Shaker Style Furniture Is More Influential Than Ever

Shaker Style Furniture Is More Influential Than Ever

Shaker style furniture, a classic of American design, is more influential than ever, with modern interpreters giving the originals some covetable updates. Shaker style furniture has its roots in some very specific religious beliefs. The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming (frequently called the Shakers because of their wild movement during worship services) got their start in France in the 17th century, but fled to England in 1706. By 1774, a group of eight Shakers had immigrated to the United States, where they began working to create a “utopian” society. The Shakers prided themselves on their humbleness, hard work, and efficiency, and Shaker style furniture reflects these values. Shaker furniture was designed with clean, geometric lines. Pulls were typically made from the same wood as the rest of the piece. Shaker pieces are notoriously sturdy and well built. Dovetailed and mortise-and-tenon joints were common. Because wastefulness was considered sinful, the Shakers produced lightweight furniture, using as little wood as possible while still creating a functional piece.

To prevent chairs from cluttering their living spaces, Shakers often built and installed chair pegs on their walls. This allowed the chairs to hang, out of the way, until they were needed again. After all, Shaker style furniture has a long and detailed history, and it is sure to live in on the memories of those who appreciate their furniture as essentially a work of art.

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