Shaker style cabinets were originally built by the Shaker religious community (not to be confused with the Quaker community, which is different...) predominantly during the 19th century. Guiding principles of the Shaker religion included simplicity, utility and honesty. The simplicity and utility aspects of these principles were readily apparent in their hand-made, wooden furniture—which ranged from cabinetry and dressers to beds, tables and famous ladder-back chairs.
Shaker cabinet doors have a frame and panel profile, which is also referred to as rail and stile construction in the woodworking world. Design enthusiasts have enjoyed a "return to simplicity," so to speak, and that's one of the reasons why Shaker style cabinet doors are so popular in every design circle—from the traditional to the modern.