features Define the Shaker Style Kitchen Cabinets?

The furniture and cabinets from the Shakers community had distinct features. These included the following:

  • Use of as little material as possible
  • High-quality wood from the best trees such as cherry, pine, birch, oak, maple, and chestnut.
  • Door panel or drawer fronts are flat and recessed
  • Light stains or just natural finishes
  • Basic hardware
  • Absence of flair
  • Minimal ornamental – straight lines and square edges
White oak shaker cabinets

The Evolution of Shaker Cabinets

Shaker-style cabinets are some of the most important inventions of the Shaker community. The flat, square, and recessed door panels, solid wood frames, mortise, dovetail, and tenon joints are still used to make modern-day cabinets.

There have been improvements over the years that changed the minimalistic design of the Shaker community. Today, machinery and technology are deployed to take over the handy work, which was being done by the Shaker people.

Traditionally, shaker cabinets were made of solid wood from precious trees, as mentioned earlier. Over time, this became expensive and raised more environmental concerns. As a result, an engineered wood called medium-density fiberboard (MDF) came into the scene in the 1960s. The MDF was more affordable, easy to maintain, and moisture resistant, making it the preferred choice for cabinetry by many homeowners.

As time passed, people adopted other cabinet finishes and not relying only on the natural finish, which was what shaker-style cabinets were all about. Today, shaker cabinets are painted with polyurethane, and some are laminated. However, the traditional solid-wood shaker cabinets still remain supreme. They are more appealing, long-lasting, and improve the property’s value.

White shaker cabinets wholesale

Are Shaker Kitchen Cabinets Still an On-Trend Style?

The expectations are that shaker-style cabinets should be out of style. This argument sets in because it is a cabinet design that is centuries old. Fortunately, or unfortunately, shaker cabinets are still popular among many homeowners. Despite being a traditional style, they have managed to evolve through the years to suit most of the modern-style kitchens today.

Shaker cabinets still remain to be a trending style with what seems to be a timeless beauty. It is the favored choice for homeowners who adore heritage and history.

Types Of Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

One of the reasons why Shaker cabinets have stood the test of time is the unlimited range of designs they offer. Since their introduction centuries ago, there have been different versions of these cabinets according to construction, finishing, and style. As a result, we have groups as follows:

Shaker Cabinet Construction

  • Inset: As the name suggests, the cabinets of this type sit within the frame that supports the five-piece structure. Inset cabinets are more stable because of the surrounding frame that holds them to the floor.
  • Partial overlay: A partial overlay cabinet design leaves a gap between the doors. There is no internal hardware required to operate the cabinet because of this gap. As a result, partial overlay cabinets are a bit cheaper compared to the other shaker-style cabinets.
  • Full overlay: The cabinet door panels of a full overlay cabinet completely cover the cabinetry face with no raised edges left. People tend to like this design because of the flat appearance and aesthetics that come with it. In many cases, full overlay cabinets are frameless.

Shaker Cabinet Finishing

  • Paint: Shaker cabinets can also be painted to achieve the desired kitchen theme. Painting makes the cabinets look more modern, and choosing the right paint color and texture adds more. White is known for elegance, and gray color is best for achieving a neutral tone.
  • SmartShield: This technique allows you to laminate your cabinet, thereby creating a smooth surface with uniform consistency. Laminating the cabinets makes them more durable, water-resistant, and easy to maintain.
  • Polyurethane: This is a type of covering the makes the natural wood color deeper. Polyurethane is a polymer that will also make your shaker-style cabinets appear glossy.

Shaker Cabinet Styles

  • Traditional: There is nothing much to say about this, given that shaker cabinets are centuries old. They are easily recognized in your kitchen. This is because of their design and aesthetics that have not changed much from the original.
  • Transitional: Designers nowadays combine dark and light tone colors to make shaker-style cabinets look both traditional and modern at the same time. They can also add finishes to change the wood textures and make the design more authentic.
  • Modern: You can still design a modern kitchen with shaker cabinets. Apart from adding finishes, you can also consider choosing the appropriate countertops and flooring to complement the design.

Shaker Style Kitchen Cabinets Vs. Raised Kitchen Cabinets

Both shaker-style kitchen cabinets and raised kitchen cabinets are excellent options. However, many differences exist between them. In appearance, shaker cabinets feature flat, square, and recessed door panels and drawer boxes that sit in an overt frame. Raised cabinets, on the other hand, have a central part raised above the outer frame. That gives them a more 3D look.

Raised kitchen cabinets are usually more decorated with grooved, beveled, or beaded patterns. On the contrary, shaker cabinets have very minimal designs with no ornamentals. Also, raised cabinets are mostly framed, unlike shaker cabinets that you can easily find in a frameless design.

Shaker-style cabinets can be used in many designs, such as modern, traditional, rustic, and contemporary. Raised cabinets are mainly used for designing a traditional kitchen. Lastly, shaker cabinets are more affordable than raised cabinets because of the minimalistic designs.

