Bauhaus Home Decor Style Guide

Tara Dickinson
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A revolutionary period in the world of design, the Bauhaus style and influence is still seen around the world over 100 years later. The foundation of Bauhaus (pronounced or sounds like ‘bau hows’) is built on simple, clean, and almost austere design elements. It was a movement that took fine art into the world of craftsmanship and mass production, seeking to glorify beauty in the practical. The refined minimalism of the Bauhaus style can be seen in everything from home furnishings to architecture and even in today’s fonts and graphic design. Moreover, the popular Mid-Century Modern and Modern design movements were direct descendants of the less-is-more elegant Bauhaus principles. Looking into the essence of the Bauhaus approach, we can see how minimalist aesthetics merged with technology, high craftsmanship, and progressive design to create a movement that birthed the ultimate effectiveness of any object, whether that was a chair or a skyscraper. This Bauhaus home decor style guide will take you through the components that come together in creating your true minimalist modern home.


Bauhaus History

For 12 glorious years, the actual German Bauhaus school (translating to ‘house of building’) was operated in Weimar, Germany by the originator Mr. Walter Gropius. Blooming between the two world wars, the school's objective was to merge art, technology, and craft in a functional and minimalist approach while remaining aesthetically striking. This stoic approach to the world of design was one of the most significant movements in art and architectural history.

When the school was forced to close in 1933, the Bauhaus movement continued on as its professors and pupils emerged in other parts of the world, bringing the Bauhaus principles even further into the mainstream. Why did it have such a significant impact? Because of the new technology available for mass production, highly stylized artistic exceptional design was now available to everyone. This approach to technique and procedure became a sort of doctrine in the design world that defined the new modern movements in all arenas of art. Favoring practicality while also honoring beauty, the Bauhaus style has visual attraction in its starkly minimalist design.

Famous Bauhaus Furniture Pieces

Cantilever Chair- two continuous pieces of material that make up the legs and the base of the chair.

Nesting Tables- he efficient design that can work together or separately.

Wassily Chair- another two-legged chair with modern leather straps versus fabric for the seat and back structure.

What defines the Bauhaus interior style?

  • Clean lines
  • Composition
  • Conducive to mass production
  • Functionality with a pleasing look
  • Geometric shapes
  • Integrity of materials
  • Primary-colored modern wall art
  • Straightforward simplicity
  • Streamlined aesthetics
  • Ultra-simple furnishings

The ideals of Bauhaus functionality versus ostentation created objects that shone with clarity and possessed elements of sculptural art.

Bauhaus Home Decor Colors

Like most home decor themes, the Bauhaus house starts with a neutral base, looking to be understated and allowing those primary pops of color to shine. Reach for a balance of warm and cool tones.

  • Black- used on trim or as an accent color.
  • Grey - in a variety of shades.
  • Neutral - shades of beige, tan, brown,
  • Primary accents - red, yellow, and blue.
  • White - off whites are best.

Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian Bauhaus teacher and artist, was the one who made the primary color combination in this style so famous. He thought this mixture carried psychological symbolism with blue giving off calming but somber vibes, while the reds and yellows felt more energetic and eccentric.

Bauhaus Materials

The Bauhaus school focused on using metal, steel, concrete, glass, and leather in the beginning.

  • While additional materials can and are certainly used, sticking with the basic materials initially embraced by the school’s movement helps creators adhere to the strictness and discernment of design.
  • Many believe the Bauhaus style does well as an industrial decor theme. But Bauhaus was not strictly rough and harsh in appearance; a handcrafted and aesthetically pleasing feeling had to be part of the mixture.
  • In your modern-day search for Bauhaus pieces, look for solid materials from nature: wood, metal, and glass. Avoid man made materials such as particle board and plastic.

Bauhaus Utilitarian Furniture

The recurring theme throughout the Bauhaus style is the importance of function in conjunction with fashion. Meaning, all interior furnishings are to do away with any ornamentation and find their pleasing aesthetic in the practical architecture of the piece.

  • The brilliance of the Bauhaus design is that it was able to find elegance and grander in minimalism.
  • One of the Bauhaus tenants is knowing that style and simplicity can work beautifully together.
  • Taking into account the space (room) as a whole, it matters how each furniture piece is chosen and placed.
  • Welcome empty space and find the natural rhythm and flow of your statement furniture pieces as you showcase each one in its perfect place.
  • This type of decor works wonders in a home office and other work areas as there is no distraction in layout or frivolity of decoration.
  • Quality is always valued over quantity; there is beauty in simplicity, i.e. the foundation of modern minimalism.
  • While Bauhaus may initially feel a bit sterile, it does not wish to feel harsh but rather a display of artistry and creative craftsmanship that can be enjoyed in day-to-day living.

Bauhaus Geometric Features

Basic simple and straightforward geometric forms, patterns, and designs such as squares, circles, triangles, and rectangles are featured throughout Bauhaus art and architecture.

  • Geometric shapes were fundamental in the Bauhaus period.
  • Furniture followed geometry in its foundation as well.
  • When setting up your Bauhaus-inspired space, look to balance your various geometric shapes equally.
  • This can be achieved when considering all aspects of a room’s design, from furniture to area rugs to wall art, lighting elements, and decor accessories.

Bauhaus Decor Accents

This was the first time in the art and design world humankind saw the elevation of functional craft taken to the level of fine art.

  • Your Bauhaus home decor accents are focused on quality craftsmanship, merged with smart technology all combined to produce a look of fine art.
  • This can be presented in wall art (posters and paintings), sculpture, ceramics, and other types of artistic expression.
  • The look is one of bold colors, clean lines, and eloquent simplicity.



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