Curious: if your kitchen has Shaker cabs, do all the other rooms?

southernmumFebruary 11, 2013

I feel like I've received an education in Shaker cabinets here, over the last few months. I always bookmarked white kitchens, but didn't realize that 99.9% of them were Shaker cabinets! So I'm curious... If your kitchen has Shaker cabinets, does the rest of your house? Baths, built-ins, etc.? What got me thinking about this is the "Something's Gotta' Give House" - it has Shaker kitchen cabinets, but the built-ins in the dining room are not Shaker. Just curious how you make it all "blend"... Mind-blowing, this building a kitchen from ground up! ;)

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Nope. Our cabinetry is all over the place. We're just about to install modified Shaker cabinetry in the kitchen. The downstairs bathroom has the same raised panel cabinetry that we're removing from the kitchen and we'll leave that. Upstairs, where we built a new (previously non-existing) bathroom a couple years ago we did a slab stained door. Our contractor and the cabinet maker on that job fought us on it (I will never understand that, by the way, why in the world would they care what is in our house), saying it didn't relate to what else is going on in the house, but to us, it made perfect sense. We have kind of a coastal cottage with nautical accents vibe going on. I tend to prefer slightly more modern bathrooms and kitchens because I think it's a cleaner look and those are two spaces where I appreciate clean and uncluttered, and by bringing what I consider to be modern nautical, I think it all works. And despite the concerns of the contractor and cabinet maker, we've never had someone walk into it and say they thought it looked out of place.

It's a really small bathroom so I have to show two pictures for you to get a feel for it:

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Other than wall color, trim, and flooring, nothing in my house matches or is coordinated. It's not a theme park.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:16PM
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We have white shaker cabinets in our kitchen but although our bathroom cabinets are also shaker style they are in natural maple. Counter tops are different between kitchen and bathroom as well which to me makes sense. However none of our buffets or other furniture storage is shaker style.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:33PM
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Our kitchen is stained medium cherry shaker. Our attached dining set is not but a dark cherry color. Tv console thing is cherry modified shaker. Upstairs we have cherry THomasville furniture. I don't think its shaker but straight lines. DS#1 has great grandma's mahogany set that he has just about shot to death. And DS#2 has cherry color set, not sure why, he's denting and scratching it up.

Meanwhile, everything shows dust. Why did I do that?? But our style is straight lines and more of a modern feel.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:39PM
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We have natural cherry Shaker kitchen cabinets. I wanted clean and simple. I'm planning the bathroom remodel now, and I want to use a little fancier door style. I prefer a recessed door panel, and I'll use either a darker stained wood or paint. Small house, so we're trying to have a little consistency in the permanent cabinetry.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 1:14PM
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We just bought this place and it was built in 1926. Kitchen cabinets seem to be original and have mostly shaker doors with slab front drawers (which is common with shaker doors) and slab doors on the sink cabinet. The hall bath vanity appears to be a 1960s addition and has slab doors. The master bath vanity was obviously replaced for resale and has shaker.

If you can't see the rooms from each other, I don't think they need to match, although I would not be likely to combine super shiny modern slab white doors and shaker cherry doors in the same house, for example. If you can see them at the same time (in a great room type situation, for example) I would want them to relate to each other in some way, but I still wouldn't feel compelled to have them be exactly the same.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:31PM
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Kitchens were utilitarian rooms using utilitarian materials and construction techniques. Cabinets had shaker doors because that was the simplest way to keep a door functional and rigid--no one would waste money on ornamenting cabinetry in a kitchen. Later plywood became more widely available and its quality improved, and kitchen cabinets moved on to slab doors. The same house with Shaker or slab doors in the kitchen would usually have much more finely constructed and decorated doors in the rest of the house. Bathroom vanities were uncommon, so the only other built-in cabinetry would likely have been in the dining or living rooms.

