This weeks set of top tips is dedicated to the lady who popped into the Moore & Bradfield showroom last weekend to ask me what is meant by shaker style. Hopefully after this post, you'll be able to spot a shaker style kitchen from a mile off!
First, a history lesson. . . The shakers were a puritan religious sect who believed hard work was a form of worship, they strived for perfection in all they did in an attempt to get closer to God. The main style feature lsited below stem from the protestant work ethic...
1) For the shakers, beauty was born out of functionality. Ornate carvings, intricate moldings and fussy cornices were all deemed unnecessary. To achieve the look, keep units clean, chic and simple. Shy away from embellishment. If you are worried about it looking flat consider using glass fronted display cabinets.2) Shaker style units look great painted. Creams, muted blues, greys and greens all look great, but do consider combining two or three colours to hightlight different areas in your kitchen (e.g. wet area, food prep area). Just be sure to limit the strongest colour to a small area or one peice of freestanding furniture.
3) A kitchen or breakfast room table with painted legs and a wooden top would complete the look. It's also a good way of tying in a colour you have used elsewere. Worktop wise, wood is the way to go. Just make sure the finish of the work surface and the table compliment each other.
4) One detail seen time and time again in shaker kitchens is the wooden peg rail (second image in on the webpage). Use it to hang tea towels, utensils or even blackboards (see my previous post, 'Instant Messaging'!) But again, keep it simple. As for handles, you can't go wrong with wood turned knobs painted the same colour as the cabinet.
Also, check out these really cute ceramic storage jars. Just write on the label with chalk and wipe off as and when.
5) If you choose a shaker style kitchen for your home, you are buying into a tradition of craftsmenship. To honour this, opt for traditional handmade designs and steer clear from mass produced tat. If you do, you will end up with a kitchen that could out last you.