Shaker kitchen cabinets are known for their simple, clean lines and versatile design. While the cabinet boxes themselves are fairly minimalist, the right hardware can add just the right amount of visual interest and personality. From knobs and pulls to hinges and latches, hardware is an important design element to consider when creating your dream Shaker-style kitchen.
When it comes to Shaker cabinet hardware, you have many options to choose from. The key is finding pieces that align with the uncomplicated look and feel of Shaker style, without overly embellishing the cabinetry. Materials like metal, wood, and even leather can all work beautifully for hardware, as long as the shapes stay simple and streamlined.
To help narrow down the possibilities, here is an overview of 8 of the best hardware styles for Shaker kitchens. Keep reading to discover finishes and shapes that will enhance your Shaker cabinets beautifully!
1. Bar Pulls
Bar pulls are a very popular choice for Shaker cabinets, as they complement the clean lines well. Usually made of stainless steel or iron, bar pulls have a slender, rectangular shape with a straight edge. The long shape of the pull allows multiple fingers to grip it easily.
Bar pulls come in a range of sizes, from 3-4 inches up to 8-12 inches wide. For full-height Shaker cabinet doors, larger pulls around 8 inches look most proportional. For drawers or smaller doors, 4-6 inch pulls are ideal.
Matte finishes like brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and matte black work well for bar pulls on Shakers. The muted finish helps the hardware blend in instead of standing out too much. Surfaces like leather or wood add warmth while maintaining the simple bar shape.
2. Bin or Cup Pulls
Bin or cup pulls are another straightforward hardware option that suits Shaker style perfectly. Made from cast iron or steel, these pulls are shaped like a cylinder, with a smooth rounded edge. They are attached to cabinets by a baseplate with a single screw.
The compact rounded shape provides an easy grip without being obtrusive. Bin pulls work well on both doors and drawers, and pair nicely with painted Shaker cabinets. A couple of design options include:
- Small: Approx. 1 inch diameter – Best for tight spaces
- Medium: 1 1⁄2 to 2 inch diameter – Versatile size for doors and drawers
- Large: Approx. 3 inch diameter – Makes a statement on large doors
As with bar pulls, stick with matte finishes like black, bronze, nickel, or aged brass. Glossy finishes stand out too much against the muted Shaker style. Size the pulls appropriately for each part of your cabinetry for optimal proportion and functionality.
3. Mushroom Knobs
Just like the name implies, mushroom knobs are shaped like the top of a mushroom or dome. They have a rounded top that sits above a short base, typically with a screw hole in the base for mounting.
The smooth, sloping shape of mushroom knobs aligns seamlessly with Shaker style. They are an understated choice that adds subtle detailing without being showy. Mushroom knobs work well placed singly on doors and drawers throughout the kitchen.
Mushroom knobs look best cast from iron or steel, often with indented grooves adding texture. Aged nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, and copper finishes help the knobs blend into Shaker cabinets gracefully. Stay away from brightly polished finishes for a more cohesive look.
Varying the placement of differently sized mushroom knobs adds customizable character that complements Shaker’s humble style. Just take care that the knobs don’t conflict with door and drawer pulls used elsewhere in the kitchen.
4. Drop Pulls
Drop pulls represent another minimalist pull option that works beautifully with Shaker cabinets. As the name suggests, drop pulls consist of a vertical “drop” bar attached to a base plate mounted on the cabinet door or drawer.
The pull hangs gracefully from the base plate, suspended just slightly from the surface of the cabinet door. This gives drop pulls a lightweight, understated look despite their dark metallic finishes. Their vertical orientation contrasts nicely with the horizontal lines of Shakers as well.
Drop pull style, shape, size and placement impact their aesthetics. Consider:
- Style: Simple, straight vs. curved or ornate drops
- Shape: Round, square, or rectangular drops
- Size: Overall length ranging from 3” to 12”
- Placement: Centered vs. offset on cabinet door
Whether placed centrally or slightly offset, drop pulls make a refined statement with their minimalist style. They work especially well on full-height pantry or appliance garage doors to add sleek visual interest.
