The Shaker furniture style and its features
What makes the Shaker furniture style so popular and how it developed.

Typical for the Shaker style are simple and functional furniture designs. Stylistically, the style picks up 19th century USA furniture shapes and values solid craftsmanship. The current Shaker trend is based on it, but also plays with colors and patterns.

Origin and development

The Shaker furniture style has only recently established itself. The word combination comes from the English “shaker furniture”: These are furniture, which were mainly produced by followers of the Shaker, a Protestant free church in the 19th century in the United States.

The furniture designs are functionally shaped and have a clear design language. They reflect the ascetic ethic of the shakers. Exaggerated ornamentation distracted the shakers from work and devotion. Therefore, it was largely dispensed with. This distinguished the shakers from the 19th century style of historicism.

Key characteristics of the Shaker furniture style

Shaker objects are made of native US woods, such as pine, maple, wild oak or walnut. Also bentwood furniture was introduced by them in America. A style of living in the sense of the Shaker style consciously renounces intensive, bright colors and too much showmanship with lush decoration.

A bedroom in the traditional shaker style.

Colors such as beige, wool white and shades of brown are often used. Today, pastels such as bleu, rosé, mint or vanilla set accents and are beeing experimented with. Handmade carpets, blankets and ceramics and bowls with old glazes and pottery look are also included.

Typical for living spaces was a horizontal wooden bar in which hooks (mostly turned) were inserted at regular intervals. Clothes, watches, tools and chairs could be hung there as the floor was cleaned. In a modern Shaker style this can also be a gallery bar for pictures, or a wall in 2-color optics devided by a wooden or simple bar.

Also famous are the rocking chairs of the Shaker. Simple functional furniture designs go ahead in style. In the accessory area, only what is really used and needed is set up. In kitchens and bathrooms, the Shaker furniture style is also very popular because it is focused on the practical. Decorations are very withdrawn.

Useful things, such as books, a vase that is sometimes needed, pictures of family and friends, personal details, such as holiday memories, can be found in shaker style. Today people also like to work with sayings and decorative items that convey a statement, life-wisdom or motto.

In the modern Shaker style, home textiles such as pillows and blankets, often knitwear, are sewn or hand-made from fabrics, such as silk. As plaids, quills or patchwork. Carpets are also simple in design, usually knotted or woven, often outdoor suitable and without floor. Geometric patterns with a penchant for the imperfect are typical in Shaker furniture style. Today, lamps in antique silver look or black metal are often combined – also not too opulent.

Even driftwood or industrial-style lights often go well with the Shaker style. The coarser look deliberately breaks with the pastel basic colors and thus often represents a highlight in the room.

On the walls, in the traditional Shaker style, patterns and ornaments are usually left out. The modern Shaker furniture style works with simple borders and pastel colors to give the interior a more modern touch. Lush ornamentation and decors are often found only in detail, e. g. on doors and handles or as elaborately designed borders on plaids or picture frames.

From the lights to the kitchen furniture here is everything according to the shaker furniture style.

Of course, if you want to set yourself up in Shaker style, there are also some companies that have dedicated themselves to this style. A few examples would be Design House Stockholm, Feel Design from Sweden, or a few pieces of furniture by Hübsch.

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