kitchen cabinets palm coast

The evolution of the shaker door and what’s important to know

August 13th, 2018 Posted by kitchen cabinets palm coast 0 thoughts on “The evolution of the shaker door and what’s important to know”

A new trend?: Many of my clients express their concern of picking a cabinet style that might soon be labeled “trendy” or “faddish” and for good reason. The 60’s, 70’s & 80’s had their share of styles that certainly dated their kitchen. Olive green and harvest gold appliances, boomerang laminate counters with metal edges and we are still tearing out and replacing those old almond laminate cabinets here in Florida. But what about the shaker cabinet that is so popular today? Will we be soon looking at this style the same way as the previous styles mentioned?

Considering that the Shakers introduced this style after settling in the US 150-years ago, I’d bet no!

Fitting a square peg in a round hole. In my opinion, Frank Lloyd Wright is the one that had the greatest influence and impact on expanding the shaker style into modern architecture. He had the genius and vision to take shaker design to a different level that went well beyond any other. I especially loved Frank Lloyd Wright’s use of quarter sawn oak. If you love this look I will point out that Fieldstone Cabinetry offers a variety of shaker styles in quarter sawn oak (see link).

Variations of the shaker door: When popular cabinet manufacturers began to expand their styles selections from the basic two door styles only, “raised panel” and “recessed/flat panel” styles with traditional ogee edge the shaker door style was typically the third door style to be added to their offerings. It was first manufactured as a mortise and tenon style with a 2” ~ 2 1/4” stile (that’s the vertical member of the frame) and a simple square edge inner and outer profile. See picture here (I will use Fieldstone cabinets door styles in this section for an example as they host a wide variety of shaker door styles): very simple and basic shaker style: (see link)

As the shaker style grew in popularity, folks were asking for more variations of this door style and many manufacturers added a bead-board panel for some added drama. It’s important to note that there is a cheap way to do this and an expensive way to do this. The cheap way is to take a 1/4” plywood panel and cut the grooves in the panel. If done well this is just fine and is the most economical way. The more expensive way is to reversed a raised panel and cut the grooves into the solid wood which is a notably more refined look and is much cleaner than cutting into the plywood which does not cut as nicely as clean nor as detailed as the solid wood (see link).

Another popular shaker variation is the “wide rail shaker” Fieldstone offers the shaker in several widths. Here is a popular wide rail shaker model:

Some are more than happy with the traditional shaker or the variations shown above but today we are seeing a growing interest in the shaker with a little added detail. A bead detail on the inside edge of the stile and rail give a transitional look to the shaker door and is growing in popularity.(see link)

Fieldstone also offers a shaker variation that you won’t find from most other cabinet makers that offers a stair-step accent on the top and bottom rail:

Shaker with a center stile:

How about a shaker with an X-Pattern?

Here is a shaker with a mitered corner:

So as you can see there are more versions of the shaker door than ever.

Does the shaker work with both modern and traditional design?: Sort answer? Yes! Whether you are using modern appliances, professional appliances or farm house style and accents the shaker will blend beautifully. The surrounding accents are what dictate the style however the overlay of the door does contribute considerably. Full overlay is more of a modern look where standard overlay is more at home with traditional kitchen design. Inset cabinetry is another magnificent look for shaker. Here are links to illustrate:

Full overlay shaker

Inset shaker:

The differences between full overlay and standard overlay:

Are all shaker doors pretty much the same quality? So you just priced out your new shaker kitchen from one of the big box stores and have a quote for Kraftmaid or Diamond shaker cabinets and they are pretty close in price but you look closely at the construction and even though they both feature a hardwood door you find out that the box construction says composite aka particle-board. You ask your store how much to upgrade to an all wood box and now you have sticker shock. Well, if price out the same kitchen in Fieldstone or Starmark cabinets which only come in all wood construction you will likely find the price a lot lower than you think. You will also get a better finish grade on the cabinetry. If you were to purchase the finish used by Starmark or Fieldstone you should expect to pay upwards of $100 per gallon whereas production companies are a step down but yet they are just as expensive. My advice is to look at both products and look at the specs very carefully and happy shopping!

Whatever style you are looking for Stonewood Cabinets will give you a free quote on your next kitchen & bath project!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *