Shaker Style at CountrysideBy Holly Rennels · February 10, 2015
Amish Handcrafted Shaker Furniture Guide
Exploring a pure furniture style can be a lot of fun, but also difficult in an eclectic era. Here we'll explore what Shaker style was, is, and can be.
Who are the Shakers?
This group was founded in the 18th century on the principles of simplicity, utility, and honesty. As a community they strove to be self-reliant and their incredibly durable furniture took a minimalist style. Starting in England and emerging from the Quaker faith, this group made their way to the USA.
What is Shaker style?
Shaker style lacks extravagant ornamentation and lends itself to practically any home. Function and proportion is valued over fashion and form, though most Shaker furniture is actually quite beautiful. Typically, pulls and knobs are made of wood and either stained to match or contrast with the rest of the solid wood item in question.
Primary colors are often associated with this style as is a lack of anything metal, plastic, or mass produced.
Ladder back chairs and splayed feet/legs are frequent features.
When did Shaker style become popular?
The first examples of Shaker furniture in the Unites States were seen in the early 19th Century. This style has actually inspired many modern artists and furniture makers and is often blended with contemporary style. A serious resurgence of Shaker furniture occured in the 1960s with rush seats and ladder back chairs. Elements of that era have continued to influence furniture styles until the present.
Where were the Shakers?
(photo credit: people.uwec.edu)
In the US, this group initially settled in New Lebanon or Mount Lebanon, New York. Today the area is called Watervliet. Settlements of the sect have diminished, but were at one time found throughout Maine and Massachusetts as well.
Why is Shaker style popular?
Shaker style lends itself to integration into almost any decor. In a rustic wood, it blends well with a modern Mission motif.
Taken in Brown Maple stained very dark, Shaker pieces are exquisitely Contemporary.
For a casual feeling, a painted Brown Maple is always a welcome addition. Due to the simplicity of the design, Shaker style items also never seem to go out of style. They can always be reworked or reinvented with little effort to fit any trend or statement.
How do I incorporate Shaker style?
This is the best part. Utilizing this incredible style is easy. You can start with just one piece and establish your whole room around it. In the dining room, for instance, take any existing table and add four painted shaker chairs for a chic Shaker look.
To add a dash of Shaker spice to your office, consider adding only a Shaker bookcase or perhaps two Shaker client chairs.
Bedroom? That's easy...anything from a tall chesser to a day bench can begin your transition to a Shaker retreat into simplicity.
Living room is also a perfect setting for Shaker style. Though we have entire collections of Shaker furniture, you can begin with a simple console TV stand and just piece together one item at a time until you have an expression of yourself in spectacular Shaker furniture.
Don't leave out the baby! Our Shaker inspired nursery sets are perfect to stylishly grow with your child.
No matter where you choose to start with your Shaker furniture, we are glad you have chosen Countryside. Sustainable forestry practices are important to us and all our woods are domestically grown. Everything we make is made in Amish communities in the Midwest, so we are 100% made in the USA. We would love to welcome you to our family of customers.