You're probably familiar with minimalist style but have you ever heard of Bauhaus? The Bauhaus design movement began over 100 years ago with a design school founded in Germany. The whole point? To take ordinary household items and make them extraordinary (looking). For 14 years, the Bauhaus school did just that, influencing generations of interior styles that came after its ending, and it still resonates in home decor today. Chances are, if you glanced around your own place, you could find something from the kitchen to the bathroom that is Bauhaus inspired (you just didn't know it).
Bauhaus can be anywhere. The unique technique celebrates simple form, clean lines, geometric shapes, and functionality, per 1stDibs. This design was unlike any other concept during its beginning, as it was a movement that veered people away from traditional concepts and forms without sacrificing style. Asymmetry, natural materials, empty space, and primary colors became the design elements that manifested iconic furnishings, works of art, and architecture (via RealEstate Content). Bauhaus style constantly resurfaces as it introduces a sense of elegant practicality, making it a sempiternal style. To find Bauhaus in what you already have or to add in a few new inspired pieces, continue reading because we gathered all the ways to incorporate this century-old ornamentation into your home. Floor Lamp With Matching Table Lamp
Creators during the Bauhaus reign developed pieces that adopted the "less is more" mentality initially instituted by the final Bauhaus director and architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The simplified composition and timeless appeal of the motto were embraced and led to many distinct creations, such as a teapot, several chair creations, and even a baby cradle designed by Peter Keler, as per Bauhaus Movement. The uncomplicated designs of Bauhaus creations elevate the room; the simple forms and streamlined designs do most of the visual work. You can include the idea of the Bauhaus movement into your space by focusing on what we know today as minimalism.
For the ultimate Bauhaus-inspired place, embrace your space and adopt the "less is more" mentality that revolutionized decor. The very idea of Bauhaus kickstarted the minimalist design aesthetic as people began filling their homes with what they needed rather than what they wanted (via Art Fix Daily). Through the thoughtfulness of everyday life, the regular furnishings and accessories feature angles, flat surfaces, and shapes that introduce beauty without hindering utility (via Minimalism). Extravagant embellishments and flashy ornamentations were considered insignificant. Bauhaus is all about mass-producing items for anyone with basic needs to incorporate into their homes with a sense of playfulness, using the latest technology and a combination of funky shapes and color combinations.
One simple way to corporate Bauhaus-inspired decor into your personal space is through the use of color. Not just any combination of shades on the color wheel but three specific ones that inspired Bauhaus decades ago. Besides creating items that can be mass-produced and functional in everyday life, one of the fundamental principles behind the design style was the inclusion of three primary colors as the basis of any creation, as per ONE37pm. One of the many ways to recognize a Bauhaus aesthetic is through the presence of the trio of colors: red, blue, and yellow. This color scheme can be incorporated in several ways into your home. Most decorators would include the colors through art, bowl filler, plush accessories, or accent rugs. For maximum effect, try to pair them with a neutral base that allows the trio to be the focal point.
The colors were not just significant hues to Bauhaus's design but also representative of a trio of shapes. Have you ever thought of shapes as having colors? Within Bauhaus, shapes have colors. The three prominent figures are square, circle, and triangle. Respectively the blue circle (femininity), the red square (masculinity), and the yellow triangle (stability) are common motifs found in Bauhaus design. Whether you include the colors (and shapes) on the walls, floors, or sofa, the three specific tones are significant to introducing some Bauhaus decoration into your dwelling.
As you just read, the three shapes (circle, square, triangle) are pivotal to Bauhaus decor. This is the case not just for the relatedness to colors but also because the clean lines and sharp angles create a visually pleasing environment, mainly when they're all used together. Pictures of squares, triangles, and circles were often featured in Bauhaus artworks from artists like Kadinsky and Laszlo Maholy-Nagy, as per MoMA. The harmonious relation between the geometric forms makes the style so enduring and attractive.
The easiest way to feature these Bauhaus shapes at home today is on the walls. Using decorative accent features like geometric wall art or wallpaper, as seen at West Elm, can be a simple way to introduce Bauhaus into your decor. The intricate patterns combined with your choice of colors will represent the style in a contemporary form. Part of the timeless appeal of Bauhaus is due to the ability of the trio of shapes to blend in with any modern, vintage, rustic, industrial, or another style you may have going on at home. Surrounding yourself with geometric wall decor immediately acts as a focal point.
What could be more Bauhaus than a unique fixture? Bauhaus inspired many nontraditional designs, including seats. Many furnishings influenced during the Bauhaus era (and still today) were chairs. According to Knoll, arguably one of the most iconic designs from the Bauhaus era was the Wassily Chair, designed by Marcel Breuer. It took the everyday seat back to basics — quite literally — as it featured the metalwork inside the chair on the outside. Because of this, focus on decorating your space with Bauhaus-inspired seats.
These seats were crafted for function above all other features, including comfortability. "Where a club chair is oversized, cushy, comfy, and so solid it grounds the room, the Wassily Chair is diminutive, especially in perceived scale, since it has so much negative space," Dr. Anne Ruth Gatlin, assistant professor of a history of interior design at Auburn University, told Better Homes and Gardens."The Wassily is not cushy and comfy. Its seat and back are leather straps. It's got good ergonomics, so it's comfortable, but you don't want to curl up in it in front of a fire with a book. This is a chair with no fluff." Stay away from chairs with a lot of "poof" and rounded forms; they don't accurately represent the movement.
