The Door Dilemma – Raised Panel or Shaker in the Kitchen

Through all the craziness these past few weeks, I somehow managed to make all the necessary decisions and order my kitchen cabinets – yay!  They should be arriving in about 6 weeks.  Of course, I had one last minute dilemma…deciding between raised panel or shaker cabinet doors!

The other night, I happened to leave a door sample sitting on my kitchen counter.  My husband looks at it and says, “Those aren’t the cabinets we are getting, are they?”  (Shoot me now…)  “Yes, they are.  You don’t like them?”…I asked.  “They look dirty.”, he replied.  (The sample had a glazing on it, even though I don’t think I am doing a glaze.)

Why is it that someone around here is second guessing my decisions and has suddenly developed an interest in decorating?  This brought back a flashback to our wedding planning when suddenly he needed to be involved in choosing the china.  Yeah, my golfer, former college football player, doesn’t care about clothes, man’s man of a husband suddenly cares about making the kitchen pretty!  Ugh.

So the next day, my very patient, saint-of-a-kitchen-designer dropped off a bunch of door samples to look over again.  I had to show my husband what a raised panel looked like without the glazing (and I had to reassure myself that I made the right decision because I still loved the shaker look as well!)  The cabinet order had already been placed at this point so I had to decide quickly!

Even though I had debated on shaker for a while, my ‘decorator’ husband was definitely against that one because he thought they looked too much like the Vermont ski house…

shaker cabinets


I guess he just can’t envision these in white…

So I went back to focusing on raised panel, which I always loved anyway.  After all, many of my favorite kitchens have raised panel cabinets and it helped to show my husband these inspiration pictures.


Like I said, the cabinets will be White Dove (but not glazed like the above picture) the island will be stained and the floors will be wood (but a little lighter than the floors above.)

Here’s another look I love:

Traditional Kitchen by Northfield Design-Build Firms Orren Pickell Building Group

via Houzz

I think I might even buy those lanterns above.  I love how the floor and beams make the kitchen less formal.  Too bad I won’t be adding beams (or marble) to mine…

Here’s another example of the white with the stained island.  My floors will never be that shiny though!  (Not with kids and a golden retriever!)

source unknown

And probably my favorite kitchen:

Traditional Kitchen by Charlotte Interior Designers & Decorators Carolina Design Associates, LLC

via Houzz

This is the view I envision when you look in the kitchen from my dining room.

Just to refresh your memory – here is what the view looks like now…

I am just so tired of this.

And once again, here is what it could look like…ahhh

Traditional Kitchen by Charlotte Interior Designers & Decorators Carolina Design Associates, LLC

via Houzz

As you can see, all the photos above have raised panel doors, yet most all white kitchens we see these days have shaker doors.  Up until this very moment I wonder if I made the right decision.  I am hoping that the raised panel will always be classic.

There are so many kitchens with shaker cabinets that I absolutely adore as well:

Traditional Kitchen by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Cheryl Scrymgeour Designs

via Houzz

Another one of my favorites:

Traditional Kitchen by Alpharetta Interior Designers & Decorators Great Spaces!

via Houzz

Love this…

Traditional Kitchen by Atlanta General Contractors Blake Shaw Homes, Inc

via Houzz

Then there is another one of my favorites that kind of looks shaker but is a simple raised panel.

Traditional Kitchen by Atlanta General Contractors Dresser Homes

via Houzz

I keep going back to the look of a traditional raised panel door.

In fact, this was my inspiration picture (about 3 years ago) when we decided to renovate the kitchen…

Traditional Kitchen by Bellingham Kitchen & Bath Fixtures Scandia Kitchens Inc.

via Houzz

I still love the look and needless to say I didn’t change my order.  My husband feels a little more comfortable with my choice.  I am sure my kitchen designer is relieved even though I will probably second guess my upcoming decisions – counters, back splash, sink, lighting…

What are your thoughts on white kitchens?

Do you prefer a shaker or raised panel cabinet?

Is one more timeless than the other?

(Don’t worry, you won’t stress me out if you choose shaker!)

**Update!  – See the big kitchen reveal here – My New White Kitchen Reveal

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  1. Just this morning my dh second-guessed one of my choices. It's quite unsettling. As for Shaker vs raised, I love both and think they're classic and bulletproof. Love your inspiration photos and can't wait for the reveal!

  2. I definitely think you made the right decision. I think raised panel cabinets will always be classic and they can be dressed up or down (as-in traditional to farmhouse.) I have raised panel in my kitchen (which is decorated farmhouse style right now) and shaker in my bathroom (where I wanted a more craftsman look.) I love them both but I think the shaker cabinets will never have the elegant look that can be achieved with the raised panels. In other words, I think the raised panel ones are more classic and versatile. Good choice, and your photos are gorgeous.

  3. I don't know if you saw my more recent post about painting our kitchen cabinets, but we decided to do a very light gray instead of white-white. I think your kitchen will be beautiful with the white, because of the wood floors you are adding. It was not an easy decision-making process to pick a warm-gray, but we are very happy with our choice and the end result. I think all of your inspiration kitchens are beautiful. I had to do a lot of "hand-holding" with my hubby in convincing him to "trust me" on going the gray route, but he is almost as thrilled as I am. Just keep patting your hubby's hand and saying "it's going to be okay, you'll see, trust me." You might have to do that like a gazillion times, and if you need someone to do the same for you, I'm here….lol!

  4. We went with white Shaker style in our kitchen, but raised panel is very classic too. Our house is a 1902 modified foursquare, so the simple Shaker worked better for us. We do love our recent switch from wood to white!

  5. Hi Shelley! I love both shaker and raised panel, but I think you made the best choice for your kitchen based on everything else you have chosen. It will be both classic and elegant. So sorry to hear you went through a tough time with Rosie!! Glad to hear she is ok now.

  6. Men! Mine has been chiming in recently, too. You will love the raised panel cabinets.

  7. I love them both… The raised panel cabinets will great in your beautiufl new kitchen! Love your inspirations!

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