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What is the Shaker style?

The Shaker style is now a well established design style. It’s even one of our most popular kitchen styles. The distinctive design is characterised by elegant, well-made pieces of minimalist designs that incorporate functional form and careful aesthetic proportions. It’s a style of fine cabinetry and understated style.

But Shaker wasn’t always a renowned style and its inception was a rather humble one.

What is the Shaker style?

Canterbury Shaker Village. Photo: MAConway123

Canterbury Shaker Village. Photo: MAConway123

The style, associated with a religious group in the US of the same name, began in the 18th Century. In a recent article on Dezeen, regarding the revival of style, it reads:

“Founded in England in the 18th century, the religion was never huge, numbering some 6,000 believers at its peak in pre-Civil War America. And yet the Shakers have always drawn interest – for their lifelong vows of celibacy (which partly explains their diminishing numbers), for their simple lifestyles, for their female religious leadership, and especially for their furniture design.”

When people consider the Shaker style, many think rocking chairs and wicker boxes. But the Shakers were incredible designers and were one of the first pioneers of minimalism, perfect proportions and clean lines. Aesthetics which influenced some of our most popular modern day styles like Scandi and Industrial.

How did it start?

Regarding the inception of the Shaker style, John Baker, co-founder of Toronto design store Mjölk who hosted a recent Shaker-themed exhibition, told Dezeen:

“We’re talking about modern ideas: function first, reduction. This was happening a hundred years before the modern movement. It’s a natural progression of learning about design.”

It’s incredible that the Shaker group have left such a legacy and their style continues to influence designers across the world today. In a nod to the group, last year Japanese designer Jin Kuramoto created a Shaker style chair for popular Italian furniture brand Arflex. Likewise earlier this year, London design studio Pinch launched their Shaker inspired Rodan coffee table at Maison & Objet.

Modern day influence

It certainly continues to influence our work and it’s incredible to create cabinetry in this style in a nod to these pioneers. But as a lot of designers will agree, we certainly love to put our own spin on the style which allows us to discover and produce new and original design styles. It’s a Bath Bespoke Shaker Mash Up.

Our classic framed shaker green kitchen we created for a client in Camden

I’d certainly recommend reading the whole article on Dezeen to discover more about Shaker’s humble beginnings. If you’re looking for more inspiration, take a look at the collection of Shaker kitchens we’ve created and get in touch.

Featured image of a restored Shaker Village located near Harrodsburg, KY. Photo: Carl Wycoff

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