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Shake It Out

History is ingrained within our designs throughout our hotels and projects; whether it’s the age of the building itself, the antique pieces within it, or the art on the walls. Everything tells a story.

One of the joinery details we take inspiration from has a rather interesting backstory. We use Shaker style cabinetry in the kitchens of our townhouses and apartments for the uncomplicated elegance it creates.

Shakers were a religious sect in the US who had guiding principles of simplicity, utility and honesty. Their beliefs were reflected in their well-made furniture and minimalist designs. Shaker communities were largely self-sufficient. In their attempt to separate themselves from the outside world and to create a heaven-on-earth, members grew their own food, constructed their own buildings, and manufactured their own tools and household furnishings.

This simplistic style of joinery is a perfect base for bright colours or pairing with a statement countertop, a design style that can easily be used in your own home and projects. Below is the kitchen in the Suffolk Suite at Haymarket Hotel.

In 1774, nine Shakers moved to the US and eventually became one of the most successful utopian communities in American history. They were self-sufficient, growing their food, building their own homes and making their own tools and furniture.

Here is a selection of shaker style pieces available for your own home that we love.

Charlie Caffyn – The Iford Library Step Chair

Jason Lewis Furniture – T05 Dining Table

The Windham Sofa by Brian Persico

Just about every major design movement since the Shakers arrived in America has been inspired in one way or another by their core principles of honesty, utility, and simplicity. Donald Judd’s stark, spare chairs and desks recall Shaker “case” furniture, and Tom Sachs’s jerry-rigged home effects evoke the sect’s brilliant tool design. Modernist master Charles Sheeler produced an entire era’s worth of paintings of such furniture, inspired by the chairs he collected. And artists (and collectors) like Jasper Johns and Ellsworth Kelly reflected Shaker notions of proportion and lack of embellishment in their work.

Our 3 plank and 5 plank coffee tables are available to buy on Shop Kit Kemp and have been inspired by the Shakers. The simple solid oak design comes in two finishes, oyster grey and light natural.

And to leave you on a colourful note, here are some artworks by the wonderful Ellsworth Kelly.

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