As interior designers begin to wave goodbye to the modern design trends which have captivated households for nearly a decade – influenced by binge-worthy period television such as Mad Men – they are honing in on another style to usher in the new decade. Looking further back in order to look forward, Bauhaus design is making a much deserved comeback. But why, and how can you introduce Bauhaus into your home?
What is Bauhaus?
You might have heard Bauhaus before, as a general term used to describe an aesthetic, the style of a room or an individual piece of furniture. But what does it mean? Bauhaus was actually the name of a German art school in the late 1910s, which sought to combine fine art, architecture, cultural theory and interior design under one roof. The result was a breath-taking array of design ideas from artwork to furniture – all at once traditional and futuristic, minimal and yet still expressive.
Some of the more striking examples of Bauhaus interior design pare down an item of furniture to its minimum – in the case of dining chairs, a single tube of aluminium forms the legs, seat and back of the chair, reinforced by a wooden frame and seating formed by simple woven rattan sheets.
How Bauhaus is Returning to the Fore
Bauhaus’ emphasis on functionality, coupled with playful minimalism with regard to form, makes the art style ripe for renaissance in the 2020s. Mid century modern styles have been hugely popular in the past few years, but ornate furniture, maximalist spaces and vibrant colours are becoming a little fatiguing.
Interior designers are instead turning to Bauhaus’ signature industrial minimalism for reprieve: lounge and dining chairs making use of cantilevers to present impossible-looking seating solutions; industrial materials precisely formed into angular or geometric shapes, creating furniture that is at once utility and art.
How You Can Adopt Bauhaus into Your Home
The beauty of the Bauhaus style home is that it doesn’t cost the earth to achieve – unless you all in on German statement pieces. As minimalism is Bauhaus’ core concept, you don’t have to worry about expensive furniture sets or kitchen refits. A few considered choices in your main living spaces will have you well on your way to a Bauhaus home.
The kitchen is one of the easiest places for you to convert to the Bauhaus aesthetic. Judicious use of kitchen paint on non-tiled surfaces can create bold contrasts – try a brilliant white, with a blocky jet-black detail or feature wall. Rather than replacing your kitchen units, replace their handles with angular, matte-black alternatives for a sleeker look. The most expensive change you might want to make it to your worktops; replacing them with black marble completes the transformation.
As for your living room, previous maximalist aesthetics might have had you painting your walls in all manner of bold colours. For Bauhaus, instead choose cold or indifferent colours – ideally blacks, greys and whites, though certain off-whites can return a little warmth to the space. Stabs of colours should instead be provided by your personal items, or storage; try a wicker chest of drawers, or woven baskets for your ephemera.
Bedrooms are also a simple fix for the Bauhaus aesthetic. Reduce the room to its purest function, which is to provide you with a place to sleep and dress. Remove any superfluous design elements – additional drawers, cupboards, even ornate wardrobes. Choose neutral colours and warm the room with rugs or carpeting, and if you must include additional furniture, be sure to pick sleek, functional designs that make use of steel.