1747 to 1900
The Shaker’s were a religious sect founded in England in the late 1700’s. The Shaker’s design philosophy is one of necessity and usefulness. Once these elements are achieved, they believed in beauty. They were strong believers of common ownership and communal living and were persecuted for their beliefs.
They later immigrated to America and led peaceful lives of abstinence and celibacy. Because of their celibate beliefs, the Shaker community is slow to grow and the only way they can survive is by conversion.
The Shaker’s believed first and foremost in functionality, and veered away from unnecessary decoration. However, they were strongly focused on the quality of their word so each item was generally made to perfection. Their style was open plan, simple and uncluttered with a lot of natural materials such as handcrafted wood furniture and cotton quilting, wool and silk.
Furniture was the key element of the Shaker design philosophy.
Colors were rich and dark. Ruby red, forest green or blue, with heavy damask patterns were prominent. The color palette was initially restricted until the mastering of chemical process dying. Peacock greens and blues, magentas, violets and raw pinks burst onto the scene. Fabrics were highly patterned. Velvet and damask were of choice for the winter, switching to cotton and chintz for the cooler summer months. Wallpaper became mass-produced and was embraced by the masses. Paper went from the skirting board to the dado line and was pattered in flock, damask or water silk.
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