Shaker Style: Here to Stay?

Shaker Style: Here to Stay?

Shaker Style: A Consistent Favorite and a Lasting Style!


Shaker furniture is named for the Shaker community, a religious Christian community that originated in the early 18th century as an offshoot of the Quaker movement. The Shakers’ unwavering and steadfast commitment to simplicity in life and self-reliance led them to design their own furniture, of which an absence of flair and resolute simplicity of design were the marked features.

The Shakers’ spartan lifestyle and the economics of self-production became self-evident in both their architecture and furnishings. The minimum amount of material was used to construct an object so that it performed its intended role with utility and nothing more.

Another prominent feature was the strength; Shaker furniture became synonymous with quality as it was made with the best wood available – commonly birch, maple, pine, and chestnut.

The Modern Shaker Appeal

Shaker furniture and its clean, straightforward lines are back in vogue and the rise in the popularity of the Shaker look today stems from the trend towards minimalism in present day home design. The utilitarian approach integrates well with a broad spectrum of design approaches, including traditional, country, minimalist and modern.

Many homeowners are discovering that the Shaker concept is particularly appealing. Shaker cabinets offer a crisp, fresh look that transcends transient fads which fall prey to exhibiting a dated appearance very quickly with shifts in trend over time.

Shaker Style in the Modern Home

When the Shakers developed a concept that worked, they abandoned further experimentation with design and used that concept alone. This has resulted in repetition being a key characteristic of Shaker furniture; a Shaker chest of drawers, regardless of the number of discrete drawers, follows the exact same design and dimensions from the topmost to the lowest. Bathroom vanities today usually sport multiple vertical sets of drawers and this is where Shaker design most prominently makes its mark.

The straight-edged and uninterrupted rail, stile and central panel may be flat or recessed, and individual cabinet doors or drawers may feature a knob or handle of equally uncomplicated design, or forego them all together in favor of a recessed groove with which they can be opened. Shaker simplicity proscribed the use of embellishments of any type and furniture that bears their name most often features square edges.

Check out the Virta selection of Shaker style bathroom vanities: