The Shaker style, which originated in the United States at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, is one of the most recent rediscoveries in interior design. It is especially appreciated for its minimal, clean lines and then because, unlike Scandinavian and Nordic styles, it allows for a warmer, more welcoming atmosphere.
The kitchen is one of the rooms in the home that is most enhanced by furniture inspired by this particular style. So let’s see together what characteristics a modern Shaker style kitchen has and how to successfully incorporate it into a furnishing project.
The Shaker style developed about a century and a half ago in the American religious community of the same name. The lifestyle of the members, and consequently the decor of their homes, was influenced by a few definite values, including rigor and simplicity.
In the Shaker society, the kitchen was the hub around which family life took place and the space in the home where other members of the community were welcomed. The décor was simple but highly functional, with furniture and accessories often handcrafted by the hosts.
Some consider the Shaker style to be the precursor to modern minimalism. The two approaches have several points in common: the furnishings are unadorned, there are no visible objects and utensils, and everything is impeccably organized. For storing dishes, pots and pans, storage cabinets with hinged doors or large shelves attached to the wall are used.
The clean lines of the furniture and the pleasant feeling of order, given by the fact that everything is organized in a reasoned manner, makes a modern Shaker-style kitchen look pleasant and very cozy.
Two elements that particularly distinguish modern Shaker-style kitchens are the cupboard and high-backed chairs. The furniture that furnishes a kitchen of this style is made strictly of wood, usually painted with white or light-colored paints. As a result, homes furnished in this style have a bright appearance, thanks to the use of white, gray and beige colors for floors, furniture and walls.
In addition to wood, from which tables, furniture and chairs are made, there is no shortage of fibers of natural origin, from which home textiles are made. These are usually raw-looking yarns made by weaving cotton, hemp or linen.
These two guiding principles of the Shaker style–furniture with clean lines and the use of natural textiles–respond perfectly to the demands of contemporary consumers. In a special way, they succeed in meeting the expectations of those who wish to furnish their kitchens in a style intermediate between minimal and rustic.
With a few details and some purposeful interventions here and there, it is possible to transform a traditional Shaker kitchen into a modern space that is perfectly capable of meeting the needs of people living in the 21st century.
One solution to modernize the kitchen and give it an original feel is to decide to include exposed appliances. All it takes is a refrigerator – perhaps with a retro line – and a microwave oven to “freshen up” a Shaker-style kitchen and make it even more beautiful and functional. The use of a designer hood is also a good solution to reconcile style and practicality.
While respecting the principles behind the Shaker style, you can also make the kitchen more modern by including touches of color. For example, wooden stools or colorful plates are enough to liven up the room and make it less austere.
Using different materials also makes for an original and intriguing effect. Wooden furniture can coexist, for example, with a resin or concrete top. Following the same logic, you can bring out the lines of the modern Shaker-style kitchen by placing it, for example, in a room with dark walls and floors.
Another simple but effective way to create a beautiful modern Shaker-style kitchen design is to customize the seating and place designer chairs alongside the traditional high-backed “ladder back chair” model, each with its own style and story to tell.
The possibilities of furnishing kitchens in the modern Shaker style are many, and everyone can easily find the shade that best suits their family’s needs.
Lastly, it is necessary to note the fact that the peculiarities and handcrafted details characteristic of this style of furniture are winning the hearts of the many people who, in the way of furnishing and living the home, pursue a return to authenticity and genuineness. In short: this is undoubtedly a trend that will gain momentum in the future.
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With over 40 years’ experience, Il Piccolo possesses a top-notch extensive technical and design know-how thanks to the many interior design projects accomplished all over the world. Additionally, Il Piccolo is the representative of a number of the most prestigious international furniture brands, which are now available also in Lugano.