The Bauhaus design movement was one of the first styles I studied at Art College when training to be an Interior Designer. It not only became well known to me but also a part of my design philosophies in many ways. After all, this Germanic style bore the hallmarks of German design perfectionism and logical planning which are still elements that make up the stereotype, worldwide, of this industrious nation.
Incorporating Bauhaus designs into your home interior is not difficult whatsoever. As long as you know what the style and philosophy behind the movement is, there are a thousand and one chances to create an interior based on the vision of Walter Gropius and Johannes Itten, and the likes of artists Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. Contrary to popular imagery of the Bauhaus, an interior decor scheme in this style does not have to consist of steel tubes and minimalist modernism.
The Bauhaus movement’s name comes from the school in Weimar, Germany which was founded in 1919. It taught the concept that artistic objects should be combined with technology to provide a highly functional yet comfortable design, whether this was in architecture, product design, interior design or even typography. Basically, it meant the creation of designs that offered durable, practical and aesthetically pleasing visions yet were as inexpensive as possible so the common man could afford to use them.
In many ways, the famous quotation “form follows function” is a key element in Bauhaus design. This meant that the function of the item being created was of a greater importance than the final look of the piece. This concept, originally attributed to American architect Louis Sullivan, was often put into being in Bauhaus designs. Whilst this is easy to say and do for trained designers, it’s a little harder for the average house owner who would rather in many cases, to have form over function.
Bauhaus designs are similar to many other styles and formats that had been seen prior and after the initial golden years during the 1920s and 1930s. However, the difference was in its affordability. Geometric forms, sleek clean lines all symbolise the concepts which have brought fame to the Bauhaus school of art and design. By incorporating all these factors into your home interior, you can build up a decidedly Bauhaus theme that will be noticeable to all.
Start to think about function first then form. This means finding objects that are made for precise purposes without any superfluous additions. The kitchen is an ideal interior where this philosophy should be applied. In this room in particular, function naturally comes first in numerous ways. On the outside, fixtures such as kitchen cabinets and cupboards will be simple, minimalist and clean lined on the outside. In this they are performing their duty as functioning storage areas first, whilst inside, behind the scenes, the foods and utensils will be adequately stored.
Highly decorative kitchen cabinets, surfaces, cupboards and islands maybe nice to look at but are useless if their function leaves much to be desired. The Bauhaus philosophy is to be as comfortable and practical as possible and then think of additions one can make at the end.
Incorporating Bauhaus designs into your home interior doesn’t mean you have to loose all sense of style and aesthetics. In fact, many Bauhaus interiors are extremely well coordinated in their themes and rather majestic in their resulting ambiance. There are many shapes you can include in a Bauhaus interior from circles and ovals, to squares and triangles. For example, you can use an antique arm chair which has a basic rectangular design and compliment it with a oval coffee table that also acts as a foot rest. Function in this case has eclipsed form but depending on the way you place the furniture pieces, is still attractive.
Geometric shapes and designs do not have to be modern furniture pieces or images. In fact mixing together period styles from many different centuries can be a part of creating a Bauhaus interior. This is as long as the items are clean lined, on the simple side and functional in perhaps more ways than one.
The Bauhaus philosophy can also apply to eco-friendly products, furniture pieces and instillations. If a wardrobe for example is made from sustainable wood, then the conservation of this material as well as the lack of wastage means function has come before form. The wardrobe is thus Bauhaus through and through. The same goes for shelving. In many cases, shelving is put up merely to fill up a space area of wall that seems empty. If it serves no other function other than form, it is in essence, an unnecessary excess which promotes the cutting down of further forests to replace the item sold.
Hopefully by now you will understand what the Bauhaus design style can mean for your home interior decor schemes. To sum up, the Bauhaus philosophy was the combining of art, craft, and technology to make items that were functional above all else. In fact, it’s interesting to note that the Bauhaus school did not teach the history of art and design to its students for it wanted the creation of a products according to first principles rather than by following historical precedent.
Wherever you live, whether in North America or Europe, in urban or rural areas, you can design your interior around the Bauhaus philosophy. By thinking of the functional before the decorative but still making sure the various items match in an aesthetically pleasing manner, you will not be going far off course.