Thursday, February 9, 2012

Shaker settings - clothing storage

Living in large communal settings, Shakers had need for large areas for storage of clothing. They also had a need to keep housekeeping to the minimum. One result was built-in storage. The above sits in the top-floor hallway of the Center or Church Family dwelling at Pleasant Hill. Since it was away from living space, I'm assuming it was used primarily for out-of-season clothing.

On other floors, in what might be used as "retiring rooms," were built in storage. This one is found in the Church Family dwelling at South Union village in Kentucky. It has both drawers where clothing might have been folded and put away, and cupboards where clothing might have been hung.

Another room at South Union has a similar built-in, with the addition of a cubbyhole where a chamber pot is stored. Note that the room has both a fireplace and a free-standing stove. At some point after the building was completed, they gave up the fireplace for the more efficient stove.

We've put a similar built-in in our master bedroom. There is a shallow closet on the left side, with a stack of drawers on the right. A blanket cupboard is located above the drawers, and a walk-in closet sits behind it, beyond the small washstand.


  1. It makes for a very neat look. My bedroom has one whole wall of wardrobes -with mirror sliding doors, so there's no escaping how I look! Not sure I'd have chosen them, they were there when I moved in but it effectively makes the room look twice as big.

  2. I've always loved built-in's. You see them a lot in the Craftsman houses here in Oklahoma, mainly bookcases though.

    The storage in your bedroom is beautiful--the whole room is, particularly with the gorgeous quilt. Thanks for sharing this Jim.

  3. Always admired that uncluttered look though never achieved it till I moved into this house - then I started actually living in it and stuff sort of accumulated!