Shaker Design, Classic Contemporary Elegance

There is something calming about Shaker furniture, the classic lines and expert cabinetry have a warmth that makes any kitchen feel like home. As a design style, Shaker has so much to offer the modern kitchen, but the history of the style actually stretches back to an American ascetic religious movement of the 19th Century.

The Shakers or United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing as they were correctly known had guiding principles of simplicity unity and honesty. Furniture was therefore created along lean minimalist lines, with no unnecessary embellishments, creating pieces that perfectly fulfilled function, form and proportion.

At a time when the predominant European design aesthetic was for heavy, dark, ornate furniture the Shaker style, particularly for furniture sold by the New Lebanon community from the 1860’s onwards, was embraced by homemakers in the New World.

One of the aspects that characterised Shaker furniture was the quality of craftsmanship with an emphasis on high-quality joinery, something that we emulate today with our modern Shaker interpretations.

The original furniture would be made in cherry, maple or pine and then painted in one of four prescribed colours, blue, green, red or yellow however as furniture makers in the 21st Century we have the leeway to take the original aesthetic and reimagine it with interpretations that work perfectly to create contemporary luxurious kitchens.

Just like the Shaker craftsmen, we also believe in exemplary craftsmanship, in creating functional but beautiful furniture that is built to last the test of time.

One of the keys to this quality is in the part of the furniture you don’t see. Shaker cabinetry is created using in-frame design, a type of cabinetry construction where the door of a cabinet is inset within a wooden frame and the frame is fixed onto the front face of the carcass giving it long-lasting strength.

The fundamental build quality of a Shaker kitchen, therefore derives from its in-frame woodwork, something that we apply rigorous quality checks to, and with the precision we apply to our cabinet making at Langstaff-Ellis the calibre of our craftsmanship would be recognisable to our 19th Century forbears. While they would certainly recognise the characteristic beaded doors, functional lines and traditional detailing in our designs we hope they’d also appreciate our subtle adaptations for contemporary homes.

Our modern Shaker interpretations provide contemporary luxury options, including EuroCave wine cabinets, Quooker boiling water taps, Fisher & Paykel appliances, Bora hobs, Aga ranges and Belfast sinks, and where the Shakers themselves insisted on wooden door and drawer pulls we can offer a variety of stylish handles such as Butler + Punch.

Finishes aren’t limited to primary colours either, in fact our modern Shaker kitchens can be painted in any colour you choose including fashionable greys and darker hues as well as stunning neutral tones to complement your home’s unique aesthetic.

The contemporary Shaker style is a perfect evolution of furniture design principles that have been passed on for generations and across continents. For interior designers and homeowners looking to create timeless elegance in their kitchen, or elsewhere in the home our bespoke Shaker designs with their high-end craftsmanship and luxury finishes create the perfect contemporary answer.

Finally, if you were wondering why the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing became know as the Shakers, it was because of their ecstatic dancing during services!

For more information about working with Langstaff Ellis to design a beautiful shaker kitchen for your home please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.