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A Brief History of Shaker Cabinetry: Where Did They Come From?

Shaker cabinets have been around for over two centuries and in that time, they have not gone out of style. They remained popular through the 19th century and 20th century; however, it was during the last quarter of the 20th century when shaker cabinetry really took off.


History of shaker cabinetry - Shaking Quakers


We love Shaker Cabinetry and we think you will too. That’s why we’ve dedicated this blog post to exploring the history, style, and practicality of Shaker furniture.

Story Time

The roots of shaker cabinets can be traced back to ancient Egypt, in a time when people were still transitioning from stone and wood. Many early civilizations used the same techniques that shakers did centuries later: pairing simple shapes with minimal decoration.


The history of Shaker cabinets begins with the story of English Quakers. In 1774, a group of English Emigrants sought religious freedom and an ecstatic lifestyle while they were also partial to dancing during worship services – causing them to be known as “Shaking Quakers.” This nickname was later shortened into just “The Shakers”.


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The Shakers were a religious group known for their simple, yet exceptional quality furniture that they built themselves in accordance with “utilitarian design.” The value was never on ornamental designs but rather one centered around practicality and humility.


The core values of this colony were pacifism (or nonviolence), inclusion between members/humans & nature-oriented worshiping practices where each member had equal rights as well being given an opportunity to express his or her creativity without any judgment from fellow members which made them stand out since there wasn’t really anyone telling you what your limitations could be so everyone got creative when coming up new ideas about how best we serve our creator through clean living habits.



The Shaker kitchens were a reflection of their creators. The cabinets were constructed with woods easily accessible in the community and were often stained or painted for identification purposes.


The simple beauty of the Shaker door design spread to the rest of the world when communities began selling surplus furniture. The adoption of power tools made this happen sooner than would have otherwise been possible. The Shaker communities of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had been in decline since before the American Civil War, with only one village remaining by 1900.

So Why Should You Go For Shaker Cabinets?

Shaker cabinets’ simple beauty makes it the perfect choice for any style. With a timeless appeal, shakers can be found in both modern and classic homes alike! If you’re looking to update your home with new styles every few years though? Don’t worry because this door will still work well even after changing up our décor again after time has passed. If you need more inspiration on shaker cabinets, check out this amazing collection from Nelson Cabinetry!


White Shaker Kitchen
Nelson Cabinetry Kitchen Collection White Shaker



Final Thoughts

You may have seen shaker cabinetry in your own home or at a neighbor’s. It was popularized by the Shakers, a religious sect that lived communally and practiced celibacy for many years. The look of their furniture is simplistic with clean lines and straight edges to represent purity. They were puritanical in nature but they weren’t afraid to show off beautiful craftsmanship when it came to designing cabinets! Today, people still love this style because it’s simple yet elegant–and everything from cupboards to coffee tables can be made using these principles. Are you looking for some new shaker-style pieces? Let us know! We’re ready and waiting to help you design an interior space that will make your heart melt.


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Nelson Cabinetry

Nelson Cabinetry is an online distributor of high quality kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality product via an easy to use, convenient website. Placing your cabinet order has never been easier and you can do so from the comfort of your home, office or job site.


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