While the chair can be considered an "ultra-modern" style, other seats, such as the Barcelona and Cesca chair, were also very common and could be a better place to rest your rump. Everything about chairs — the shape, the colors, the functionality — can bring a bit of Bauhaus home.
New furniture is not always required for the perfect Bauhaus-inspired aesthetic. Bauhaus decor is about decorating with items that are accessible for everyone, even if that means in "smaller" ways. Similar to Bauhaus architecture, light fixtures inspired by the style featured simple designs, functional shapes, basic materials, and colors, which can be seen in the influential Wagenfeld table lamp, as per Bauhaus Design Shop. Unpretentious, functional designs and materials like brass, glass, and steel were used without embellishments. The streamlined lighting focused on illuminating functionality at home rather than aesthetics.
Everyone needs light! You can incorporate Bauhaus-inspired lighting into your home by buying it, but what better way to light up the place than by making a fixture yourself? Just as the teachers of Bauhaus inspired its students, combine craft and art under one roof — your roof. Tap into your very own creative and abstract tendencies and consider creating a Bauhaus-inspired table light for your home with a tin can, some electrical items, and a paper cup (via Deutsche Welle). For any interior style preference, consider placing a homemade light fixture as a desk light or bedside table lamp for the perfect amount of ambient light.
The Bauhaus design style is about going back to the basics (in all aspects) and focuses on integrating design trends by using shapes, colors, and natural materials. Asymmetrical shapes and designs are a highlight of Bauhaus creations more so than any other interior preference. According to The Art Story, asymmetry in parity can be seen in the art by Paul Klee, the club chair by Marcel Breuer, and the wall hanging by Anni Albers.
As per MasterClass, most Bauhaus designs often achieved visual balance through asymmetry. This idea denoted how both sides of something did not need to be exactly the same — yet still composed with the exact same materials — to be balanced. The differences in the various forms establish a natural movement in the room. The idea is to find balance in the unbalanced. You can add intentional asymmetrical items to your decor in several ways. Increase interest in your space by adorning it with sculptures on shelves, art, wall murals, fixtures, and angular furniture representing the distinct silhouettes in the Bauhaus movement. Add two coffee tables of varying heights, mismatched table lamps on either side of the couch, and play with furniture scale throughout the room.
Perhaps Bauhaus's design style was ahead of its time, as it concentrated on using natural, renewable materials for its artists to use before it was cool to do so. Using natural materials to decorate (or build) shows that organic features are timeless. They are often durable, environmentally friendly, and stylish. Bauhaus designs use everyday materials such as concrete, steel, glass, and chrome. According to ONE37pm, these primal resources were applied to most inventions throughout the interior and architectural aspects of the era.
Adhering to the Bauhaus concept of "less is more" is not about how many materials are used, but what's necessary. "The Bauhaus design stands for bringing together arts, crafts, and industry into a total work of art. It is an essay on efficiency, only focusing on the essentials and using the smallest number of different material[s]. Yet, inherent in the design is an amazing drama and flair emerging from that purity, of materials being not just true to themselves but showing off their potential," Linda Boronkay, an interior designer and columnist, told Livingetc. Bauhaus style focuses on developing everyday items to be available for all, made of materials found in abundance, like wood. It's a possible contributor to why the design style has been so perpetual.
Bauhaus designs focused on artists creating pieces composed of linear forms and geometric shapes versus curvilinear forms, which were considered pointless. The linear structures were applied everywhere, from art to furniture, as seen in these nesting tables created by Josef Adlers, known as The Bauhaus Nesting Table Set. "These versatile tables are designed to work 'independently and interdependently," MoMA told Timeless Wrought Iron. Streamlined forms can add dimension and contrast in any room of the house while creating modern simplicity.
According to RealEstate Content, the lines and forms of the furniture are very important. Ditch the upholstered couches and chairs and introduce pieces that have their nuts and bolts more "exposed" — it's what's underneath that we're after. You can decorate with linear forms at home by finding furnishings such as sofas and ottomans, or tables that conform to usefulness rather than attractiveness but are also considered contemporary. Strict lines are dynamic and are the ideal way to energize a space to be Bauhaus chic.
In Bauhaus decor, nothing is around just to be pretty. If the item doesn't serve a meaningful purpose in your life, it's got to go! Glance around a room and determine which decorative elements or furnishings are unnecessary for your home. Every piece, from the candlestick holder to the armchair, should have a defined function in your life. "If it's not precious, it's not worth keeping 'just in case,'" Melissa Michaels, blogger of The Inspired Room, told House Beautiful. "Only keep what you really love or actually use on a regular basis." This is a simple and effective way to upgrade your home decor to mimic a Bauhaus vibe.
Large Table Lamp Base Only The concept of filling a house only with those specific items that are useful connects the space (and you) to the basic Bauhaus principles of minimalism and functionality. It's this very concept that separates this design style from all the rest. The ability for decor to be strictly useful in an interior is not something all decorative preferences possess. Stay away from stockpiling vases, trinket dishes, decorative bowls, and other dust-collecting accessories, as this is the opposite concept of the style. These items are still welcome in a Bauhaus-inspired space just as long they are useful (and not hoarded in surplus). By eliminating unnecessary elements, you thoughtfully upgrade your home.