shaker cherry kitchen

Shaker Cabinet Style- Here To Stay?

What is a shaker cabinet style? Why do people seem to love it? And where did it originate from? Indeed, why is it so popular? At Homestead Cabinet Design, we help you understand differing cabinet door styles and what it can mean for you in your kitchen.

Shaker style cabinets and furniture originated from the Shaker community. Originally, this community was an off shoot of the Quaker community. Along with the Quakers, they kept their love of simplicity. Naturally, their kitchen cabinets and furniture were designed to be strong, with a minimum amount of materials. Clearly, the Shakers wanted optimum performance from their cabinets and furniture, with the least amount of fuss.

Above all, their love of simplicity and quietness drove the the Shakers to design their own furniture and kitchen cabinets without extra moldings and flourishes. Typically, they used locally sourced birch, maple, pine, or chestnut. They also avoided the changing fads and styles. Rather, they specialized in making their furniture simple and functional.

Due to the current trend to downsize, the Shaker style cabinets have seen an amazing surge in popularity. Clearly, the simple clean lines of a Shaker kitchen is very appealing to many people. Undoubtedly, the Shaker cabinet style blends well with traditional, contemporary, and modern homes. Furthermore, it does not seem to fade with modern day fads. In the picture below, you see how the authentic Shaker cabinets have very little flair, nevertheless they shine with simple down-home appeal!

Whit Shaker kitchen cabinets

What Are Shaker Cabinet Doors?

Shaker cabinet doors are built simply, usually comprised of one flat piece of wood for the back, with a frame around the outside. Typically, woodworkers rout an inside edge around the back of the door frame. Then they insert the flat pane of wood, making sure that it sits snugly in the routed slot inside the frame of the doors.

Shaker doors also come in a slab door. In this style, you only see the slab front of the door. Usually these doors will have 2 strips of wood, called styles, screwed into the back of the door. One strip of wood/style gets mounted at the top of the door, and the other at the bottom. This keeps the cabinet door stable, preventing the door from warping.

Originally, these older doors had a routed edge along the inside four sides of the doors, so that they fit snugly to the cabinet. Today, the slab front doors fit against the outside of the cabinet, as any other cabinet door.

The slab shaker door is very simple and clean, and always uses a face frame cabinet. It was especially popular in the 50s and 60s. Slab shaker doors give any kitchen rustic, country look!

White painted kitchen with slab front doors.

Remember, any kitchen can be upgraded to the cabinet door style of your choice! First, consider whether you want to go with full overlay doors, or if you want to see the face frame of your cabinet.

What Are Overlay Doors?

Full overlay doors totally cover the face of your cabinets, letting very little space between the doors. Typically, you will only see a gap of 1/8″ to 1/4″ wide between the cabinet doors and drawers. This leaves very simple, concise lines in your kitchen. Many people value this simplicity! Furthermore, it blends very well with the modern, contemporary feel many people envision for their kitchen space.

In addition, full overlay doors also give the famous frame-less cabinet look to any cabinets that already have frames around the front of the cabinet box. Yes, you can have that frameless cabinet look all by upgrading to new doors, and without changing any of your cabinet boxes!!

However, some people do like the traditional feel of the face of the cabinet showing between the doors. In that case, shaker cabinet style doors work well, also. Their simple beauty fits a vast array of kitchens today, just as they did many many years ago for the Shakers.

Are Shaker Doors Crafted with Real Wood?

Traditionally, Shakers used all wood components for their cabinets and furniture. Today, a lot of cabinet builders still use real wood for stained shaker doors. However, paint grade doors also come as a wood frame, with an MDF center. Furthermore, high quality MDF doors work very well for painting. For more info on the differences between all wood cabinet doors and MDF doors, check out our comprehensive blog on cabinet doors.

What Options Do I Have For Drawer Fronts?

Shaker drawer boxes come in two basic types- the traditional slab drawer front, and the shaker style framed drawer front. However, how much you want to mix the two styles is entirely a personal preference. Some people like the straightforward look of framed doors and drawers throughout the whole kitchen. However, others like to mix the two styles.

Definitely, one advantage a slab front drawer has, is the ease of cleaning it. With this style, your drawer fronts will have no grooves to keep clean!

white shaker cabinet with slab front drawers

Along with that, framed shaker drawer fronts have as many options for fancy moldings, if you desire to add them!

Can I paint My Own Doors?

Abosultely! Homestead Cabinet design has many resources available for you. We are happy to supply you with any size door you need for your kitchen.

In addition, our cabinet doors are handcrafted with in the US with quality wood and true Amish craftsmanship. Furthermore, we have access to all wood doors, doors with high grade mdf insert panels, and high grade mdf routed doors. Call us today for prices!! Along with that, for detailed instructions on how to paint your own cabinet doors check our blog on cabinet painting.

Want Help With Your Kitchen?

Do you need quality cabinet doors for your kitchen? Besides, you really do have the space to paint them yourself and would like to tackle the project yourself. In addition, your budget only allows you to upgrade your doors at this time, and the cabinets need to wait for a year or more. Check us out!

We have many cost effective options for you to choose from. Without a doubt, we help our customers find the right cabinet door for their budget. Furthermore, we also have many options of door styles available for you to actually feel the smooth finish and see how the door looks in your own kitchen.

Additionally, we can professionally paint your cabinet doors, while you prep and paint the face frame of your cabinets. Therefore, call us today, if this is something you would like to consider.

However, if you prefer to have a professional paint/reface the whole kitchen and really do not want to tackle the project yourself, give us a call. We can do the whole refacing/refinishing project for you! Along with that, we guarantee you a beautifully transformed kitchen in the end!! Furthermore, we have many references for you to call, if you want to them, and actually see the quality of our work.

For more information about our services click here.

Contact Raymond today at Homestead Cabinet Design for an in-depth plan of action for those new Shaker doors! We will be happy to help you with ideas, paint options, and refacing options! You can feel actual sample doors and hardware. Give it a try TODAY!!

Call or text Raymond at:


Or email me for a personal, fast quote at:


We will be happy to help you upgrade your kitchen!!

I am an insured contractor in MA and CT. Our work is guaranteed, and we can have new cabinet doors for you in a fast and timely manner!!

Any color, any size- you choose! We can match any Sherwin Williams color sample.

paint samples

Along with that, we have many many door styles you to choose from!!

cabinet door options and colors
Door Samples

About the Author Susanna Glick