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A Brief History of the Shaker Kitchen

NEWS > A Brief History of the Shaker Kitchen

Shaker kitchens are incredibly popular thanks to their versatility. They look great in any home – from a sleek modern apartment, to a traditional country house. So, what is a Shaker kitchen and how did it get its name?

In the mid-17th century, a religious sect known as the Quakers were well known for their enthusiastic style of worship and prayer, often trembling or ‘shaking’ at their Lord’s word. Because of this, they become colloquially known as ‘Shakers’. Shakers believed that overly ornate design in furniture was ‘deceitful’ and too showy. They liked minimalist, simple and clean lines to reflect their perceived purity and life of simple pleasures. Above all, furniture had to be practical and highlight their simple lifestyles and devout faith. Shakers believed that kitchens should be clean places full of light, where dirt and shadows couldn’t be allowed to fall. The Shaker kitchen came into being, and was popular in the period.

Shaker kitchens were completely bespoke and designed to suit the owner’s lifestyle. They had a reputation for high quality, durability and resilience. Shakers believed that carpentry and the act of making furniture was an act of devotion and prayer, therefore great care and skill was exercised in the creation of a Shaker kitchen, so that it could be made to high standards of perfection. As time progressed into the 18th century, electricity was available in some homes, so people with kitchens often opted for lighter and bolder colours rather than dark colours to make the most of the light. It was not uncommon to see Shaker kitchens of the period in light colours like white, yellow or pale blue.

In the present day, our customers like to add a twist on the traditional Shaker theme by combining understated elegance with small quirks like using a variety of different materials, combining various colour tones, or by mixing different door handles. Shaker kitchens continue to be so popular as they are truly timeless in design, and are ideal for those who want longevity out of their kitchen design as trends evolve and change.

At Mayfair Kitchen Studio we have over 30 years of experience in crafting beautiful handmade Shaker kitchens that are durable, high quality and that meet the demands of modern lifestyles. Shaker kitchens have evolved, with more personality and character than the days of the 17th-century Quakers. Our Shaker kitchens have plenty of luxury thrown into their designs – from a beautiful range cooker surrounded by a mantlepiece, to canopy cooker hoods, handle-less cupboards, built-in fish tanks, innovative storage solutions and beyond. The simplicity of the Shaker kitchen has always kept its appeal, but storage is much more a case of integrated innovation rather than cupboards and containers nailed to a wall (as they were back in the old days).
We believe that an exceptional Shaker kitchen makes the most of the space available, with as much work space on offer as possible. Let our designers and fitters discuss your dream Shaker kitchen with you and help you bring your vision to life.

We've been invited to represent the UK's kitchen industry at The Parliamentary Review Annual Gala