What are Shaker Cabinets?
If there's one thing I know about Shaker cabinets, it's that they'll never go out of style. Originally from an 18th century religious group, this understated style of cabinet normally boasts a recessed central panel and raised outer panel, generally with very little decorative details. Their clean lines, simplistic design and minimalistic appearance have led these cabinets to be a popular choice for homeowners craving a look that'll never go out of fashion, especially for those seeking to achieve the popular farmhouse aesthetic. Over the years, shaker cabinets have evolved with new colours and materials to accentuate the understated style of this iconic door.
Do Shaker Cabinets Need Handles
The question of whether or not shaker kitchen cabinet hardware is required is a common one. The short answer is that it is possible to go without hardware on shaker cabinets, but it may not be desirable in the long term, and it certainly does not fall under the umbrella of traditional design.
While a no-hardware design may be trendy and minimalist, it can lead to daily use damage accumulating on the cabinet fronts over time. Adding hardware to your cabinets can protect them from this wear and tear and keep them looking their best.
In addition to protecting your cabinets, hardware brings you closer to a traditional kitchen aesthetic and can add an extra decorative touch to your kitchen. It can also be more convenient when opening and closing cabinets, especially for those with mobility issues.
If you’re absolutely dead set on a minimalist no-hardware design, make sure you think very carefully about if the daily use tedium of no knobs and handles is practical for you in the long run. Choose a door front that has compensated for no hardware with a smart design solution that doesn't affect the overall cabinet style you hope to achieve.
Ultimately, the decision to use hardware on shaker cabinets comes down to personal preference and practicality. It's certainly true that a good kitchen designer or manufacturer can mitigate some of the practical issues with thoughtful design and appropriate implementation. All of this will probably come at a higher cost, of course.
Popular Hardware Choices for Shaker Style Cabinets
Given the minimalistic design of shaker cabinetry, they effectively act as a blank canvas for the hardware you choose. The knobs, pulls or handles used with shaker cabinets can transform a space, whether you're looking for something modern, traditional, or maybe even something a little more outside the box.
Shaker cabinets are simple. So if you're looking for a classic style why not go for some standard knobs? They come in a variety of materials such as wood, metal and glass, and you can play around with these materials to create an aesthetic that compliments the design of your kitchen. Whether you're looking for a simple design, or something more ornate and decorative, knobs are a great choice for use with Shaker cabinets.
Or what about pulls? Slightly larger than your average knob, pulls can provide extra functionality whilst still offering a plethora of different design options. Again, pulls come in a wide variety of materials and finishes, with metal being the most used material and nickel, chrome, brass, antique, brushed stainless steel and matte black finishes being popular finishing options for modern kitchen cabinets.
Choosing between different styles, materials and finishes of hardware can seem impossible. But at the end of the day, the choice boils down to what style of kitchen you want to create. Looking for a more modern and minimalistic look? Polished chrome, brushed stainless steel or black hardware could give your kitchen that contemporary touch.
Traditional Metal Knobs & Handles
On the other hand, if you're aiming for a more traditional and homely style of kitchen, traditional metal knobs and handles can be hard to beat. They've been used in kitchens for decades, and there's no sign of them slowing down! Again, there is a variety of different metals and finishes on offer here, so it's important to choose a metal and finish that compliments your kitchen's design.
If you're looking for hardware that'll give your kitchen a modern, warm & inviting feel, brass will be your best friend. It contrasts beautifully with whites, greys, blues and green cabinet doors and drawers, creating a modern environment that'll make guests instantly feel at home in your kitchen.
Or maybe you're after something a bit more rustic. Then, why not go for bronze or copper? These rich, metallic hues contrast great against both dark and light colours, making sure that your hardware will be the star of the show.
When choosing hardware for cabinets as simple as the shaker cabinets, the world is your oyster. Again, it's best to first decide the style of kitchen you want to create, and then choose colours, cabinets and hardware accordingly. But no matter the style you're going for, you'll always have a plethora of options with Shaker cabinets.
Contemporary Metal Knobs & Handles
Metal handles and knobs don't have to look traditional. There are various metals, materials and finishes that'll help give your kitchen a refreshing & modern touch.
One great choice is opting for a Scandinavian-style kitchen. The clean lines and simple design of the Shaker Cabinets makes them a great choice for this style, and the addition of hardware with a modern finish (e.g brushed black or polished nickel) creates a space that feels uniquely modern and welcoming.
When paired with grey or white cabinets, this style of hardware can contrast beautifully and highlight other aspects of the kitchen.
Mixing Knobs & Handles
Even though Shaker cabinets are generally quite traditional, it doesn't mean that they have to be stuck in the past. One fantastic way of creating a modern kitchen is through opting for both knobs and handles on your cabinets and cupboards.
This approach can transform your kitchen, both functionally and visually. Choosing to put handle pulls on kitchen drawers and larger cupboards doors can provide more support and make for easier opening and closing, whilst contrasting sizes and drawing attention to the space. Whilst a knob can work wonders for door fronts
Using both knobs and handles creates a completely unique effect, adding layers and depth to your kitchen whilst allowing you to express your creativity through using different materials, finishes and styles of hardware.
Tips for Selecting the Best Hardware for Your Shaker Style Cabinets
Ultimately, the hardware that you choose should align with the rest of your kitchen's design. Whilst certain styles and aesthetics pair naturally with certain styles of hardware (e.g. a Scandinavian kitchen with wood finishes), there is no one size fits all rule to choosing the right hardware for your cabinets.
However, there are some general things to consider that can guide you towards picking the perfect hardware for the job.
- Functionality The hardware should be both comfortable and easy to use, as well as being appropriate for the size of cupboard or door involved. (Think of opening a huge cabinet with just a tiny knob...)
- Material, Colour & Finish One of the most important aspects to consider is the colour of the hardware, and how it will contrast or blend with cupboards and other colours in the kitchen. Here, contrasting and complimentary colour guides can provide some great guidance.
- Budget Given the huge variety of hardware available, prices can differ greatly. Investing in high-quality hardware is a fantastic way to ensure that your kitchen is visually appealing, durable and functional. Don't scrimp on the hardware. Reflecting on these three ideas will give you an idea of what you're looking for, and how it'll fit into your dream kitchen.
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