Grey shaker cabinets

Why Shaker Style Kitchen Cabinets is a Top Choice: Pros and Cons

Pros of Shaker Style Cabinets

Timeless Appeal

The minimalistic design of shaker kitchen cabinets makes them the basis of designing your kitchen. Whether it is a new project or remodeling, you will find it easier with shaker cabinets. Also, no stain or paint is required to make your cabinets all attractive again.

Room To Express Yourself

Many people thought that shaker-style cabinets are more fixed in the design, but that is not true. You have many options to personalize your kitchen with these cabinets. While the design remains minimalistic, you can add ornate hardware to make them suit your needs. Also, shaker-style cabinets pair well with many flooring materials to choose from for the intended look.

Low Maintenance

The shaker-style cabinets are easy to clean because of the square edges and flat front panels. They also do not stain or grease easily compared to raised cabinets. Laminated shaker cabinets can be cleaned by just wiping. Also, you do not need to paint or polish them.

Cons of Shaker Style Cabinets

Cleaning Could be Hard

Shaker-style kitchen cabinets gather more dust than other cabinet designs with slab doors. The food particles can be trapped in the grooves, corners, or services of the recessed panels. This makes shaker cabinets generally hard to clean.

Too Classic for a Modern Kitchen

Shaker cabinets are not the best choice for modern kitchen design because they are too classic for a contemporary kitchen. We mean that you can use shaker-style cabinets in your modern kitchen, but there are better options.

Affect Potential Buyers

Shaker-style cabinets will generally make your kitchen more traditional than modern. Many buyers might not want that kitchen theme, especially if they prefer contemporary designs. That will affect the decision of any buyer, which can potentially lower the value of your property.

white shaker cabinets

Why White Shaker Kitchen Cabinets are a Great Choice

Trends come and go, but your kitchen cabinets will be there for a long time until you change them. So, you have to choose the color and style of your cabinets with that in mind, especially if you plan to resell the house later.

White shaker kitchen cabinets are the best choice for any home because of the following reasons:

Trend proof

Most of the kitchen cabinets being designed today are white despite the rise of other colors. White color paired with the timeless shaker-style cabinets will surely stand the test of time. Both are currently trending and can adapt to future design changes.


Most buyers turn their attention to the kitchen, and value is based on the cabinets. With white shaker cabinets being timeless and trend-proof, you are likely to get buyers and get a good return on your investment.


The main reason why many homeowners invest in high-end kitchen cabinets is to feel attached to their kitchen spaces. For many years, people have used colors to personalize living spaces and kitchens because of the positive vibes that come with them. The white color reflects light, making the room look spacious, and complements the general aesthetics of the kitchen. People like to prepare their favorite dishes in a well-lit and clean place, and white shaker cabinets make it happen.

Unique Ways to Use Shaker Cabinets in Your Kitchen

Shaker-style cabinets are very versatile. You can use them in many different ways, where your creativity is the limit. Here are some of the ways you can make the best of shaker cabinets in your kitchen:

  • Go for a two-toned theme – it is best to choose darker colors for the bottom cabinets and lighter colors for wall cabinets.
  • Personalize your shaker cabinets with headboard panels for a modern farmhouse style.
  • Painting shaker cabinets is another way of adding a touch to your kitchen cabinet to reflect your personality and style.
  • Simple design and sleek chrome hardware for your shaker cabinets will go a long way in enhancing the aesthetics of the cabinets.
  • Make your small kitchen look spacious with white shaker cabinets as more light will be reflected to make the room brighter.
  • Enhance the minimalistic design of shaker cabinets by pairing them with rustic shelving. Upper shelving and lower cabinets are the best combinations.
white shaker cabinets

How Much Do Shaker Style Cabinets Cost?

The cost of shaker-style cabinets varies depending on many factors. We have just considered the main determinants and tabulated the price ranges as shown below.

Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Prices According to Size

Type Price Per Linear Foot Price Per Unit
Pre-built $100 – $300 $200 – $650+
Semi-custom $150 – $650 $250 – $800+
Full-custom $500 – $1,200 $500+

Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Prices According to Material

Material Price
Wood veneer $2,000 – $15,000+
laminate $4,000 – $15,000
Solid wood $5,000 – $25,000+
acrylic $5,000 – $20,000
Stainless steel $25,000 – $38,000

Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Prices According to Design

Design Price
Framed Cabinets $5,000 to $20,000+ per unit
Frameless Cabinets $6,000 to $30,000+ per unit
Inset Cabinets $150 to $1,200+ per linear foot
Shaker Cabinets $100 and $1,200+ per linear foot


If you want to know the exact pricing, contact our sales team for a free price quote. We also have high-quality shaker cabinets for sale. Reach out if you are looking to buy these cabinets for your renovation project or new construction. Our prices are highly competitive, and quality is guaranteed.

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