Shaker Cabinetry and Shaker Style
As I make my way around the world in my custom cabinetry and home improvement profession, it seems that one of the topmost, sticking trends that never seems to fall off list of desired styles for kitchens and custom built-in cabinets is the Shaker Style. Most often simply white, there is an occasional request for a different color or wood.
Shaker Cabinets: Where They Came From
The word Shaker is a descriptive word referring to Shaking Quakers, later to be shortened to Shaker, in the late 1700s and early 1800s. To be more specific, shaking was part of their religious worship where their bodies would shake when filled with the spirit. Thus, Shaker as a style was not an actual style until it caught on to markets after the furniture made by the Shaker people was discovered. They designed their furniture with extreme care and perfection to the point of being “an act of prayer.” On a personal note and as a perfectionist myself, my own most common objectives before starting any project always begin with the following meditations: “create it and build it fit for a king and queen,” “make it as a gift to be presented to God,” “build it with FOREVER in mind.”
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The Shakers were a communal people, similar to the Amish in their own rights. They grew their own food, made their own tools and clothing. They built their own structures, their houses, the barns, and places of worship. And, most commonly, Shakers built their own furniture including the most focal points, the cabinet doors. Beyond the cabinet box is the simple door lacking ornamental décor, but rather showcasing the simplicity of design, the quality of material and precision of craftsmanship.
Furniture markets caught onto the simple Shaker design because of its ease in construction. This lead to the ability to mass produce high-quality furniture. Eventually, this simple Shaker style became a desired style for home and office cabinetry due to its simplicity and timeless appeal.
Shaker Profile Varieties
In the beginning, the Shaker profile started as a simple square edge. Over the years, makers and Shakers improved the profiles and developed more based on function and aesthetic. When the square edge became a hassle with dust and debris, a slight bevel made it both less catching to dust and easier to clean. Here are a few profiles that can be used for Shaker doors and other cabinet and furniture profiles.
Shaker Doors, Your Local Source for New Shaker Cabinets or Refaced
Ryan has been designing high quality custom built Shaker cabinets and refacing kitchen with Shaker Doors in Louisville, Kentucky and surrounding areas for nearly 20 years. Replacing your old doors ads value to your home and ads value to the quality of your life. Why wait until you are going to sell your house only to enjoy it for a short time? Make your upgrades and live in your upgraded home now! Whether you need new Shaker kitchen cabinets, new Shaker cabinet doors, custom built-in Shaker cabinets, Ryan is the man with the hands that can make it happen for you.
Want to save money by painting and installing the doors yourself? No problem! We can arrange that.
A Little Place in Kentucky
In Harrodsburg, Kentucky there is a historical landmark called Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, “home to the third largest Shaker community in the United States between 1805 and 1910…” The original grounds and structures have been well maintained through the years despite the realities of age and life and environmental decay.
In its stark simplicity, it is a very interesting place showcasing what I would call the depth of simplicity. One of the most prominent features of the Shaker Village is in every interior of every structure, the walls are lined with pegboards, a simple piece of wood about yay big (1″ x 4″ or something thereabouts) spanning the length of nearly every wall, about five, six, seven feet above the floor, and lined with a peg, or hook, about every foot. The purpose of these pegboards was to keep everything off the ground (there were no Roombas roving around doing the chores).
If you are ever passing through near Lexington, Kentucky make a stop if only for a short time. Compare lifestyles in ageless, mechanical simplicity versus modern, digital complexity. There is so much more to the place than my mere mention here to include Shaker, furniture, artifacts, architecture and more. For a little more more depth about the history of the Pleasant Hill Shakers, who they were, where they came from, “discover a simple Shaker heritage.”
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