When Form Follows Function
The Shaker style of furniture design may have originally landed in America in the late 18th century from its roots in England, but over the passing two centuries has found its way back across the Atlantic to its homeland, where it has been embraced by kitchen designers in particular with its clean and uncluttered lines that look fresh and contemporary, while still offering ‘warmth’ and character to the most important room in the house.
The Shaker style of kitchen is one of Beau-Port Kitchen’s most popular styles and they have a number of variations on this style theme showing full-scale kitchens at their 2000 sq ft showroom at Bentworth, with more examples on their website and a forthcoming Case Study of a recently fitted In Frame Shaker Kitchen in Juniper Ash Blue about to be posted on the site. The bold colour choice of this particular kitchen, installed in a contemporary barn conversion style home set in some of Hampshire's most dramatic landscape, clearly shows how contemporary this traditional style of kitchen can be and as the owner said to me: “If we feel we want to give the kitchen a completely different look and feel a few years down the line, all we have to do is repaint it.” With solid wood furniture, skilfully created and installed by British craftsmen, a Beau-Port Shaker style kitchen can last a lifetime.
Shaker style would be my favoured style of kitchen when I come to do a refit of my own kitchen which I inherited 9 years ago, so it is now over a decade old – a typical kitchen of its time with a series of units stuck together which unfortunately have not stood the test of time. The old adage ‘buy cheap and you buy twice’ is very true. How I wish I’d had the opportunity to have had a Beau-Port Shaker style kitchen installed then and to know that it would still look and function well after a decade and more.
The Shaker style is renowned for its simplicity of design in both furniture and architecture and has had a lasting influence on American architecture and design. ‘Beauty rests on unity’ is a frequently quoted phrase regarding the Shaker style of furniture which was created to be hard-wearing, durable and practical. ‘Less is more’ is another frequently quoted phrase when speaking about the timeless Shaker style. It is modest yet beautiful with its simplicity, efficiency and elegance.
Beau-Port Kitchens has a whole range of interesting options with their Shaker style kitchens - with their Wimborne, Charleston and New England Shaker style kitchens and their most recent addition to their showrooms is a beautiful natural unpainted wood Shaker style kitchen display in their new AGA showroom at Bentworth.