If you like furniture with lots of curves and ornate decoration, then you're barking up the wrong tree with shaker furniture. Unlike furniture styles that attempt to win you over with fancy millwork and detailed carvings, Shaker style furniture is known for exactly the opposite: its simple, utilitarian design. On the other hand, it's exactly that modest, yet beautiful, look of shaker furniture that is responsible for making it so popular with American homeowners and designers alike.
Shaker Style Furniture: a History
Shaker furniture has changed little since it's inception in the late 1700's by a Christian denomination (the Shakers) that stressed beliefs of simplicity and efficiency. Their furniture reflected their values, as did their high level of craftsmanship. The resulting designs were functional, well built, and beautiful in their understatement. Those same traits remain the trademarks of shaker style furniture to this day, and spotting quality shaker furniture is simply a matter of knowing what to look for.
Shaker Furniture 101
If you're interested in decorating your home with shaker style furniture, there's several building styles and design elements you'll want to get up on your radar screen. The first thing to look for is straight, uniform lines. You won't find fancy carvings or wood work anywhere on these pieces. Modesty is the name of the game. A second trademark is found in the joinery. Like other finely crafted wood furniture, shaker furniture uses the traditional strategies of tenon and mortise joinery, and dovetailing, in fitting pieces of wood together. You won't find screws, nails, or braces anywhere on a well built piece of Shaker furniture. Finally, shaker chairs are known not for the wooden frames, but for the carefully woven seats. It's a unique trait that sets Shaker style chairs and dining sets apart from many other custom furniture building styles.
Get exactly what you want! Use this link toBuild Custom Furniture
Where to Find Shaker Furniture Today
The large Shaker communities that produced Shaker style furniture in days past have mostly disappeared in modern times. In fact, as of this writing, only one, small working shaker community still existed in the United States. Fortunately for enthusiasts of their trademark furniture style, over the years the fine craftsmanship and straightforward designs of shaker style furniture have been passed on to custom furniture builders from all walks of life.
For a furniture style that combines the all-American values of fine worksmanship, modesty, and efficiency, with a simple beauty all its own, you won't find a better match than shaker style furniture.