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If you are a lover of beautiful, elegantly styled Shaker furniture–you will love our Classic Shaker collection. Defined by it’s gentle curved legs, smooth edges and solid wood construction, any living room would benefit from the timeless appeal of this collection.

A Bit of History about the Shakers

Designed and built over 200 years ago by the American Shaker religious group, this simple but elegant furniture style has a truly timeless quality that makes sense for any home. Shaker furniture designs make the perfect complementary pieces for your traditional, transitional, rustic or modern living room. Shaker tables, chairs, buffets, china cabinets, beds, dressers and chests can be added to any decor to achieve the functionality you need while creating a stylish, comfortable look. Mix and match your shaker furniture with other styles for a more eclectic aesthetic.

While Shaker communities were once vibrant and thriving, there are now only 3 Shakers left. Brother Arnold Hadd and his two elderly sisters practice their faith at Sabbathday Lake’s Shaker Village in New Glouster Maine. It’s the worlds last active Shaker Community. This video of Brother Arnold describes the faith and the inspiration behind Shaker furniture design:

“That “classic” Shaker style is well represented here in strong, unassuming cupboards, tables, desks and chests of drawers; delicately crafted oval wooden nesting boxes; inviting, wide-mouthed wooden bowls; tightly woven rugs and baskets; and sprightly, no-nonsense ladder-back chairs. Made of chestnut, walnut, flame birch and bird’s-eye maple, these lightweight, sturdy chairs have rhythmically dynamic woven cane and checkerboard tape seats. They could be easily hung on wall pegs to allow for the ecstatic “shaking” dancing prayers for which the “Believers” became commonly known.”

Featured Pieces from the Classic Shaker Furniture Collection

 

Classic Shaker Oval Table1. Classic Shaker Oval Table: This oval coffee table makes the perfect base for your Classic Shaker styled living room. The curved legs and rounded top give it a soft, lightweight look while still maintaining its solid build. Made to order in Vermont, this piece can be crafted in Cherry, Maple, Oak or Walnut.

classic shaker round end table2.  Classic Shaker Round End Table: This lightweight, rounded end table makes the perfect accent to your living room. It’s finely crafted with premium hardwoods, and built to last a lifetime.

 

Classic Shaker Sofa Table3.  Classic Shaker Sofa Table: Our tall, narrow Classic Shaker Sofa Table with Flare Legs is perfect for your living room, den or hallway. Add luxury, style and convenience to your upscale home with extra space to place gloves or display photos, vases or artwork.

All three of these finely crafted pieces are made to order in Vermont and are sure to add warmth and sophistication to your space. While we only highlighted three in this blog, we also have a variety of other pieces in the collection for different rooms in the home. Which piece is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

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Which dining chair is best for your space? This is usually one of the first questions a person asks when re-furnishing and redesigning their dining room. While there are literally hundreds of different chair styles to choose from, the Windsor Style Chair and Modern Shaker Style are some of our favorites. Both of them are simplistic and stylish in their own right, and they are both staples of American history!

Lets start with the history behind the classic Windsor Chair:

According to ‘Past and Present: Windsor Chair History’ by Design*Sponge, “In North America, the Windsor chair form was first used in Philadelphia where the chair became hugely popular around the time of the Revolution. The chairs were such an important part of the life in the new country that Thomas Jefferson was said to have written the Declaration of Independence in one of these chairs and Martha Washington had needlework cushions made for her bow-back Windsor chairs.”

Wow, who knew? Even better, here’s some historical photos of these classic American chairs:

 

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“Images above, from top: This ca. 1739 drawing by Jacques Rigaud shows a lord and lady being wheeled through the garden in Windsor chairs (from The Metropolitan Museum of Art). The presentation of the Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress by Edward Savage (from the Library of Congress).” (Photos retrieved from Design*Sponge)

What about Shaker Chairs in history?

According to ArtComplex.org, “The common New England slat-back chair, fashioned by the hands of a Shaker woodworker, has become an icon of American furniture design. Shaker craftsman were familiar with that furniture form. It was found in almost every eighteenth and nineteenth century rural New england home. Converts brought these chairs with them as they joined shaker communities. Shaker craftsmen produced these chairs, refining that vernacular form and creating a distinctive , well-built chair that ultimately earned them considerable renown. Chairs were made in nearly every Shaker village for use within their shops and dwellings. Some chairs were sold to outsiders. Mount Lebanon, New York, the only community to mass produce chairs for sale, sold tens of thousands to individuals, families and businesses”

Traditionally, Shaker Chairs would be hung on the walls to maximize utility and save space.  Photo retrieved from: Blue Ribbons Design.
Traditionally, Shaker Chairs would be hung on the walls to maximize utility and save space. Photo retrieved from: Blue Ribbons Design.

While chair B isn’t a traditional slat back as mentioned and pictured, it still represents the simplicity of design and exquisite craftsmanship represented in Shaker style!

