For the last century, the Bauhaus movement has been a powerful influence among interior designers and architects; once you know what it entails, you'll spot it everywhere.
Furniture is an important part of achieving the look. A few key Bauhaus-inspired pieces can elevate your home to editorial heights, especially if you know how to make them work with the rest of your décor.
The movement originated at the Bauhaus art school in Weimar, Germany, between 1919 and 1933. The school was founded on the concept of a 'total' work of art, called Gesamtkunstwerk, marrying together all art forms, from architecture to graphic design. The Bauhaus movement produced famous designers across many disciplines, including architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and artist Wassily Kandinsky.
Since then, the distinctive Bauhaus style of blending art, craft and technology to remove the distinction between form and function has had a long-lasting global impact on design. It remains a highly relevant and sought-after style of interior design up to the present day.
The Bauhaus philosophy brings together elements of fine art and functionality to create beautiful and useful furniture built for daily life. Today, modern Bauhaus-inspired design is characterised by its geometric shapes, clean lines and bright colour blocking, as well as its use of strong and simple materials like wood and metal.
One modern design trend where Bauhaus' lasting effect is clearly felt is in minimalism, with the shared aesthetic of simplicity, unornamented style, and the idea that form should follow function to make the best use of space and furniture. The influence of Bauhaus can also be seen at a smaller scale in the popularity of metal-framed furniture and chrome accessories and fittings.
Because of its modern and minimal design, Bauhaus furniture works best among equally fuss-free décor, where it can stand out without jarring with different styles. For example, if you want to bring a Bauhaus-inspired coffee table into your living room, it's best if the room isn't already decorated with lots of Victorian-era furniture and artwork.
The pared-down nature of Bauhaus design can look out equally of place surrounded by clutter. With the essence of Bauhaus being aimed at bringing art into everyday objects, you don't need lots of other decorative things around it: you can start thinking of your furniture as art in its own right.
One of the best-known features of Bauhaus design is its use of primary colours. While it might seem daunting to try and incorporate such prominent colours into your home in the form of furniture, it's actually quite easy once you know how.
Simply keeping your walls neutral, especially in a crisp white, will give your Bauhaus furniture the chance to shine. Alternatively, you can lean into colour by contrasting it with a few other equally bright elements, for example a blue feature wall with a green dining table, or a yellow chair next to a red sofa.
Bauhaus's simplicity in colour and form is what makes it such an iconic, sophisticated style. If you want to spend your interior design budget on just a few important items, Bauhaus offers you classic design and endless practicality in each single object.