Shaker doors are currently trendy. They give a contemporary feel because they are simple. There is no need to match cabinet door styles throughout a house, but there is always a need to make design choices deliberately. Is the house formal or casual? Is the kitchen seen from the LR or FR in an open concept space? etc.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 5:40PM
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We used Shaker in the kitchen but didn't use it in the family and that is in two ends of the same room.

Both the kitchen and the family room cabinets are natural cherry - we wanted to use the same material for both rather than introducing another one; partly because we love the look of natural cherry and partly because it would make coordinating other elements of the color scheme easier to coordinate.

We wanted the family room cabinets to say "family room" not "extension of the kitchen" and felt that a different, more sophisticated door style would help do that while having them the same color would make it still harmonious.

So we went with a mitered corner raised panel door on the family room cabinets. We chose one that had simple lines so it isn't super ornate vs. very simple. The drawers are slab as are the shorter drawers in our kitchen.

We also differentiated them by using more of a furniture style handle - walnut knobs that my husband turned - instead of the big bin pulls and door pulls in our kitchen.

Close up of family room door and handle.

The rest of our house (bathrooms, utility room and wet bar) has the original 1970's slab doors and drawers. Someday we may redo some of them and I don't think we will feel to use shaker or the same mitered door style, but we will keep to simple lines as our house architecture is MCM.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:24PM
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My two cents: Don't worry about matching. Go with themes that please you and seem to flow, but don't stress about everything being the same. We intend to do simple recessed panel Shaker cabinets (slab top drawer, panel lower drawers) in our kitchen remodel. We have a 1911 Craftsman with no original cabs in the kitchen (all dark 1970s pecan with orange formica counters), but all the built-ins throughout the rest of the house have the very dark Arts & Crafts wood Shaker-style recessed doors, and slab drawers with tarnished bronze hardware. The slab drawers are rounded more on the edges and corners than the contemporary ones. Not everything in the house is matchy-matchy; the original doors in the less-formal upstairs, kitchen and basement are 5-panel raised panel painted doors, and there are more formal-looking 1-over-3 raised panel doors in the first-floor entry, living room, downstairs bath, parlor and dining room. Built-ins with the Shaker style doors include a linen closet, window seat drawers, drawers in an inglenook bench, and glass bookcase built below the wrap-around of a fireplace mantle. It's a simple, clean look, and luckily it makes it easy for us to choose kitchen cabinets that happen to be one of the cheaper styles now available. That said, we're not going to stress about matching the wood tones or exact proportions in the kitchen -- budget, availability of recycled materials and whimsy will trump historic verisimilitude.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Our house sounds pretty much the same as Mizinformation's--1915 Arts and Crafts house, so the cabinetry throughout the house was already Shaker-style doors with partial overlay slab drawers. (In our area, most houses built in the 1910s-1930s had the same Shaker-style cabinetry throughout; the main difference was that it would be painted with solid doors in the kitchen and bath, while the "public rooms" would have stained wood cabinetry built of nicer woods with glass doors.) We did the same style in the kitchen, except we also used Shaker-style drawer fronts on our frameless cabinetry to mimic the look of inset (and we have one wall of inset, which uses slab inset drawers). We did choose the cabinet style to match the other cabinetry in the house, but I wouldn't have worried about it with a newer house or one that didn't already have some consistency throughout it. I think it can read contemporary or transitional in a house with a blend of finishes and styles.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:31PM
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Similar to what marcolo, Mizinformation, and artemis78 said, my kitchen has white painted Shaker cabinets and the dining room has fancier stained cabinetry with glass doors. The kitchen and dining room are essentially closed to each other. (The original swinging door was removed by a previous owner so there's a standard-sized open doorway between the two rooms, but the doorway is off to the side so you can't see into the kitchen.) As marcolo said, public spaces in this style of house have money spent on decoration; private spaces are very utilitarian. Your house may have a different style, especially if there is less separation between public and private space.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 2:13PM
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