Neil Taggart, marketing manager at TKC, considers the reasons why narrow-framed Shaker kitchen doors have seen a rise in popularity in recent years as a more modern alternative to the classic Shaker style.
"When renovating a kitchen the biggest decision homeowners will make is choosing the door style, as this has the biggest impact on overall style and aesthetics of the space. It’s important to get this right at the outset as it’s an investment and a decision that homeowners are likely to live with for many years.
"Shaker is an enduringly popular door style dating back to the 1800s, which continues to have lasting appeal in today’s interiors – in fact, the most saved kitchen photo on Houzz in the UK in 2020 was a white and indigo Shaker design. The door style offers versatility in both modern and traditional kitchen designs depending on the detailing, such as handles, fittings, colour and how it’s paired with other elements of the kitchen. This scope for design personalisation is a major part of its lasting appeal.
"In recent years there has been a shift in the design, manufacture and consumer buying habits towards Shaker doors with a narrower frame of around 60mm - 88mm compared to the more traditional 100mm - 110mm frame. These ‘skinny’ Shaker door styles continue to pay homage to Shaker’s design principles of classical proportions and elegance, but have a more contemporary aesthetic that appeals to a broader demographic of people. Given that a third of UK households are now multigenerational, narrow Shaker kitchens offer universal appeal, so are a good option in households that span different age groups as they guarantee timeless appeal.
"Not only are consumers opting for slimmer frame door styles, they’re combining them with of-the-moment colours like Indigo Blue, which we now offer across seven door styles in line with demand, and while more neutral shades such as soft grey and taupe continue to be a popular choice, heritage colours such as dark green in a bespoke painted finish are also growing in popularity. When finished with touches of metal like copper, rose gold and graphite, the kitchen retains its traditional classic definition and timeless quality, yet with a fresh, contemporary character.
"The pandemic has only further embedded the appeal of the narrow frame Shaker. With its roots in a traditional style made with care, craftsmanship and lasting quality, this kitchen door style evokes a sense of security, nurture and shared time. The pandemic has caused many people to reconsider what’s important in their lives and the kitchen is at the heart of this thinking. We want to feel safe and happy in the place we spend the most time.
"At TKC, we have been able to respond to the narrow frame width trend by closely monitoring sales and through regular dialogue with our customers. We initially introduced our Oxford door style with a 88mm frame re-imagining the Shaker door design for modern living, and as the desire for narrower frames and sales grew, we’ve expanded our design choice more recently with three new 60mm frame door designs in Ascot, Newmarket and Stratto. The ranges comprise grained and smooth finishes so that we can offer a broader choice of styles, materials, colours and price points because the market demand is there – in fact, we had orders for Stratto before it was in stock. Our customers tell us the narrow Shaker is earning them sales, and we are seeing a lot of interest from the new-build market too, all of which we ascribe to its wide appeal to different ages and tastes with timeless design.
"I see no sign of the modern Shaker trend waning any time soon as the design has immense versatility for a wider consumer audience. The look can be switched up and customised to suit any project, making it ideal for multigenerational living, new-build homes and renovation projects alike."