Shaker Pegs: A Perennial Classic
Take one look at a Shaker peg and you can understand much of the philosophy behind the Shaker movement itself: simple, uniform, free from ornamentation, completely functional. For us, that’s just good design. But let’s back up a little — all the way to the 1700s.
The Shakers were a particular sect of Quakers who immigrated to the States to build a utopia as close to heaven as humanly possible because they believed the Second Coming was not too far behind them. They also believed in a life free of desire — materialism being one of the most prominent of those desires.
As art imitates life, their ideology on communal living, simplicity, hard work, and equality stretched from their practices to their design. Long tables included everyone, solid woods were natural and functional, and perhaps the most famous of all, the Shaker peg, kept houses tidy, the community organized, and the floor always dance-ready. (Fun fact: The Quakers didn’t believe in marriage, but they were famous for their gleeful dance parties. Who knew?)
At our house, we definitely understand the need for a clean floor, whether for impromptu jam sessions or just to keep our sanity. Shaker pegs line the walls of our living room, our kitchen, our staircase — you name it, we’ve got a wall with a peg and it’s where you’ll find all of our stuff. From a catch-all for our bags, scarves, keys, and accessories, to a clever, simple place to hang Rye’s artwork, we just can’t get enough of the Shaker pegs in all their functional glory. We’re big fans of the Lostine pegs, which are handmade in the US. Does it get any more authentic than that?
But the best thing about the Shaker peg — and there are a lot of great things — is that they are as relevant in today’s world as they were 300 years ago. As our days become bogged down by the constant noise from our phones, our emails, our social platforms, the Shaker pegs excel at doing the one thing we really need (and they were always intended to do): They simplify our lives, let us take a breather, and get back to living.
Whether you’re looking for a traditional approach — or maybe a little hook action — the Shaker peg and all its contemporary iterations are just the things for a little tidying up. Below are some of our favorites.