Written by Jo Messenger

A modern Shaker-style kitchen renovation

Erin Fridja, a denim designer, and her husband Ben, CEO of home appliance brand Fridja, wanted to extend their small galley kitchen by knocking through to the dining room. They wanted to create a large, open-plan space as part of a whole-house renovation. The result? A well-planned modern Shaker kitchen with garden views, which has made the kitchen the heart of the family home for the couple and their three young children, Georgette, Juniper and Valentine. Good Homes finds out more…

Why didn’t you like your old kitchen?

When we bought our house as a renovation project it had not been updated internally since the 90s. The kitchen was a traditional galley style, with old and worn fixtures so we extended it, to double the width and knocked through to the dining room behind it to create one open plan room.

A kitchen transformation was neededFloor to ceiling coffee station ideas

How did you choose the Shaker cabinetry?

We went around to all the kitchen suppliers, from IKEA upwards. We had a budget for the whole refurb, but for me the  kitchen is the heart of the home and we decided to spend here and save where we could elsewhere.

When we went to our local Harvey Jones showroom, I was massively impressed with the craftsmanship and solid feeling of the modern Shaker kitchen cabinetry. Our designer, John, even sat on the side of an open cabinet door to show how sturdy it was.

What were your must-have features for the modern Shaker kitchen?

Hiding all the countertop appliances, such as the toaster and coffee maker, was important to me and I am obsessed with the bi-folding doors that conceal them away in our breakfast cupboard. Also deep drawers for tableware, instead of units, are so much easier to access.

Originally, I liked the look of some of the more delicate stone work surfaces but it wasn’t practical for us with young children. Dekton is insanely tough, you can set hot pans on it and it doesn’t stain.

The dining room was added to create the modern shaker kitchen

Erin chose cabinetry in Farrow & Ball’s Off Black for her new Harvey Jones Kitchen. Photo: Darren Chung

Did you have a project budget in mind and did you stick to it?

We had £150,000 for the entire renovation but we had a few surprises along the way, such as having to have a new roof. We did go a little over, but as well as the modern Shaker kitchen extension the work included two dormers, and we installed ensuites and new bathrooms throughout.

The shaker style cabinetry came from Harvey Jones

Erin chose a Dekton worktop for its resistance to stains, scratches and heat and deep drawers on the island for easy accessibility. Photo: Darren Chung

Were there any disasters along the way?

The entire build was during lockdown and I gave birth to my second child, mid-refurbishment so things were fairly full on. I went into labour as the builders were jackhammering the cement under the kitchen. At the birth centre we were searching for Airbnbs to go back to as the house was in such a state.

When Juniper was only a few days old the Government announced the first lockdown, materials became very difficult to source and uncertainty whether our builders would be able to continue at all. The house had no roof at this point, but Ben became pretty adept at finding materials and we pushed through.

modern shaker kitchen with navy cabinets, pink highlights and tan bar stools

Positioning the hob on the island creates a more sociable cooking experience. Photo: Darren Chung

What you have learned from your Shaker kitchen renovation?

We shouldn’t have chosen a micro-cement floor, when the kids drop things on it, we have to wipe it immediately or it stains. We ended up painting a kitchen floor paint on top of it to make it easier to clean.

modern shaker kitchen with navy cabinets, pink highlights and tan bar stools

The farmhouse sink adds a touch of country charm to the contemporary space. Photo: Darren Chung

How do you feel now it’s all finished?

Spending time in the modern Shaker kitchen is absolute bliss. It is so spacious and thought out. I adore the colour palette and our massive windows looking out into the peaceful garden and nature that surrounds us.


  • Kitchen units: £27, 574
  • Worktops: £3, 840
  • Flooring: £1, 200
  • Appliances: £6, 356
  • Sinks & taps: £823

Total spend 



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