Shaker furniture is a distinctive style of furniture developed by the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, commonly known as Shakers, a religious sect that had guiding principles of simplicity, utility and honesty. Their beliefs were reflected in the well-made furniture of minimalist designs.
Historically, Shaker design door & drawer fronts date back to the mid-18th century and are the embodiment of simplicity, combined with fine craftsmanship and functionality. Shaker Kitchen doors use the built ‘in-frame’ method. Where the doors hang inside a frame instead of hanging on the outside like modern flat-packed kitchen units.
Despite their purposeful lack of ornamentation, the artistry of the cabinets is their divining charm. As well as being stunningly beautiful the Shaker style showcases the skill and craftsmanship behind their manufacturing. This crafting process was especially sophisticated for the construction of their cabinetry doors. Using the feature of a 5-piece door front, the Shakers were able to create a beautiful door that was of sturdy construction and of course vastly practical. By making the fronts from two rails, two stiles and a central panel there was little wasted wood whilst maintaining a solid structure that looks amazing. This, in turn, became their signatory style, the framed panel or Shaker.
There are many Kitchen companies who have adopted the Shaker Kitchen design but when choosing a company make sure they abide by the Shaker commandments.
- Units should be supplied in one piece, like a traditional piece of furniture.
- Traditional techniques should be used like dovetail draws and mortise and tenon joints.
- Doors are to be made ‘In-frame’, not sit on the outside like cheaper modern units.
- Cabinets should be made out of solid wood and no MDF.
- Interiors of the units should be durable natural wood (not painted cheaper materials).
- All cabinetry fittings should be of the highest quality.