There’s a good reason why Shaker cabinets have lasted the test of time. Their simple design is arguably as classic as you can get, making them well-suited for a wide range of tastes. Get them in a versatile wood tone, and years down the line, they’ll look just as refined and understated as they did the day you first installed them. These factors—we think, at least—are part of what makes Chris Loves Julia’s Semihandmade collaboration, designed in partnership with Chris and Julia Marcum, so appealing.
Launched in 2018, the CLJ collection includes Semihandmade’s classic Shaker doors in three different wood finishes of MDF fronts, all compatible with IKEA’s Sektion cabinets. Cove, a light oak tone, is undoubtedly the most popular style. Where you might normally opt for white, cream, or grey cabinets, these textured thermofoils add warmth to a space in a way that’s at once subtle and striking. These five spaces all feature Chris Loves Julia’s cabinet fronts in Cove, in a variety of ways—each one totally inspiring.
The Contrasting Island
The kitchen island is always a great opportunity to try something different in your space. You may be preferential to monochromatic cabinets, but opting for a contrast (even a subtle one) in this central hub can have an impressive result. This kitchen by designer Jessica Jones is mostly outfitted with Supermatte Shaker cabinet fronts in White, but uses Cove fronts for the island, lending an ever-so-slightly rustic touch to the thoroughly modern space. Gold accents throughout keep it looking contemporary.
The Floor to Ceiling
When your cabinets don’t reach your ceiling, you can miss out on some valuable real estate. That’s why Chris and Julia Marcum went all out on a storage wall in this kitchen. The Cove cabinets cleverly extend even above the countertops to make an otherwise empty space even more hard-working. Simple, matte black hardware looks particularly striking against both the oak-hued and white fronts.
The Ground Floor
In this space by Liz Tallman, Cove fronts on the lower cabinets create a soft midway point between the slate-grey flooring and the white shiplap walls. Plus, they play up one design detail on display: An enviable collection of wooden cutting boards. White cabinets up top keep the space nice and bright.
The Refined Minimalist
If you love the look of an all-white kitchen, allow this design by Ashley Rose of Sugar and Cloth to persuade you to shift out of your comfort zone. Here, tiles, slab front upper cabinets, and a range hood seemingly blend in to one white canvas, while lower cabinets and an island with Cove fronts make for an ever-so-subtle contrast, lending the room a touch of warmth that’s further accentuated by gold cabinet pulls from Sumner Street Home.
In a room full of small yet impactful details—the contrasting backsplash grout, the herringbone flooring, the bold lighting choices—simple cabinetry acts as a solid foundation in this design by Brooke Christen of Nesting With Grace. The choice of Cove fronts for the island makes it stand out from the all-white cabinetry of the kitchen, without creating a distraction.