The ‘United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing’ may sound like the name of an unusual religious theology, but this historical group, also known as the Shakers, shaped our interior design in an extremely pervasive and significant way. The Shaker religious sect was founded in England, UK in the 1770s, and in further decades subsequently moved to the north eastern United States. Here they set up what would be the beginning of a movement with far-reaching implications in the furniture and interior design world. The Shakers' basic principles were set upon high standards of construction with a mantra that ‘beauty rests on utility.’ Compared to the Amish, and as an offshoot of the Quaker church, Shakers believed in self-sufficiency, austerity and common ownership.
Today their furniture is world renowned for its superior fabrication and meticulous attention-to-detail. Neutral colour schemes, unadorned furniture and simple raw floors form the basis of a humble yet stylish décor and interior design. Shake things up in your domestic space, check out the following examples, and incorporate a modest elegance that will act timelessly and tastefully.
The epitome of quaint Shaker charm, this dining space incorporates a timeless design with class and elegance. Replete with a dusty blue colour scheme, the simple yet attractive table is unassuming and unpretentious. Moreover, there is a built-in seating space and pair of matching dining chairs to allow for flexibility within the room. If you are considering a Shaker aesthetic within your space, try individual cabinetry with white walls, dark timber floors and exposed timber ceiling beams.
This kitchen space is an excellent example of simple Shaker style. A muted and natural colour palette is matched with a contrasting raw timber hue which brings an element of countryside charm. The rustic nature of this space is evoked through a sympathetic use of modest joinery which incorporates a humble design, and coordinates perfectly with the space. This room is however quite up-to-date and contemporary. The design is slick and well implemented, which can be seen in the fashionable simplicity that effects each section of the space. The storage area in the kitchen island is filled with well-chosen yet practical and stylish kitchen accoutrements, and further contributes to the stylish Shaker ambience.
Shaker design can be implemented into a new and fashionable home easily—take a look at this example, it utilises a common Shaker aesthetic, but infuses a modern touch with stone bench tops, stainless steel appliances, and a generally modern appearance.
One of the best elements of the Shaker movement in design is its ability to make something simple and plain, beautiful. This room is an excellent example of that. The floors are bare timber, unpolished, and the walls are unadorned, except for a single painting that sits above a stylishly simple armchair. To emulate this style, think plain but beautiful. The walls should be understated, as well as the flooring. Choose a raw or satin finished timber, and pair your space with vintage handmade furniture that resists decoration or ornamentation. You will find the minimalism within your space evokes a sense of peace and tranquillity.
A Shaker bedroom is one that is simple, unadorned yet cosy and liveable. This room ticks all of the boxes. It is quaint, comfortable, effortlessly designed and serene. Think fresh walls, delicate artwork, statement armchair, and plain wall shelving that houses necessary adornment such as linen, and other simple country living appurtenances.
If you want to evoke a little Shaker style, but still want a bit of luxury and a hint of elegance, take a look at this example. The walls are relatively plain but are enhanced with a botanical motif that is neutral and delicate. The Shaker style console works well with the simple decoration but the room is infused with a little more elegance and opulence in the form of a hanging chandelier, and upholstered bench at the end of the bed.