5. Angled Hardware
Another way to complement the clean lines of Shaker cabinets is by using hardware with an angled shape. The slanted lines contrast nicely with the straight, vertical styles of Shaker doors and drawers. Options like angled pulls and angled bar handles help break up the rigidness a bit.
Angled pulls have the same rectangular shape as straight bar pulls, but with one edge slanted instead of straight across. This gives them a sense of direction and motion. Angled pulls work well paired with cupboard knobs on drawers and doors throughout the kitchen.
Similarly, angled bar handles replace cabinet door knobs with a metal bar mounted at a 45-60 degree angle instead. Cutting across the door diagonally, angled handles stand out subtly without overpowering the Shaker style.
Using angled hardware repeatedly on cabinets adds cohesion and a sense of movement while maintaining simplicity. The angled edge nicely offsets square Shaker shapes. Just take care that the angles feel unified, not chaotic or inconsistent.
6. Packer Hardware
Shaker cabinetry is designed to maximize storage space inside. An often overlooked place to add storage-maximizing hardware is on the edges of cabinet doors and drawers. Packer hardware creates a small recessed channel that allows doors and drawers to open fully without hitting adjacent surfaces.
While functional, packers also add understated stylistic detail along the outer cabinet edges. Their simple shape mimics the clean lines of Shakers, usually made of stainless steel or nickel. Packers work well on:
- Doors: Allow full 180 degree opening
- Drawers: Allow drawer faces to overlay frames fully when opened
- Appliance garages: Allow unobstructed access to appliances
By enabling doors, drawers and garages to open fully without interference, packers elegantly solve a functional problem while complementing Shaker’s fuss-free aesthetic. Their discreet size and placement keeps the emphasis on the beautiful cabinetry design.
7. Hidden Hinges
Hinges might seem like a purely functional piece of hardware, but they can actually make a substantial design impact on kitchen cabinets. The key with Shaker style is to select hidden hinges that don’t detract from the minimalist look.
There are a few hinge options perfectly suited to maintaining a streamlined Shaker aesthetic:
- Concealed hinges: Attached to the inside cabinet surfaces so no hardware is visible from the exterior
- Partial inset hinges: Partially recessed into the cabinet door so only a small portion is visible
- Hinges matching cabinet hardware: Finished to blend with knobs and pulls to “hide” in plain sight
The clean sight lines of Shaker cabinets aren’t disrupted by obtrusive hardware. Barely perceptible hinges contribute to a sense of simplicity and streamlining. They help keep the focus on the beautiful craftsmanship of the cabinetry.
8. Creative Mixed Metals and Finishes
While matching metal finishes creates a unified, minimalist look, mixing it up can also work beautifully. The key is keeping the shapes simple while creatively blending metal types, shapes, sizes and finishes.
Mixing brushed nickel mushroom knobs with black drop pulls, for example, adds subtle modern personality that respects the Shaker aesthetic. Even mixing wood and metal can look striking, such as walnut knobs with steel bar pulls.
Some creative but complementary blends to consider throughout your Shaker kitchen include:
- Charcoal knobs + antique bronze pulls
- Aged copper handles + raw steel hinges
- Smoked oak pulls + black drop handles
- White ceramic knobs + burnished brass cup pulls
Get creative while keeping the hardware compact and streamlined. Blend complementing metals, materials and finishes that align with your overall kitchen design vision. Experiment with creative pairings that enhance your Shaker style in an unexpected way.
The beauty of Shaker kitchen cabinets lies in their versatility. While their lines are decidedly minimalist, the right hardware can introduce eye-catching style. Follow the simple Shaker ethos by choosing straightforward bar pulls, bin pulls, knobs and hinges with matte finishes. Angled shapes and mixed metals provide contrast and visual interest.
Keep shapes clean, sizes modest and finishes muted. But don’t be afraid to get creative with your hardware combinations – even humble Shaker cabinets can handle a bit of unique modern flair. With these Shaker kitchen cabinet hardware ideas as inspiration, you’re sure to find pieces that beautifully complement your kitchen’s crisp, fuss-free aesthetic.