The Simple Life

January 21, 2015

The Simple Life

Known for creating austere interiors that are an elegant study in minimalism... The Shakers are a fascinating and aesthetically important chapter of our American history. Making something well was their direct form of prayer,

The abstract beauty of Shaker architecture.

 Emigrated from the United Kingdom in the 18th century, a derivative of the Quakers, they were known for their commitment to communal lifestyle, equality of the sexes and strict celibacy, but the most lasting legacy they left behind was the purity of their designs.


Shaker Villlage in Pleasantville, Kentucky from Off Beat and Inspired.

 Shakers believed that God dwells in the quality and the details of their work. Clean and rustic, raw with subtle, utilitarian beauty, furniture was generally made of inexpensive and lightweight pine, or whichever materials they could find locally. The careful attention in their handiwork was also a replacement for the dedication to home and family, and the results are exquisite.

Shaker furniture from the Met Museum.

Architecture, furniture and home artifacts, with a distinctive look that has inspired much of the classic American farmhouse aesthetic, and a philosophy that was later rediscovered in the modern Mid-Century European design movement. Things were created from necessity, their form inspired by function. Famed Danish architect/designer Kaare Klint for instance, was heavily influenced by Shaker design.

Shaker architecture from Architectural Digest.

What we find most inspiring, is the dedication to quality. Our passion for antiques was born from a desire to find lasting treasures that will age with us and become a piece of our own legacy. Our modern world is one of immediate gratification, where faster is better. Shaker style furnishings are made slowly, painstakingly, the results seem in tune with nature. Recalling a time when people had a more intimate relationship with the land they lived on.

Our own farmhouse style chair, recalls the purity of Shaker furniture.

By the middle of the 20th century the Shaker communities were largely gone, so their creations have become artifacts. We are constantly on the hunt for Shaker treasures to incorporate into our complex, modern lives – perhaps as a reminder that the simplest things are sometimes, all you really need.

Modern Shaker bedroom from Style at Home.

There are so many modern interpretations of Shaker style that we love, rooms that have warmth and familiarity, elegance and the quintessential sparseness of Shaker style that still feels strangely contemporary.

From Old House Online, a home in Bucks County, PA and interior from Pinch Design.