If there’s one thing we can say with certainty, it’s that minimalism is the hot style right now. For closets in particular, it’s the minimalist Shaker-style closet that’s getting the most attention.

But there are a lot of people who don’t know a whole lot about them. So today, we’re tackling a few big questions. Who were the Shakers, and what’s Shaker-style design? How does one define a Shaker-style closet? And why, exactly, is it so popular?

Who were the Shakers?

The Shakers are sometimes confused with the Quakers because they share similar religious beliefs. However, Shakers were a utopian group, located in New York State in the 18th century, who took vows of celibacy and did not have children. They believed in simplicity, work ethic, communal living, and they viewed work as a kind of prayer, believing that God could be found in the smallest of daily activities. Their furniture is a testament to that belief, made plainly, painstakingly, and with care.

What’s Shaker-style design?

Shaker-style design can be described as modern before modernism. It’s all about function over form. In Shaker-style furniture, you’ll find the clean lines and lack of ornamentation that people now associate with Scandinavian design.The furniture they’re most known for are rocking chairs, wicker boxes, and baskets, but they actually made all their own furniture—and Shaker-style influences can be found in furniture across the world today.

shaker style closets from Stricklands

How do you define a Shaker-style closet?

The ideal Shaker-style closet is beautifully functional. The furniture is typically made in muted, light colors—think almond, white, gray, or unadorned wood—and each piece should be simple and free of ornamentation. A modern Shaker-style closet will make use of Shaker-inspired pieces to create a streamlined, clean, and rustic look. Each piece should follow the Golden Ratio in its proportions and be light enough to easily carry. Shaker-style doors and drawers are often most visible in this kind of closet. Joints should be concealed so as to remain inconspicuous, allowing the overall feel of the furniture to stay plain, practical, and purposeful.

shaker style closet from Stricklands

Why is it so popular?

Today’s trend toward minimalism, the renaissance of wood as a building material, and the desire to move away from cheap, mass-produced items all contribute to the popularity of Shaker-inspired design. Most Shaker furniture was also designed to be space-saving, and could be hung up on walls when it wasn’t being used—giving it great appeal to people who live in smaller homes or apartments.

How can I incorporate Shaker-style pieces into my closet?

At Strickland’s Closets & Home Organization, we’re huge fans of Shaker-style closets (and other Shaker-style furniture)—so we can absolutely help you there! The sturdy, simple design looks good with everything and makes good organization fashionable. What home organization company wouldn’t like that?

To see some of our Shaker-style pieces in action, visit our Wilmington-area showroom or request an appointment today. We can’t wait to help you get started!