Shaker kitchen cabinets are all the rage  these days but not everyone knows exactly what they are.

The word Shaker refers to a style of American framed cabinets that bold and visually compelling. The look of shaker cabinets is classic, timeless and simple and bring a timeless sophistication to the kitchens that Performance Kitchens creates.  In fact, our clients ask for shaker cabinets so frequently that they could be considered one of the elements of a “Performance Kitchen”.

What is a Shaker Kitchen Cabinet?

Shaker kitchen cabinets are typically characterized by simple squares and rails (the horizontal and vertical edges) along with a flat panel.

The typical shaker style cabinet includes a center recessed flat panel surrounded by a rail door panel that may or may not include some embellishments. Occasionally, the recessed flat panel may have a raised center. The most basic shaker style cabinet door is a five-piece with recessed center panel and no details along the edges.

Where does the word “Shaker” come from?

Originally Quakers, the Shakers left mainstream Quakerism in the late 1700s during a period when the Quakers had begun to reject some of the more radical methods of worship that the Shakers practiced. For instance, the Shakers were famous for their jerky and convulsive ritual dancing. Though they originated in Manchester, England, they ultimately emigrated to America.

Since they we dedicated to self-sufficiency, many Shakers became extremely skilled craftsmen. As a result, they gained a reputation for producing high quality furniture that was simple, durable and long lasting.  As a rule, Shakers preferred to use local wood in their work and especially favored pine, maple and cherry, and pine.

The simplicity and high quality of Shaker craftsmanship continues to translate well in modern kitchens with the use of shaker cabinets. it is their very simplicity which allows that same cabinet design to seamlessly fit into modern kitchens, even if they have every new appliance and kitchen implement.

You will see stained shaker kitchen cabinets in this Philadelphia kitchen that we call “Downtown Shaker”.

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