Simply Stylish | Midwest Living

Simply Stylish

Inspired by the Shaker tradition that embraced basic shapes, natural materials, repetitive forms, and down-to-earth function, Shaker Grove celebrates the simple life. Tour our interpretation, where you'll find modern, yet classic, ideas for bringing simple pleasures into your own home.


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    Cubic forms and repeated gables lend the exterior an unassuming grace.
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    Built-ins, a display shelf, and the staircase share the hall with a 6-foot Shaker reproduction bench made by artisan Marty Travis.
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    Lined up like fence posts, rows of low-emissivity glazed and insulated double-hung windows keep the home cool in summer, warm in winter.
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    Delta's faucet arcs gracefully above the sink.
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    A practical addition, the bench at the end of the bed makes an idea dressing seat.
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    Soft sage green creates a natural backdrop for an arc of stars over the headboard.
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    Modeled after a bench used in Shaker meeting hall, this 6-foot long settee greets visitors in the entry hall at Shaker Grove.
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    You'll find easy outdoor living on the cantilevered balcony or lower-level deck.
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    (rear view)

Tranquil Living

With simplicity at its core, Shaker Grove embraces tranquil living on a nature-inspired site. The home's design inspiration dates back to the celibate religious order founded in the mid-1700s that numbered 6,000 adherents at its peak in 1840. By the early 1900s the Shakers stretched from Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts as far west as Ohio and Indiana. The last active settlement is at Sabbathday Lake, Maine, where a handful of "sisters" and "brothers" still follow the old beliefs. A museum, library, and shops are open to the public.

Innovative and industrious, the Shakers invented useful items such as a threshing machine, rotary harrow, and circular saw, plus they patented an industrial washing machine sold to hospitals. The group became noted for quality artisanship with simple details, from well-built furniture to finely woven silk scarves, from precision oval boxes and baskets to brooms that were functional, yet handsome. In the mid-19th century they ran the country's largest packaged seed business and were known for their bottled cider, maple syrup, and herbal remedies.

A Better House

Building a better house means finding cost-effective and energy-efficient construction methods. Both are essential to a home's ability to withstand Midwest extremes -- from freezing winters to hot, humid summers -- and avoid high utility bills.

Because of its no-warp stability, builder Michael Doran used engineered wood made from recycled lumber for sheathing and floor joists. He used flashing around all openings, plus a weather-resistant synthetic barrier ("housewrap") to direct moisture away from structural sheathing, thus protecting the home from water damage. Finally, adding an electronic air cleaner -- our selection from Lennox filters up to 94 percent of the dirt, dust, and pollen in the air -- improves indoor air quality and breathing comfort. On the roof, forest-green asphalt shingles blend into the natural setting. The roofing incorporates a five-part weather-protection and energy-saving system from GAF that includes a leak barrier, reinforced underlayment, and attic ventilation.


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