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Shaker Style Design


Function comes before form…

The first thing you should know about the much loved, and hugely popular style of the Shaker design is that similarly to the Rationalist and Futurist architectural movements of the early 20th century, function comes before form. This is one of the fundamental principles of the Shaker style, that form follows function, resulting in a symmetrical, minimalist, hard lined aesthetic to modern interiors. We’ll get into the details of the style as the article unfolds as well as the history and development of Shaker. Here at Creative Woodwork, the Shaker style is a popular choice by our designers and our clients so we wanted to produce a detailed explanation of what the style is all about.



Image Credit: Brayer Design


The History of Shaker Design

The Shaker design within the world of interiors and architecture goes back to the mid 18th century in England, where a religious subgroup of Christianity called ‘The Shakers’ developed a specific approach to design which originated from their followers taking great pride in their work, with meticulous attention to detail to everything they did. This was because they believed that each piece made, was a testament to God, and so had to be made to those standards. Their recognisable style was eventually brought across the Atlantic to North America after the Shakers fled England following religious persecution.

The ‘Shakers’, (an affiliated group to the Quakers in the US) settled and resided in North America bringing with them their minimalist and modest approach to design. The Shaker communities mainly found themselves establishing in and around the area of New England and so began to make their mark in interiors and construction. Even during the expansive and progressive time of the 19th century when the mass production of commodity’s developed and factory life became the norm for certain types of produced design, the Shakers still maintained their core values of superior, handmade, crafted pieces, which still stand the test of the time to this day.





So What Exactly is Shaker Style?

There are various traits that make up the Shaker style, all of which sit in co-ordinance with each other. An obvious characteristic is simplicity, ‘less is more’, the centre of shaker style values.

Image Credit: James Macdonald Bespoke Kitchens

The Shaker Door

The door, a four-piece frame on a recessed centre panel, a classic and quintessential cabinetry feature of any Shaker kitchen. Usually accompanied by minimalist, simple but elegant pieces of hardware, ranging from levers to door pulls to doorknobs. A company we often use here at Creative Woodwork is the Devon-based hardware firm, Turnstyle Designs or another favourite, Ged Kennett.

The colours within a Shaker styled room tend to be fairly neutral and reflective of natural pigments; browns, orches, pale greens and rich greys are a common go-to when wanting this look.



Image Credit: Ignant

We desire an element of harmony in our homes…

The style’s association to its historic context brings with it an element of appealing, timeless design. In essence, we find furniture built on classic proportions gives the homeowner a harmonic, balanced feel to their interior.



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