What type of kitchen never goes out of style? Why we love this popular and enduring style

Discover how to create a timeless and enduring space with a kitchen that will never go out of style

What type of kitchen never goes out of style
(Image credit: Martin Moore / Quorn Stone / Georgia Zikas Design)

There’s a wide range of kitchen styles to consider if you’re remodeling your room, but if you want to know what type of kitchen never goes out of style, then you might do well to consider a Shaker-style kitchen. 

Shaker kitchen ideas are a major feature of the kitchen, and well-made, classic kitchen cabinets will be part of your home for a very long time. Instantly recognized for their timeless, uncomplicated designs featuring simple paneled doors and an abundance of natural materials, Shaker kitchens are ubiquitous in homes throughout the world.

What type of kitchen never goes out of style?

Shaker kitchens are renowned for their unfussy cabinetry, featuring clean lines and a simple recessed panel, which provides the perfect backdrop to define your kitchen style. However, the beauty and longevity of Shaker cabinetry were not just superficial. As they believed that God could see everything, even the back of a cupboard should look as good as the front. To reflect this craftsmanship, use solid wood kitchen cabinets constructed with strong dovetail joints for pieces that exude the Shaker ethos.

'A hand-painted kitchen works particularly well for its timeless appeal and because it is so useful to be able to repaint it every now and then to create a different look and feel,' says Tiffany Duggan, founder, Studio Duggan. 'I’ve seen 20-year-old classic Shaker kitchens that have been repainted and look amazing. With a contemporary flush (flat-fronted) kitchen, think about whether you see yourself liking it in the future. Given its cost, cabinetry is usually the one thing you don’t want to change in a hurry, whereas you can always repaint the walls or replace the backsplash if you wish.'

'When our studio first opened in 2011, kitchens all seemed to be neutral in color, whether they were classic or contemporary. Now we are seeing more demand for kitchens with color, pattern and personality, which is probably another reason why the Shaker style is so popular. It can be customized easily: the interiors of a glass-fronted cabinet can be painted, in one color, the door frames in another, or the handles changed as you wish. I also recommend adding an antique china cupboard or sideboard to the room, so the fitted cabinetry doesn’t look too "samey".'

shaker kitchen with blue and yellow cabinets and patterned floral wallpaper

(Image credit: Sanderson)

Are Shaker kitchens old fashioned?

While Shaker kitchens might date back to 1774, when the Shakers who arrived in America from England, created the style out of necessity for usefulness and practicality over kitchen trends, the Shaker kitchen style has never gone out of style, even today. This desire is reflected throughout many kitchen designs we see today: where every element of the room must be beautiful and functional in equal measure. Shaker kitchens are one of the most versatile designs, befitting every style of home, from modern apartments to cottages.

With nature at its heart, your Shaker kitchen celebrates the raw materials that were used to construct your home, so make a feature of any wooden ceiling beams and stonework. These elements can then be paired with other natural finishes, such as stone flooring, which is a beautiful complement to a Shaker kitchen, and is also highly practical. 

French country kitchen with cream cabinets and wood flooring

(Image credit: Plain English)

How do you make a Shaker kitchen look modern?

Unpainted cabinets may have fallen out of favor in recent years, yet they can bring warmth and character to a space that may otherwise feel cold and clinical. However, take care not to overwhelm the space with wood finishes – consider adding painted kitchen elements, and contrast tones and textures to give the kitchen a modern look.

‘Consider ways to bring interest to the Shaker kitchen with lighting, knobs, and kitchen countertops. This way you will still have some personality in your space but keep true to the core of the Shaker aesthetic of clean lines and flat surfaces,’ says Georgia Zikas, founder of Georgia Zikas Design.

Blue Neptune kitchen with green painted kitchen island

(Image credit: Neptune)

How do I choose a kitchen style?

'Start by considering the style and feel you want for your kitchen,' says Tiffany Duggan. 'Think about how it might relate not just to the living and dining areas, especially if it is part of an open-plan space, but how it also fits with your overall plan for the house. Gather images of kitchens that inspire you and start to hone your ideas, thinking about how they might suit your space, the joinery elsewhere in your home, and the period of your property.'

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.