If you’ve spent more than a minute on our website here at Kitchen Design Centre, you may well have seen us talking about Shaker kitchens. First invented hundreds of years ago by a religious group called the Shakers (fancy that), it’s still widely used today by kitchen designers across the world. So what makes the design so enduring, and why does everyone love it?
We’ll start off by telling you a bit about the people who founded the movement. As Kitchen Design Centre is based proudly in the North West, we’re delighted to tell you that the Shakers were in fact originally from our neck of the woods. Their official name was the United Society of Believers, and they broke away from the Quakers in the 1770s, moving from Manchester in England to New York. (In case you’re wondering about the name, by the way, it was literal – they loved to do a bit of moving and ‘shaking’ during their worships. People after our own hearts!)
In New York, they settled in self-sufficient communities, where they made furniture to sell on and support themselves. They quickly developed a reputation for their simple yet effective carpentry, and their humble but firm design philosophies eventually evolved into the Shaker kitchen style.
A Shaker kitchen is three things: simple, functional and high-quality. The Shakers believed in uncluttered, open-plan living spaces. There were no frills or unnecessary extras – everything in their kitchens was there for a reason, and they believed that every object in the home should have a function. Their carpentry followed the same principles, with humble, unornamented designs that were appealing in their simplicity. That doesn’t mean they just knocked them together, though – every piece of furniture was a handmade labour of love from real wood, with the final products famous for their functionality and quality craftsmanship. The Shakers also used simple wood-turned knobs for their cabinetry and wooden worktops (although nowadays there are naturally lots of other materials to choose from). As for colours, the Shakers were characteristically modest in their palettes too, generally choosing cream, muted green, pink or pale grey-blue.
Lots of reasons! Their versatility, for one. The modest style of Shaker kitchens leaves a lot open to interpretation. That means that Shaker kitchens can look equally fabulous whether modern or traditional, with a neutral colour palette or accented with an eye-catching shade that really pops! Shaker kitchens are beautifully understated, and their simple clean lines are almost universally attractive. So as well as taking advantage of their stunning styles, they also give you room to put your own stamp of individuality on them!
The Shakers coined some fantastic design principles too, which is just another reason why their kitchens are so popular. Their philosophies of a place for everything and a slightly austere style stops your kitchen from becoming too cluttered with odds and ends, ensuring that you only ever have what you need. Their emphasis on functionality, too, is something that will never fall out of fashion, no matter what trends come and go.
As you can probably tell, we can’t get enough of Shaker kitchens here at Kitchen Design Centre. If you’d like us to work some of our magic on yours, we’d love to! Just pop into our Manchester showroom to have a chat with any one of our designers – or, if you’re not quite that local, we’ve got a range of showrooms across the North West. Whichever one you choose, you can count on a friendly, professional service – with a healthy dose of enthusiasm to boot!
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