In a this collaboration with the Maine Homes publication of DownEast magazine, we discuss how original Shaker design philosophy influences our modern collections.
To come up with their fresh, modern designs, Jen and Jared Levin, of Chilton Furniture, draw inspiration from a 300-year-old religious sect.
When Jen and Jared Levin sat down with Brother Arnold, one of the two remaining members of the Colonial New England sect known as the Shakers, there was an instant connection. Over tea and spiced fruit bread at the bucolic Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, they talked about the group’s philosophies, which emphasize industriousness and economy. “It became clear to me as we spoke that the Shaker lifestyle is still so valuable today,” Jen says. “It feels good to create, to find beauty in utility and your spirit in work.”
The visit, made shortly before the Levins purchased Freeport- and Scarborough-based Chilton Furniture in 2014, was an effort to better understand the historical furniture styles on which many of the company’s pieces are modeled. But it ended up sparking a business philosophy. ...