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What are "Shaker-style" Doors?

Shakers are a popular style of door that looks like a picture frame with an inset panel. Shaker-style doors offer a timeless appeal to your interior furniture; built practically using straightforward methods, Shaker-style doors speak volumes with minimal elegance. 

You may be wondering where “Shaker” comes in: a sub-group derived from the Quakers who emigrated from the UK to the USA were renowned for their carpentry and furniture making skills. This sub-group was known as “Shakers”.

Due to the beliefs and practices of Quakers during the 1700s, Shakers created furniture that was devoid of fancy inlays, carvings and “modern” fixtures and instead on relying on expert joinery to make long-lasting furniture that instilled modesty. The irony is that the Shakers developed a style that has become a fashion statement to interiors.

Shaker cabinets used to be manufactured from either hardwood, such as oak and walnut, or softwoods like pine and cedar. Natural wood offered its aesthetics, such as the hardwearing properties and natural grain. With solid wood prices rising over time, MDF is primarily used in the construction of Shaker-style doors. MDF is easier to work with, long-lasting, relatively cheaper and can be repainted to your liking.

Today, Shaker cabinets have a versatile use but have been primarily in a kitchen setting. The cabinets in this style for a kitchen offer a cleaner, less cluttered look, and importantly, offer homeowners a timeless piece of furniture.

What you can get out of

Shaker-style doors

Timeless appeal
Timeless appeal
Timeless appeal
The lasting legacy of Shaker cabinets offers minimalism but is still distinct enough to enhance the appearance of any room. Contemporary trends have embellished these simple cabinets with detailed fixtures and coats of paint; white, grey and black are favourite staples, but homeowners are venturing with other hues such as dark green, royal blue, and anything in the pastel range.
The Shaker door can be a blank canvas for those who like to have something out of the ordinary. Doors can have designs engraved in the inset, or you could try a two-tone approach when it comes to painting your doors. Anything is possible.
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
The flat surfaces require a simple wipe down to make your Shaker doors looking brand new. You can opt to get your doors painted with specific paint to complete this task easier.
Even though Shakers are often seen in kitchens, there’s no reason why they can’t work in your bedroom, study or living room. Shaker-style doors integrate into any surroundings and will become a feature in your home.

Where can you use Shaker doors?

Kitchen cabinets
Kitchen cabinets
Shaker doors have been a design tradition for kitchen cupboard door design. The classic look of the cabinet doors provides a look that promotes stability and longevity. As we've mentioned, Shaker-style doors can have a finish that suits your needs and can be hand-painted to give a unique finish or spray-painted with PU-based paint to provide a finish that is easy to clean. Shaker-style doesn't stop at just cabinets; drawer fronts can also be made into "Shakers". Your Shaker kitchen look can be completed with many handles to suit your needs and style. If you're going for a more modern, sleek look, you could opt for a handleless push-to-open design.
Wardrobe doors
Wardrobe doors
Even though sliding doors are renowned for their space-saving ability, if you're lucky enough to have ample space in your bedroom, you could consider Shaker-style wardrobes. Cworkshop can make Shaker doors with up to four panels, which adds a subtle design to wardrobe doors. Like kitchen doors, you can choose from several finishes to suit your room and can select paint finishes such as gloss to brighten up a room or matt to bring out the detail of your Shaker wardrobe doors. Drawer fronts can also be employed in the bedroom, and because it has a design feature, you can have them exposed rather than hidden behind the wardrobe door. Shaker cabinet doors can also be used in your office and your bedroom.

A tale of two woods...

MDF Vs Solid Wood

It's worth mentioning that advancements in the manufacturing of MDF have created a panelboard that makes it a strong contender for furniture making. Just because the cost of MDF compared pound for pound to solid wood such as oak is much cheaper does not necessarily mean that it is of inferior quality. 

Cworkshop, for example, uses moisture-resistant MDF (MR MDF) in their construction of Shaker-style doors, which means it is ideal to be used in humid environments, suitable for kitchens and bathrooms. Natural wood can be prone to warping in humid conditions and often contract and expand in different conditions, where MDF is specifically developed to avoid this.

Solid wood is more flexible when it comes to having that perfect finish; it can be hand-painted either by hand or professional spray-painted. It can be painted in any colour or simply varnished or lacquered to let its natural beauty shine through. MDF, on the other hand, needs to be painted, it cannot be varnished, and the natural state of MDF is quite plain. However, the MDF surface comes smooth, meaning that you won't have to sand it down as you would with natural wood. Both MDF and solid can be painted in colours with matt, satin, or gloss finishes. 

MDF also excels because they're made uniformly, with no imperfections such as knot holes, uneven surfaces, or differing tones often found with solid wood. Making repairs on MDF is also far more effortless and requires little skill. 

Personalise your Shaker doors

By definition, "Shakers" consist of five pieces: the four rails that make up the frame and an internal panel. With this in mind, there are ways you can add personality to your Shaker doors and cabinets in ways that will make them not only functional, but perhaps a statment piece.

Open your Shakers in style

Designer fittings

Add well designed handles and knobs to your Shaker cabinet doors to give a contemporary look to a tradional style.

Shaker door handles

Create a pleasant atmosphere

Pastel colours

Pastels offer a way to bring a soft tone to your surroundsings without it being a focal point.

Pastel Shaker doors

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