A shaker style kitchen can be wonderfully versatile, providing a timeless design that can be either traditional or contemporary depending on the colours, surfaces and accessories you select. We discuss this popular kitchen style with the experts at Planet Furniture, who talk us through what to consider and the different options to help you create the kitchen of your dreams.
Where should I start and if there is anything specific that I need to consider?
The most important factor when designing any new kitchen would be the size and flow of your room. Getting your layout correct is vital - it needs to be practical to be used on a daily basis, by the whole family. Other points to consider whilst planning would be; how light is the room throughout the day, how do you intend to use your kitchen – do you entertain regularly, is any seating required, do you prefer to eat in the kitchen and which appliances you would like to include?
Are there any colours that lend themselves better to this sort of style?
Traditionally shaker kitchens would be kept light and neutral in one single colour, but we are seeing designs updated with bold and more contemporary shades, such as greys and navy. Having a strong island colour, with a lighter colour on the outer cabinetry is also very popular or choosing lighter wall cabinets, which recede at eye level allowing a darker colour to be used on the base units.
What if I like modern finishes - can these work in a more traditional design and where can these be incorporated?
Handles are a great way to inject a modern twist to a shaker style. More opulent finishes such as polished copper and satin brass can really bring life into a design, especially when used with darker colours such as anthracite, black and navy. Lighter worktops provide a great contrast against these deeper tones, particularly when highly polished surfaces like Quartz are used, as these bounce plenty of light around the room.
What are my worktop options? If I have the space, do I have to have one type or can I have a mixture of different finishes?
We find Quartz work surfaces are by far the most popular choice with our customers, as they are impervious to staining, more heat and impact resistant than Granite and come in a large variety of colours in both polished and suede finishes. Other work surfaces options include;
Corian – ideal if you are keen to have all joins virtually invisible. You will also have the option of coved upstands and moulded sinks giving a sleek, seamless look to your kitchen.
Granite – a great choice if you desire a natural product and unique variation to each slab. We often mix Granite with wood, keeping the above practical surface around the sink and prep areas, but then introducing the timber to soften the scheme and provide a more tactile, warmer surface to breakfast bars and sideboards.
What should I consider when thinking about a sink, flooring and splash backs - any tips on what would work best?
Sinks and taps are the most used items in the kitchen, so must be made from a practical material that’s also easy to keep clean. Stainless steel sinks are the most durable; however, they can scuff over time. Cast iron and ceramic sinks always look pristine, with a crisp white finish, although more care has to be taken with the enamel.
Wooden flooring will soften the overall feel of a kitchen, but it does require more maintenance than tiled flooring. Other flooring options include; luxury vinyl flooring such as Karndean, which provides a warmer, non-slip surface.
A traditional shaker kitchen looks fantastic with a tiled splashback, with the choice of darker grout options. Coloured glass, antique mirrors and quartz are all great options if you would like to create a modern look in your kitchen.
What about lighting - is it possible to have modern technology such as LEDs or are there particular types that are more suited to a shaker style?
LEDs are a lot more efficient than other light sources. They also give off less heat, use less power and last for years before needing to be replaced. We prefer to keep the cabinet lights concealed if we are designing a more traditional style, so you can see the effect of the light and not the modern fitting.
When it comes to appliances, how can best is it to incorporate these into the design - banking, placing them individually?
A good way to create a striking, modern look is to bank all the built-in cooking appliances such as ovens, steam ovens, warming drawers and coffee machines, horizontally at eye-level. This option allows the best ergonomic positioning for using and viewing your appliances. If space is at a premium, a tall vertical stack is another great way to keep most of the appliances at eye-level for ease of use. Concealing dishwashers and fridge freezers behind furniture doors will provide a more uniform look to a shaker style kitchen.