When I lived in the Capitol District (Albany, NY and the surrounding area), there were Shaker references everywhere; apparently there had been Shakers in the region, back in the day. And I learned about Shaker furniture, gained an appreciation for its beauty, and simplicity. I like Toddy Cat’s theory, in his comment. 😉 Hey, it’s as reasonable an explanation as any other! 🙂
Blowhard, Esq. writes:
The basic standards that defined both the buildings and their interiors were simplicity and utility. The Shakers frowned on any kind of decoration, and they favored pure, clean forms that were highly functional and economic to make. The house interiors were bright and airy, well-heated and clean, uncluttered and serene.
…As the Shaker movement developed, they began to systematize the layouts of their communities…What enabled the Shaker style to grow and develop was the fact that all unknown artisans involved were able to innovate, providing they held to the group’s essential tenets. “This freedom to experiment in the interest of betterment,” says [design writer Richard] Shepherd, “saved Shaker architecture from the blight of institutionalism or stereotype.”