Shaker Style ( 1800 )

Shaker style was a style of furniture born in the late 1700’s in England and developed in United States;  it takes its name from the Shakers.

Shaker style- Example
Shaker style- Example


Who were the Shakers?

The Shakers were a religious group formed in England during the late 1700s. Persecuted for their beliefs, they emigrated to America where they led lives of abstinence and celibacy.

Shakers lived communally. They created large buildings and houses for groups of people. Their focus and dedication played a large role in the style of housing they created. Clean lines and basic forms characterized their architecture. This philosophy flowed through everything from stairways and windows to cabinets and hardware.


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United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing (Shakers)
United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers)

Shaker style- Characteristics

  • Simplicity, minimalism
  •  austerity of decoration; truth to materials
  • open plan
  • simple, uncluttered
  • limited colour palette of red, blue, yellow and blue-green
  • handcrafted wooden furniture
  • natural materials
  • storage


Shaker style- Architecture

The Shakers created a distinct style of architecture built with a focus on order and utility.

Floor plane-  The Shakers focused on simple, open floor plans with an uncluttered feel. The look carries through to everything from the way rooms are divided to the placement and style of furniture; they  focused on simple lines and durable materials. Wood molding provided a noticeable frame to shape windows and doors, but it did not distract from the overall feel of simplicity.

Colours- Shakers typically used red, blue, warm yellow and blue-green to color everything from walls to textiles.

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Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village
Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village

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Shaker furniture

Furniture was made of cherry, maple or pine lumber, which was generally stained or painted with one of the colors which were dictated by the sect, typically blue, red, yellow or green. Drawer pulls for dressers or other furniture were made of wood. The dining room or breakfast room table should be simple.

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Shaker style- People

Shaker community
Shaker community

Tabitha Babbit (1779-1853)  was an american Sheker toolmaker and, probabily,  inventor of circular saw, spinning wheel head and false teeth.


Isaac Newton Youngs (1793 – 1865) was a member of the Shakers. He built furniture, transcribed hymnals by hand, helped build the brethren’s new workshop, and attended camp meetings, repaired the village’s waterworks, built an arch in the sisters’ weave shop, ran social meetings for the Children’s Order, worked on the Church Family dwelling, turned more than a thousand clothespins on a lathe, and laid a new floor in the dairy.

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