So, have you made up your mind yet? Both chairs have an impressive history and even more impressive design. If you don’t want to have to chose one or the other, why not both? Mix & Match for a look that is not only stylish, but has a great story.

Let us know which chair you love in the comments section of this blog, or send us a tweet!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Shaker End TablesShaker end tables have worldwide appeal, both as valued collectibles and as beautiful, unfussy pieces of furniture that go with anything in the home. 

Introduced over 200 years ago by the Shaker religious sect, this unfrilly furniture style has a truly timeless quality that makes sense for any style of home. Shaker end tables can accent your couch or other living room furniture with chic simplicity, and while they are not bold furniture designs, they make the perfect complementary pieces for your rustic or modern living room. Place your books, artwork, and most prized family photos atop your Shaker end table for a stylish, comfortable look. Mix and match your shaker end tables for a more eclectic aesthetic.

Shaker End Tables

Shaker end tables are light and airy, evoking a warm, country feel in any space they occupy. Traditionally, “country” style decor and furniture is sometimes seen as overly cluttered. The modern minimalism of Shaker end tables, however, is far from cluttered! Shaker style furniture is charactarized by its clean build, unassuming lines, and tapered leg shape. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and in its rich centuries old heritage.

Shaker end tables are some of the most versatile styles for your living room. So if you don’t feel comfortable committing to a certain style, this is the perfect type for you. Switch your styles around as much as you like and your Shaker end table will still look just as wonderful beside your couch or comfy living room chair.

What do you think, would you add a Shaker end table to your living room space? If not, what style do you like better?

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Shaker Beds | Handmade in Vermont | Solid Cherry Wood | High Quality
This is our American Shaker Panel Bed, a best loved design amongst our customers.  Like all Vermont Woods Studios fine furniture, it’s 100% American made, right here in Vermont.  Shown in natural solid cherry wood (also available in natural maple and natural walnut).

Shaker beds have been a specialty of Vermont furniture makers for over 200 years and they remain popular today.  I was helping a customer work through the process of finding the perfect Shaker bed yesterday and realized it’s not so easy.  We have almost 20 different shaker beds in our online furniture store.  All are top quality, 100% American made (handcrafted right here in Vermont) using responsibly harvested, real solid wood.

After looking at our Top 10 Shaker beds and all the different variations in design, we came up with a few subcategories that might make shopping easier for those looking for a particular style:

Traditional Shaker Beds

 

Four Poster Shaker Beds

 

Shaker Panel Beds

   

Shaker Sleigh Beds

   

You’ve probably noticed that these beds are all shown in solid cherry wood, which has a rich reddish brown color (once it has “ripened” after exposure to light). Cherry is by far the most popular wood for our customers when ordering Shaker furniture. However all of our Shaker beds are also available in three other woods: maple, walnut and oak.  Some customers even like to mix two woods together like the Sarah Shaker beds below (shown in maple and walnut).

Two Tone Shaker Beds

 

Hopefully this makes shopping for your new Shaker bedroom furniture a little easier.  Questions?  Come visit us at Stonehurst our new fine furniture and art gallery or contact us through our live chat, email, Facebook or phone.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Friday Favorites 11/1/13

1. New England Shaker 8/10 Drawer Dresser: This traditional 8/10-drawer New England Shaker Dresser will add beauty, style and functionality to your bedroom. It’s sleek lines and simplistic design make it a perfect piece for the tastes of both husband and wife–not overly masculine or feminine! The two top drawers have internal dividers and a saw kerf on the drawer fronts that give the appearance of separate drawers.

2. New England Shaker Bed: Our New England Shaker bed is true to authentic Shaker style and design, with soft arches and understated features. With this handcrafted bed there is no need to worry about your furniture going out of style–Shaker furniture has been held in high regards since the 1700s, and is still one of the top furniture styles! Pair with your favorite bedding and comfy pillows, and you’ll find yourself not wanting to get out of this beautiful Shaker bed.

3. New England Shaker Dressing Stool: The New England Shaker Dressing Stool is an ideal accessory furniture piece for the bedroom. It’s super versatile and can be used as an accent to your bed or dressing table–or for relaxing while you put on your makeup in the morning. It’s very comfortable, and features an elegant tapered leg, true to Shaker designs.

4. High-End Shaker Full Length Armoire: This luxurious solid wood Shaker Armoire is an elegant, sophisticated piece for the bedroom. It’s functionality in combination with its unique, high end aesthetic make it an ideal piece for those looking for additional storage and style in their space.

5. New England Shaker Lamp Table: This table is an essential piece for the bedroom. Whether its actually used for holding your lighting, or for your books, plants, & other  items that there seems to be no other place for, its a stylishly useful furniture piece that would fit well in most bedrooms!

If you were re-decorating your bedroom and could only choose one of these furniture designs– which would you pick? Let us know on our Facebook page, or in the comments section! 🙂

 

 

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.