Originating in America 150 years ago, shaker kitchens are characterised by a simple, austere aesthetic and practical design, with light, natural tones evoking a cottage feel. The pared-back, minimalistic qualities of industrial accents work well within a shaker-style space, while giving the kitchen an urban edge. Concrete floors, exposed brickwork, industrial pendant lights, metal bar stools and open displays of pots and pans will add rustic, vintage-looking elements that will contrast without jarring with the cleaner look of a classic shaker unit.

Panelled wood doors painted in neutral, creamy tones is a predominant style cue for a shaker kitchen. The recessed front cabinet is a mainstay and is dubbed by designers as a “rail and stile” type of framework. Give them an update by painting cabinets in a moody yet warm shade like dusky teal, aubergine or charcoal, and change plain knobs for those sporting a fashionable design or industrial T-bar or rail handles.

While the cabinets are made from wood, this material in its natural, unpainted appearance is a popular fixture in a shaker kitchen, perhaps on the floor or as the worktop. Add more depth by using materials with tactility and contrast, such as a sleek marble or stone counter for a sophisticated look, or rougher concrete or brick fixtures on the walls. Choose light, mellow tones as they’ll bounce natural sunlight around the kitchen and create a warm, cosy ambience, in keeping with the shaker school of thought

Get the look

Create your own shaker-style kitchen with these tips

Update with these industrial accents:

Paint existing units for a quick refresh:

  • Pacific 100 paint, from Caparol, prices vary with finish

Go for simple, austere lines:

Add rough texture for contrast:

Choose cabinets with "rail and stile" panels:

  • Oxford Graphit kitchen cabinets, from Hacker, Dh80,000


Read more from InsideOut magazine:

8 trending ways to revamp your kitchen

Your ultimate guide to your dream kitchen

Three secrets to achieving the cool industrial look in your kitchen