Beauty in simplicity is the hallmark of Shaker furniture. Featuring no frills or embellishments, quality craftsmanship includes superior mortise and tenon joinery, dovetail drawers, round wooden knobs, tapered legs and gentle curves that ensure strong form and function.
Developed in the 18th century by followers of the Shaker religious sect, called the Shaking Quakers, Shaker furniture is one of the most well-known forms of American furniture design. The Shaking Quakers, who were followers of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, originated in England and were thus named shakers for their movements or “shaking” as they worshiped. The shaker religion stressed the importance of living a lifestyle that reflected their values. That lifestyle was to be simple, honest and hardworking and so was their furniture. Shakers sought to be self-sufficient, growing their own food and making their own tools and furniture.
Based upon ascetic principles, shaker furniture is recognized by clean, smooth lines, simplicity of design, high quality and excellent joinery. Shaker furniture craftsmen rejected excessive decoration as prideful. Shaker furniture reflects shaker lifestyle and religious beliefs, striving for perfection. While some pieces are large, shaker furniture was designed to be light for easy portability and storage.
Shaker style furniture is built to provide high function for its intended use, with no added ornamentation to distract from the form and function of the piece. These principles have often inspired modern furniture designs, but classic Shaker furniture is still prized throughout America and the world. The emphasis on simplicity and functionality that is essential to Shaker design melds well with the Amish ethos. Reflecting shaker principles of honesty, utility and simplicity, each Shaker dining table, Shaker coffee table and other piece of Shaker furniture that our skilled Amish craftsmen provide is durable, sturdy and functional.
Shaker and mission styles share principles of fine craftsmanship, high function and little decoration. Great pride is taken in the crafting of both, and their focus on high performance and quality craftsmanship sometimes causes them to be spoken of as if they are one style, but they are not.
Of these two popular furniture designs, Shaker furniture was first on the scene in the early 1800s. Mission furniture became popular in the late 1800s, fueled by the Arts and Crafts Movement that turned away from excessive ornamentation in furniture to focus instead on simple form that was well built and full of function.
Both Shaker and mission furniture feature the finest and strongest composition, utilizing mortise and tenon joinery and other trusted woodworking techniques. Mission will feature more slats, both vertical and horizontal, as it focuses on horizontal and vertical lines and flat panels of wood to show off the wood grain. Shaker furniture often features subtle curves and graceful, tapered legs in addition to its fine construction.
Both mission and Shaker furniture are loved for their beauty, strength, function and versatile nature.
Whether you’re looking for a Shaker bench, Shaker chair, some beautiful Shaker hutches, a Shaker table or some other Shaker design, you’ll surely find what you seek in our extensive collection. Each piece is handcrafted in independent Amish woodshops, giving us the ability to offer you a variety of options. You can choose from various woods, stains and finishes as well as explore other options for your shaker furniture.