What is Shaker?

Shaker refers to a distinctive style of furniture and interior design.


Shaker is a style that originated with the Shakers, a religious sect that emigrated to America from England in the late 18th century. Known for their principles of simplicity, utility, and honesty, these values are distinctly reflected in their approach to furniture and interior design. Shaker design is characterized by clean lines, minimal ornamentation, and functional form. The emphasis is on utility and craftsmanship, with a focus on high-quality, durable materials.

The simplicity of Shaker furniture and interiors does not compromise on beauty or functionality. Instead, it highlights the innate qualities of the materials used, often showcasing the craftsmanship through visible joinery techniques like dovetails and mortise-and-tenon joints. Shaker design often features straight, tapered legs, and wooden knobs or pulls. Color schemes in Shaker interiors tend to be muted, further emphasizing the importance of simplicity and functionality over decorative excess.

Over time, the Shaker style has been adapted and integrated into various modern design contexts, proving its timelessness and versatility. It remains popular for those who admire minimalist design aesthetics and value craftsmanship and practicality in furniture and interior settings.


In contemporary interior design, Shaker style is often seen in kitchens with cabinetry that features the distinctive clean lines and functional design. It's also popular in dining room tables, chairs, and other furniture pieces that leverage the minimalist aesthetic for a timeless look. The influence of Shaker design extends beyond just furniture; it can also be seen in the layout and organization of spaces, emphasizing a clutter-free environment that prioritizes usability and serenity.


  • How did the Shaker style originate?

    The Shaker style originated with the Shakers, a religious sect from England who settled in America in the late 18th century. Their design principles reflected their values of simplicity, utility, and honesty.

  • What are some distinctive features of Shaker furniture?

    Distinctive features include clean lines, minimal ornamentation, functional form, high-quality materials, visible joinery techniques (e.g., dovetails, mortise-and-tenon joints), straight, tapered legs, and wooden knobs or pulls.

  • Is Shaker style still relevant in modern interior design?

    Yes, Shaker style remains popular in modern interior design due to its timeless minimalism, emphasis on craftsmanship, and practical functionality. It is often adapted and integrated into contemporary settings, especially in kitchens and dining rooms.

  • Can Shaker style be combined with other design styles?

    Absolutely, the minimalist and functional characteristics of Shaker design make it versatile enough to be combined with other design styles, such as Mid Century Modern or Scandinavian, creating unique and cohesive interiors.

  • What kind of materials are typically used in Shaker furniture?

    Shaker furniture typically uses high-quality, durable materials such as hardwoods (e.g., maple, cherry, and pine). The materials are chosen for their ability to withstand time and use, reflecting the Shaker emphasis on functionality and longevity.

Practical Application

To incorporate Shaker design elements into your interior, focus on selecting furniture that embodies simplicity and functionality. Opt for pieces with clean lines, minimal decoration, and visible craftsmanship. In terms of color scheme, choose muted, subdued colors that enhance the minimalist aesthetic. When planning the layout and organization of your space, aim for a clutter-free environment that prioritizes practicality and serenity, keeping in line with Shaker principles.