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What is the difference between Traditional, Modern and Shaker?

If you’re looking for new kitchen furniture cabinets and kitchen door handles there are an overwhelming amount of options to choose from. Also, you may not be familiar with the terminology associated with kitchen furniture cabinets. Let us elaborate so you can achieve your dream kitchen.

Kitchen Knobs

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Kitchen Cabinets & Door Handles

Traditional Cabinets

Traditional style kitchen cabinets characteristically have a detailed profile design and a raised panel in the centre of the door. This style fits perfectly in a country styled or traditional kitchen.  For a truly traditional feel, leave these doors in plain wood or simply oil them. To update your kitchen, paint your cabinets with earthy or pastel colours.

Shaker Cabinets

You can define a shaker kitchen door by its simplicity and its versatility. Identify a shaker door by the simple square profile in the centre of the door. 

The wood and finish is plain and simple. The beauty of the modern shaker style is so that you can paint your doors to have a traditional shaker style or a modern shaker style kitchen.

Modern Cabinets

If you are planning a modern kitchen, you might be looking for sleek and flat cabinet doors, with clean lines and uninterrupted curves. Modern cabinets characteristically have metallic or shiny finishes to match the sleek look. Another way to make your cabinets look modern is to have handleless doors or doors with hidden handles.


There is a vast choice of handles and knobs which can be overwhelming. We have compiled a list of different styles to help you choose. Also, knowing which handles or knobs match each style of kitchen is very useful. 


A traditional style, the doorknob is versatile and functional. It does the job but can also come in a range of materials and finishes that dictate the style and feel of your kitchen. For example, a wooden knob will give a traditional, country styled farmhouse look, whereas a chrome or nickel finished knob creates a modern or minimalist feel. Doorknobs can also come in a huge range of shapes and colours.

Traditional white door knob on traditional kitchen cabinets duck egg blue

Cup Handles

Like the doorknob, cup handles are functional and traditional. They are sturdy, hardwearing and are perfect for heavy drawers. Cup handles create a vintage look and make cabinets look authentically antique. They can come in a huge range of colours, metals and finishes.

Vintage style cup handles on traditional style baby blue kitchen cabinets

Bow Handles

These handles are slim lined and modern, often with extra added flair than bar handles. They are curved in a bow shape and often have an elaborate design. They can be bold or subtle and paired with gloss or matt cabinets.

Slim lined, curve bow handles on matt wood effect fitted kitchen cabinets

Bar Handles

Bar handles are universal but look best when they are paired in a modern, slim lined kitchen. Their minimalist, streamlined design makes them simplistic and modern.

Copper bar handles on a modern pink kitchen cabinet

Hidden Pulls

For a modern look, go for a hidden pull handle. It’s fixed to the opening of a cabinet door or drawer and looks almost invisible. Each handle juts out into a curve to pull with the tips of your fingers.

Integrated Handles

Alternatively, you could go for an ultra-sleek, modern look with integrated handles. This is when a curve is moulded into the cabinet door for you to grip and open. This creates a seamless, minimalist effect in your kitchen. 

Integrated handles on white gloss kitchen cabinets

Handleless Push Latch

Handleless cabinets also have the desired modern, minimalist effect. But, instead of pulling you push the door and a magnet inside the door allows it to spring open.

Handle-less push latch on textured grey kitchen cabinets

So, whether you want a vintage and rustic kitchen or a modern, minimalist look, here at Gardiner Haskins Interiors we can help you find the design you’re looking for. Come and check out the great styles and designs we have on offer in our showroom today.

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Gardiner and Sons Co Ltd registered address Gardiner Haskins, 1 Straight Street, Broad Plain, Bristol, BS2 0FQ, registered in England.
Company registration number: 00039402 VAT no. GB302974367

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