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What Are Shaker Cabinets?

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Are you thinking about remodeling your kitchen or bathrooms in the near future? Have you looked at dozens of door designs and now feel overwhelmed and confused as to which one to choose? Do you want something simple, yet timeless? If so, the Shaker style cabinet may be the one for you.

Shaker Style Defined

While shopping for new cabinetry, at some point you may have heard the word “Shaker”. But what is it? And what makes this design so popular? The Shaker style is a specific design of framed cabinets with lines that are clean and simple, yet visually distinctive. Depending on the room’s décor, they can be sophisticated and timeless or contemporary and modern. Shaker style has become a more popular trend due to its ability to work with nearly every decorating style, color, and mood.

The door design is generally characterized by a flat mid-panel, surrounded by plain rails with horizontal and vertical edges. It may look like a small picture with a wide, flat frame and no details along the border. The standard style has no embellishment; but in some cases, the middle panel may have a raised center. In keeping with the simple design, plain wood knobs or sleek handles on cabinet doors (or cup handles on drawers) are generally used. Most people avoid anything too fancy or detailed.

The History of the Shaker Style

In the late 18th century, a religious group known as the Shakers emigrated to the United States from England. They were known for their hard work, quality craftsmanship, and for creating simple, but long-lasting and sturdy furniture. Their belief regarding furniture making was that ornamentation or veneer was unnecessary – they focused on modesty and function, building pieces free from fancy decoration.

The Shakers also used locally grown cherry, maple, and pine trees for their furniture. This made them stand out because, at the time, other American furniture designers and manufacturers preferred to import exotic wood such as mahogany. In addition, instead of brass hinges and knobs, the Shakers were using their own turned-wood knobs on drawer and cabinet fronts. Many of their pieces were stained or painted in red, green, blue, or yellow.

Attention to Quality

With a reputation for quality and excellent craftsmanship, it is no surprise that Shaker style cabinetry continues to be a popular design. Because of its simplicity and clean lines, it works well in today’s bathrooms and kitchens. Even the most modern appliances and devices are right at home in a Shaker style kitchen.

Finish choices range from light paint to a dark stain, depending on your taste and style. Homeowners that prefer a bright and light kitchen most often choose a white painted finish, while those who want a more elegant and traditional kitchen select a darker stain. Your Shaker style cabinets will look great no matter what you choose!

Cabinets Made Ez is featured weekly on the Milwaukee home building and remodeling show, Builders Showcase Television.

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