Bespoke Kitchens & Design

What is a Shaker Style Kitchen and Where Did it Come From?

A Shaker Kitchen is a kitchen style that is distinctly minimal with a clean-lined design that has little or no decoration.
Shaker Kitchen cabinet doors consist of a recessed panel and a four-piece wood frame. Most of these kitchen cabinets are constructed from wood and dovetail joints. The original Shaker Kitchens were modest due to the Shaker’s religious views.

A Shaker style kitchen has simple lines and understated elegance that has stood the test of time. The cabinets have a significantly unadorned look with a focus on practical design and craftsmanship. This design style comes from a religious group’s need to create furniture from bare essentials and without embellishments. Because of its unfussiness, you can find a simple Shaker kitchen in modern, traditional, high-end and budget homes alike.

A Lesson in History: Why it’s called a Shaker Kitchen

Who are the Shakers?
The Shakers, officially The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearance, was a religious sect founded in England in 1783. They were initially part of the Quakers but broke away in the mid-18th century.
The Shakers name comes from “Shaking Quakers”, which is what they were called because of their restless worship style. However, after religious persecution, the group fled to America.
Equality was the cornerstone of their faith, specifically of the sexes and races, alongside pacifism and communal ownership of property. However, Shakers also practised celibacy that significantly shrunk their numbers. 
As a result, only two members remain today in Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, Maine.

To the Shakers, to create something with intention was a form of meditative prayer. Consequently, crafters kept to the principle that beauty rests in utility and avoided unnecessary adornment that they believed was too self-indulgent.

However, they did like to dance. So, they preferred and made lightweight Shaker furniture that was easy to move around. That’s why tapered and turned legs, in particular, are characteristic of the style.