The History of Shaker Kitchens

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The Shakers, also known as The United Society of Believers, were a religious group that broke away from the Quakers in the late 18th century and emigrated to America. They were originally from Manchester, England before settling in New York and later spreading out across the region of New England.

The Shakers were skilled manufacturers, transferring their religious beliefs into their craftsmanship. Among these beliefs were ideologies that all furniture in a household serves a distinct purpose. Therefore, Shaker furniture retained its simplicity, functionality and durability whilst focusing less on decorative aspects and avoided features such as veneering and other cosmetic work on their products. Furthering their beliefs in simplicity, the Shakers kept their colours limited to a primary palette. Usually preferring to oil their natural wood, they were also known to paint it in red, yellow, green or blue to add a depth to their open plan houses.

A Shaker kitchen is three things: simple, functional and of the best quality. Such an attractive ethos of thoughtful craftsmanship and simplicity in style leaves no surprise that Shaker units have anchored themselves into the design of modern kitchens.

The main reason for such a traditional design in a modern setting? It’s timeless adaptability. The emphasis on craftsmanship and simple functionality allows for an ambidextrous approach to your kitchen’s layout that blends well with any setting.

A natural looking oiled finish on wooden panes can leave your kitchen with a traditional atmosphere whereas adding some colour can leave the layout with a refreshing modern appeal to it. The crisp, straightforward design to a Shaker kitchen provides the homeowner with the right tools to personalise their kitchen space.

Nikki Griffiths