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The Shaker style approach to decorating is beauty in simplicity, with the use of natural materials and a clean, uncluttered look with deep colors.

Shaker decor is unbroken simplicity which is not difficult to reconstruct. This approach is reflected in a simple eloquence and simple furnishings.

The same beauty and balance is as appropriate today, particularly in the kitchen where each item is useful, and at the same time, attractive to the eye and functional.

This uncomplicated style of decorating draws on beautiful natural color schemes, with distinctive features such as peg boards for display and storage, cupboards and racks in wood and wicker, which can be repeated throughout the whole home to achieve the Shaker decor style.

Harmony and efficiency in all things were reflected in the Shaker approach to home decorating…

 Adapting The Shaker Decor Look

shaker kitchen cupboard filled with old herb bottles

  • Shaker style decorating is the art of simplicity and the beauty and charm lies therein. Their basic design principles can work well in modern homes, country styles homes or for an uncluttered look and style in a small apartment.
  • Make use of only natural materials, wood plays an important role. The natural coloring and grain of wood can be highlighted using a translucent stain or varnished, or painted.
  • As you can see, an old wooden cupboard filled with old herb bottles and bowls capture Shaker simplicity.

Adapting The Shaker Look… Deep baseboards and wainscots built to waist height are in keeping with this style and these can help break up a wide expanse of wall

shaker kitchen with blue and white walls and curtains

 Shakers Approach To Design

Despite the Shakers calm approach to design, they were happy to use bright interior paint colors and this was noticeable in a bold range of shades on woodwork, which was often painted using browns, reds, oranges, mustard yellows, and deep greens and blues.

For the back splash in the kitchen and bathroom, tongue-and-groove paneling fitted over part or all the way up the wall. Varnish or paint the wood to seal it and if you decide to use paint, pick a gloss or water-resistant vinyl.

Shaker style floors include natural stone or terra-cotta tiles for a kitchen or any of the other rooms. However, for true authenticity, polished hardwood floors are best.

shaker kitchen with blue and white walls and curtains

 Shaker Style Designs

The Shakers had few material needs, and this was reflected in their furniture designs. In the kitchen, strong, large tables with trestle legs allowed plenty of room, and lightweight chairs that had ladder backs could be hung on the wall.

The pegboard was one of the most useful accessories. The pegs were used for hanging chairs to keep them out of the way, hold small cabinets, cooking utensils, tools, brushes, clothes and hats..

Complete Shaker style kitchens can be expensive, but you could simply choose cheaper units in plain styles or change the doors and drawer fronts on existing units and transform them with a few coats of paint in one of the classic Shaker shades. Replace ornate knobs with plain wooden knobs, varnish or paint to match the unit.

Everything in the Shaker house had a role or function. Among the everyday items on display were wall sconces and metal or wooden candlesticks, tinware, baskets and brushes were all display.

shaker desk and chairs

 Authentic Shaker Style

Wood materials played an important function in Shaker decor, with doors, floors, window frames, baseboards, built-in-cupboards and peg boards featured throughout.

Shaker fabrics were made from natural fibers—wool, cotton, flax and silk. They were plainly woven, although checked fabrics using several colors were common. Fabrics were used for curtains, bedding, and table linen, with harmonizing colors mixed in the same way as paint colors.

For certain aspects of decorating, it is impossible to be strictly authentic. However, simple styled, comfortable sofas and chairs, covered in a fabric with appropriate plain or checked colors will not look out of place.

When choosing accessories, remember that often the simplest items are the most pleasing to the eye. The revival of Shaker style decorating has led to plain wooden, wicker, and ceramic accessories being widely available.

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