I love board and batten! Our home would feel so nice with it running up the stairs and wrapping each room. I have wanted to install some fancy woodwork in our home, but I always thought you have to be a master craftsman to undertake such a huge project.
I have been really inspired with all the amazing work out there in blogland. So I have decided I want to give our little home a some character because it really wants to be a cottage, not a suburban cookie cutter.
The timeline for this project is not immediate… Hopefully sooner than later.
Here is an Ode to Beautiful Woodwork:
The Shakers immigrated to the United States in the late 18th century to avoid religious persecution. When they arrived in America they began developing a society that emphasized a belief in a personal relationship with God, simplicity, equality, industry and a striving for perfection. This emphasis created a legacy of perfectly, yet simply crafted pieces. The enduring beauty of Shaker furniture is a result of their attention to details, the utility of their furniture and a fine elegance in all the created.
Influential Elements in Shaker Design
- Simplicity – In direct contrast to many of the pieces found during the same period, which were influence by the Federal and Sheraton styles, the Shakers would remove all elaborations creating pure and highly functional pieces. Shaker decoration is integrated in the overall form of a piece, they would use the basic elements of design (scale, proportion, repetition/variation and symmetry/asymmetry) to create visual appeal.
- Open and uncluttered spaces.
- A limited color palette of earth-based neutrals, warm yellows, reds, blues and greens.
- Handcrafted furniture in cherry, chestnut, maple and pine.
- Handmade quilts, toys, dolls and other accessories.
- Establish a Place of Order – The Shakers believed that every object should have a designated place, which necessitated large quantities of storage. Cupboards and drawers would often line an entire wall. Oval boxes and woven baskets were used to organize small objects. Pegs on chair rails were available to hang clothing and furniture to keep the floor clean and bare.
- Symmetry and repetition – They relied heavily on patterns involving the repetitive use of similar shapes, forms or space to create unity and order within each design.
- Natural Elements – Fabrics included cotton, silk and wool. Hardwood plank floors finished with a clear varnish.
- Lighting included beeswax candles and sconces.
- Cleanliness was considered essential in the Shaker society and as such homes, furnishings and farms were meticulously maintained.
- Other elements commonly found in Shaker design include the “Hand within a Heart” motif (to represent our heart belongs to God and our hands were meant to labor), the Tree of Life, doves and bird, and clocks (signifying mortality).
Images may be found at–