Published on February 3, 2020

moss green kitchen cabientsPin It
Photography courtesy of devol

Often described as humble, hardworking, and utilitarian, Shaker cupboards are, in a nutshell, a design no-brainer. The style is defined by five no-nonsense segments: vertical pieces on the sides called stiles, horizontal pieces on the top and bottom called rails, and the recessed panel in the center. “The lack of ornamentation and clean lines has made it a go-to look for those of us who just want to keep it simple,” says Helen Parker, the creative director at U.K. brand deVOL Kitchens. 

But simple doesn’t have to mean boring. While other types of doors can skew super-traditional (beadboard) or ultra-contemporary (slab), Shaker can blend with just about any aesthetic. And because the style has become so popular, you can get it on any type of budget. (While deVOL’s Real Shaker Kitchen installments start at $20,000, IKEA sells individual doors that start at $65.) These 11 kitchens took the classic cabinets and made them all their own.

Spice It Up with Wallpaper

light gray cabients and bold wallpaperPin It
Photography by Genevieve Garruppo; Design by Kate Hamilton Gray

In her tiny rental kitchen, designer Kate Hamilton Gray took an artful approach by balancing the dark lower cabinets with a breezy scene on the wall. The sleek wood floating shelf and Dotted Leaves print by Rebecca Atwood add a graphic quality to the room that the gray cupboards alone can’t provide. 

Think in Terms of Threes

navy blue islandPin It
Photography courtesy of Studio McGee

Because Shaker cabinets are so versatile, a multicolor scheme is a nonissue. For this coastal Orange County space, Studio McGee went for the trifecta: white Shakers, plain wood beadboard, and a navy island.

Make It Shine with Contemporary Hardware

light gray small kitchen wiht vintage rugPin It
Photography courtesy of Chroma SF

Polished nickel hardware makes this Chroma SF–designed kitchen shimmer. The sleek edges of the square knobs echo the lines of the frames of the cabinets but, like magic, a vintage rug warms up the cool, silvery tones at play. 

Choose a Happy White

yello wktichen with microwavePin It
Photography by Christian Harder; DESIGN BY MICHAEL GELLER

Without tearing down a full wall, Michael Geller took his teeny NYC kitchen from claustrophobic to cozy by flipping the cabinet layout 180 degrees and swathing his new custom cabinets in Benjamin Moore’s buttery White Down. The yellowy neutral exudes warmth, no matter the natural light situation. 

Or Bring the Drama

dark green kitchen with farmouse sinkPin It
Photography by Sara Tramp for Emily Henderson Design

To add a bit of interest and depth to her Portland kitchen project, OG designer and stylist Emily Henderson opted for a slight step between the panel and the stiles and rails. While the designer admits she thought about going white with the upper cabinets, she used Sherwin-Williams’ dark Pewter Green all around, so the effect completely draws you in.

Embrace Smoother Curves

red vintage runner in a kitchenPin It
Photography by Zeke Ruelas; Design by Dee Murphy

You can’t go wrong with brass hardware, especially when it comes in the form of antique-inspired bin pulls. Designer Dee Murphy used a mix of these half-moon silhouettes for her drawers and simple round knobs on the Shaker-style cupboards. 

Put It In Neutral

all wood cabinets with matching rangePin It
Photography by Eric Piasecki; Design by Katrina Hernandez

Katrina Hernandez’s modern farmhouse in Water Mill, New York, is best described as “quirky Quaker,” according to the designer. The wheat-hued oak she chose for the cabinets and range hood definitely give off utilitarian vibes, and the black ikat cement floor tiles bring some necessary spunk. 

Make a Monochrome Statement

monochrome blue wall with ladderPin It
Photography Courtesy of Devol

There’s little to distract you from this ocean blue hue, all thanks to the fact that the knobs and ladder are painted the same color. The much-loved old table in the center of the room is the only thing that stands out, and luckily the worn piece of furniture is full of character. 

Pick an Opposing Stone

white marble with blue cabinetsPin It
Photography by GIEVES ANDERSEN; Design by Elizabeth Roberts Architects

Eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone’s understated lower cabinets let a bigger power player take center stage: the Calacatta Paonazzo marble counters and their dramatic veining. 

Break from Tradition with Tile

hand painted tile backsplash that looks like fernsPin It
Photography by Aaron Leitz; Design by Jessica Helgerson

On a mission to create a garden view in a room where the windows overlook the facade of a neighborhood building, designer-architect Jessica Helgerson didn’t choose just an ordinary backsplash for this Portland, Oregon, home. A hand-painted mural of overgrown sword ferns is a state-of-the-art solution for a closed-off city kitchen. 

Invest in Retro-Looking Appliances

cream corner kitchenPin It
Photography courtesy of devol

Between the Esse Range Cooker, farmhouse sink, and wide plank floors, this deVOL-designed kitchen packs a ton of character into such a tight nook. It’s also proof that sticking to neutrals can actually be a great way to shake things up.

See more stories like this: 
Choosing Green Kitchen Cabinets Is the Bold Decision to Make This Decade
We’re Demystifying How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets
The Best Gray Paint Colors for Kitchen Cabinets Are Anything But Boring

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