I love this new kitchen trend, a minimalist and modern take on an old favorite look

Slim Shaker cabinets are perfect for a more pared-back look that's still as elegant and timeless as their traditional counterpart

An organic modern kitchen with marble countertops and backsplash and beige slim style shaker cabinets
(Image credit: Jason Varney)

If you haven't yet heard, 2023 is the year we're giving traditional designs a modern twist by blending the best bits of classic and contemporary. The transitional style - or hipstoric home as some call it - is the interior design trend set to define the year ahead; in our kitchens, that comes in the form of slim shaker cabinets. 

Traditional shaker fronts have been a staple in our kitchens for decades. Favored for their simple clean-lined design, they have a certain timeless quality, making them a popular choice for many kitchen styles. Recently though, the iconic look has been given a contemporary, minimalist remodeling by slimming down the wood-paneled edges, and we're absolutely loving it. 

To learn more about this latest modern kitchen trend and how we should be incorporating it into our spaces, we spoke with some expert kitchen makers embracing the idea. Here's what they had to say. 

Lilith headshot for bio
Lilith Hudson

Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She regularly shares stories with readers to help them keep up-to-date with ever-changing trends that promise to add personality into the home. For this article, she spoke with kitchen makers to learn all about the new slim shaker style cabinets and whether or not we should embrace them in our homes. 

A kitchen with marble countertops and black slim style shaker cabinets

(Image credit: Unique Kitchens / Stacy Goldberg)

Really, slim Shaker kitchens don't differ all that much from their more traditional older sibling. They feature the same recessed center panels with beveled molding around the edges, the only difference being this trim is thinner than usual. It results in an even more minimalist and elegant look that the classic Shaker. 

'It’s more modern than a Shaker but not as modern as a flat slab,' explains Tanya  Smith-Shiflett, kitchen designer at Unique Kitchens and Baths. 'The applied molding provides dimension in the same way the Shaker door does, but the size of the molding mimics the clean lines of a slab door.'

The thin Shaker style isn't actually anything new in itself, variations of this design have been around for at least the last five years. So, why the sudden uptick in popularity? 'I think the reason is that it's a great blend of old-school and modern,' explains John McDonald, founder of Semihandmade kitchens, which offer a skinny Shaker door style called the Quarterline. 'The thin perimeter gives a real built-in look while the large middle surface is smooth and shows off the color or woodgrain that a standard Shaker frame might obscure.' 

It seems fair to say that the slim Shaker kitchen is mainly garnering attention for capturing the essence of the transitional style that's taking over our designs. The door style is clean and sophisticated, contemporary yet classy, and it's perfect for anyone wanting a bit more detailed than a flat Slab door without the heavier Shaker style. 

Brass kitchen cabinet handles, Amazon
Editor's choice

Brass kitchen cabinet handles, Amazon

These brushed brass effect kitchen handles are the perfect addition to your slim shaker-style kitchen. Coming in a pack of 10 handles, each with two sizes of screws, they add a simple yet strikingly elegant look to your cabinets and drawers. 

What kitchen aesthetic does it work best in?

A kitchen with beige, slim style shaker cabinets

(Image credit: Unique Kitchens / Stacy Goldberg)

Part of the success of the Shaker kitchen can be attributed to the fact that it works in almost any kitchen style. From modern farmhouse kitchens to mid-century modern designs, it looks at home in most spaces. 

With slimmer Shakers, that door is opened even wider to include more pared-back styles such as organic modern or Japandi. 'This is because the extra sleek lines of the cabinets create an airy feeling,' notes Chris Alexakis, interior designer and founder of Cabinet Select. 'My suggestion is to pair the cabinets with a light color palette for this elegant, minimalistic look.'

The versatile aspects of the original Shaker style still remain, however. For a modern look, Chris suggests combining slim shaker cabinets with light colors and stainless steel accents. 'For a more traditional feel, try pairing the cabinets with classic materials such as wood and granite, or if you're looking for a transitional style, try with dark colors and metal accents,' he says. 

Of course, much of the final look and feel will come down to your choice of hardware, countertops, and plumbing fixtures. From brass T-bar handles and wooden surfaces to matt black knobs and marble countertops, you can easily customize the overall look of your cabinets to make them fit the rest of your space.

Who knew the simple act of slimming down your cabinet molding could have such a big impact on your entire kitchen? If you're after a more modern take on a traditional kitchen stalwart that's equally as elegant and timeless, the slim Shaker style is where it's at. 

Brass cabinet knobs, The Home Depot
Editor's choice

Brass cabinet knobs, The Home Depot

For a more dainty look, these small brass cabinet knobs from The Home Depot make a great addition to your shaker kitchen, and they add a vintage feel thanks to their distressed look. The gold tinge pairs beautifully with soft pinks if you want to recreate the look above. 

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.