What are the best colors for shaker kitchen cabinets? 5 classic shades designers recommend

From dark hues to soothing neutrals, these timeless kitchens suit plenty of palettes

(Image credit: Kristen Harrison/Proper Good Paint/Benjamin Moore)

Shaker kitchens are the go-to style for timeless interiors and with their versatility of working in homes that lean both traditional and modern, the color opportunities are almost endless. From dark moody colors (black included) to calming creamy neutrals, Shaker cabinets suit a whole spectrum of palettes.

Color is one of the hardest decisions to make when giving your Shaker kitchen a refresh – even more so if you're starting from scratch – so who better to ask than the experts? Here, leading interior designers and color experts share their go-to Shaker kitchen colors that never go out of style.

What colors work best with Shaker kitchen cabinetry?

Whether you've chosen Shaker cabinets to create a traditional kitchen or to embrace transitional style, the color you choose is the finishing touch to elevate your kitchen and set the tone for the whole room.

1. Create a calming space with mixed neutrals

shaker kitchen cabinets with antique brass hardware

(Image credit: Kristen Harrison)

Minimalists rejoice – neutrals work wonderfully with Shaker cabinets, whether you color drench with one tone, or pair complementary shades. In this kitchen, Kristen Harrison, interior designer and owner of Bungalow 10 Interiors, used a natural cream paint on the cabinetry and a brighter white oak shade on the wall to create contrast. In the pantry, a hint of light blue can be seen through the doorway, creating depth to the space.

'The nice thing about Shakers is that you can truly use any finish of hardware. Here you see a burnished antique brass and an unlacquered brass,' she says. 'It’s a great type of cabinet to mix up your hardware choices with latches, knobs and pulls because it lends itself as a classic, neutral backdrop of sorts.'

2. Dark blue hues

Laundry room with shaker cabinets painted dark blue

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Dark blue is a popular color in kitchens that lean more traditional. A heritage color, a variety of hues work wonderfully on with the Shaker style. 'Kensington Blue 840 is a great option for Shaker cabinets. This hue is a bold and statement-making navy blue that has just the right amount of saturation. It also has a classic and refined feel to it, like shaker style cabinets' says Arianna Barone, Color Marketing Manager at Benjamin Moore.

'If you are new to bringing darker, more colorful hues to your home’s palette, this is a great color to consider. I love pairing it with soft off-white or gray kitchen countertops and white subway tile, or penny rounds for more of a classic, vintage look. My favorite type of hardware to pair it with is a simple, matte black style that lets the color be the focal point.'

3. Opt for muted, earthy tones

devol kitchens shaker kitchen with green-gray cabinets

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

Kitchens are often the room where we like to experiment more with color, but if you prefer to stay away from bolder hues, consider painting your Shaker cabinets in earthy tones, like muddy green, subtle blue, or light brown. These colors will still add interest to your cabinetry but in a much more muted fashion.

'Shaker cabinets look beautiful in an array of different colors. We tend to choose earthy tones such as off-whites, greens, and blues to accentuate the joinery,' says Becca Casey, of Becca Interiors. 'Aged brass handles and door latches are a great addition to Shaker cabinetry to give it an authentic and high-end finish.' 

4. Pair deep green with warm white

Gark green kitchen with shaker cabinets

(Image credit: Proper Good Paint)

Sticking to a darker color palette, green is another color that has endured as a staple color in the kitchen. 'Green kitchen cabinetry is always a success – for a sophisticated, smart look try Studio Green, our deepest, darkest green, which looks especially wonderful on a classic, Shaker style kitchen,' recommends Patrick O’Donnell, Brand Ambassador at Farrow & Ball

'For a modern aesthetic, pair with a clean just off-white such as James White or Strong White on your walls or for a softer look consider Drop Cloth or Stony Ground for a calm and cohesive scheme, with just the right amount of drama.'

Grazzie Wilson, Head of Creative at Ca’ Pietra, agrees, adding 'for 2024, we’re going inky green, with deep blue undertones. It is a classic and regal color that works beautifully with Shaker cabinetry. It also gives you a choice of hardware, with brass and bronzed finishes working particularly well.'

Image of Patrick O’Donnell
Patrick O’Donnell

Patrick O’Donnell is Farrow & Ball's color consultant & brand ambassador and has been with the brand since 2012. Patrick works with designers in the UK and North America, helping to bring their projects alive with the iconic, F&B color palette.

5. Add warmth with shades of beige

Beige shaker kitchen cabinets

(Image credit: Davonport)

If whites and paler neutrals feel too stark, opting for a warmer tone, like beige, can instantly help your kitchen feel more inviting. Plus, it's a tone that works really well on Shaker cabinetry. 

'There is no hard and fast rule as to what colors work best with Shaker. You can decide to go timeless and pick muted and neutral shades such as creams, linen or cashmere, which are really popular at the moment as they add warmth and richness,' says Richard Davonport, Managing Director at Davonport

'Working alongside this color, we’d pick a darker, ironized hardware that has the same warm undertones.' Picking a neutral kitchen shade is a great option if you want to include color in the tiles or counters. It also makes it easier if you decide to redecorate in the future. 

'The beauty of Shaker cabinetry is that it is designed to last a lifetime as it doesn’t date and is timeless. If you are going to choose bespoke, you can pick whatever color you prefer, and as it is often hand painted, you can choose to have it repainted at any time, if your tastes change.'

Shaker cabinetry looks timeless and eye-catching painted in almost any color. From dark shades and bold colors to more muted neutrals and subtle hues. Pick a color that suits your style and helps to create the atmosphere and mood you're striving for in your kitchen. The most important part of decorating is creating a space you want to spend time in, especially in the kitchen.

Kitchens & Bathrooms Editor

I joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as the kitchens & bathrooms editor. My undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which I studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, I worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to timeless kitchen schemes and the best places to source pre-loved homeware.