Shaker style vanities are one of the hottest new trends in bathroom design this year, in no small part because they’re such a great pair for the relaxed, casual-yet-elegant look that’s become so desirable in all areas of home design. But while traditional shaker style cabinets are fairly simple and square, there are a few ways to dress up and personalize this look for a style that will really stand out.
What Is A Shaker Cabinet?
Shop Bathroom Vanities by Hardware Resources:
The most basic shaker style bathroom vanities are closer to the kinds of cabinets you’d find in the kitchen than a traditional bathroom vanity. Rather than a single cabinet door, they typically have two doors side by side, though they’ll often also have a drawer or faux drawer panel above the cabinet just beneath the counter. The most defining feature, though, is the cabinet doors, which have a smooth, flat surface and a fairly thick but very simple and straight rectangular frame – basically the simplest possible form of flat panel cabinet door. This combination of sharp, clean, simple lines has a very contemporary feel, but the presence and prominence of the frame also evokes more traditional and ornate styles, which makes shaker style cabinets feel a bit more elegant and classic than a more modern slab style door.
Give It Some Lift
Shop Bathroom Vanities by Ariel:
One of the simplest ways to change up the look of a shaker style vanity (and one of the easiest ways to get a look that’s even trendier) is to put shaker doors on an open shelf style bathroom vanity. Open shelf vanities have become a staple of a relaxed, spa style bathroom, and adding shaker style doors gives them a cozy cottage or seaside vibe, particularly if done in a light shade of wood or a clean white finish. Shaker style vanities often have feet, but giving them a little more lift and adding a simple shelf underneath adds visually pleasing white space that can help make the bathroom feel more open and spacious.
Ditching the traditional two-door style in favor of a single cabinet door paired with a column of drawers is also a way to pretty drastically alter the look of a shaker style bathroom vanity while still getting many of the benefits of the overall aesthetic. Shifting to an asymmetrical style will give the vanity a much more modern feel and emphasize the sharp simplicity of the lines, but it will still have a softer, more relaxed feel than a more modern frameless cabinet. The added bonus for this look is that you have a little more flexibility in terms of storage.
Vary Size And Shape
Changing up the size, shape, and placement of the doors is another great way to give a shaker style bathroom vanity a more unique and distinctive look. The Milano vanity above is a great example, with two thin, elongated cabinet doors, two shortened cabinets, and two long, thin drawers. Though they’re all done in a very simple shaker style, the final effect feels much more nuanced and traditional feeling. As with creating a more asymmetrical shaker vanity, playing around with the number, placement, and orientation of cabinets and drawers is also a way to get a better storage layout for your bathroom.
Shop Bathroom Vanities by James Martin:
The stereotypical shaker style cabinet door has a simple frame and no other ornamentation, but it isn’t unheard of for them to have a little more detail, too. Admittedly, it’s not the kind of detail you’d find on other types of cabinets: there’s no wood carving, layers, beveling, or patterning. Instead, more “ornate” shaker cabinets simply add more of the same simple rectangular bars that make up the frame of the cabinet door. Adding a simple vertical bar down the middle is one of the most common options (for a “two panel” door), but horizontal bars at 2/3 or 3/4 height are also a common embellishment.
Play With Lines And Thickness
On a traditional shaker style cabinet, the frame around the cabinet panel should be almost completely seamless – the places where the top, bottom, and sides of the frame meet should only be visible on close inspection. But some shaker-inspired cabinets intentionally leave a small gap between these pieces to give the vanity a subtly different look. Showing straight horizontal lines can give the vanity a slightly more contemporary feel (though this is the more conventional way of constructing the doors), while having visible angled joints at the corners has a more old fashioned feel. Also, pay attention to the thickness of the frame; shaker style cabinets come in all shapes and sizes, but having a thick, thin, or medium width frame can have a big difference on the overall appearance of the vanity.
What do you think of these slightly unconventional shaker style cabinets? Do you like the hybrid contemporary/traditional look and feel of this trend? Let me know in the comments below!
Shop All Bathroom Vanities: