What Is Bauhaus Style and How to Adopt This German Rooted Design

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5
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April 27, 2023
By
Robern Design Solutions

Bauhaus style is a minimalist, functional, and modern approach to art and design that emerged in the early 20th century. Founded in Germany by Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus movement aimed to unite art and industry, focusing on the principles of functionality, simplicity, and geometric abstraction. The Bauhaus style has since had a profound impact on modern design, inspiring everything from architecture to furniture to fashion.

retro bauhaus geometric art
Credit: Tom5t

By embracing the Bauhaus principles of minimalism and functionality, you can create a space that is both stylish and practical. In this article, we'll explore the origins of Bauhaus interior design style, its importance in modern design, and how you can use it to inspire your projects, from exteriors of commercial buildings to luxury bathroom ideas.

What Is Bauhaus Style?

exterior of bauhaus school in germany
Credit: Claudio Divizia

When architect Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus school in Weimar in 1919, he aimed to create a new kind of art school that would promote modern design and industrial production by bringing together fine arts and crafts. He developed the Bauhaus ethos, which emphasized simplicity, functionality, and rationality in design, and sought to bridge the gap between art and industry.

Origins of Bauhaus Style

Bauhaus style drew inspiration from a variety of art movements, including the De Stijl movement, which prioritized primary colors and geometric abstraction, and the Russian Constructivist movement, which embraced functionalism and the use of industrial materials. Bauhaus artists and designers were also influenced by the work of avant-garde artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and László Moholy-Nagy.

Famous Figures of the Bauhaus Movement

Some of the most famous Bauhaus artists and designers include Walter Gropius himself, who designed the Bauhaus school building in Dessau, Germany. Marcel Breuer, another prominent Bauhaus figure, designed iconic pieces of furniture such as the Wassily chair. Other notable Bauhaus artists and designers include Mies van der Rohe, who later went on to design the Barcelona Pavilion, and Anni Albers, who was known for her textile designs.

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Key Elements of Bauhaus Style

Bauhaus style interior with rational use of modern materials and geometric shapes illustration
Credit: Hdi

Bauhaus interior design style is characterized by several key elements that have made it a lasting influence on modern design. 

Form Follows Function

Bauhaus style architecture emphasizes the idea that the design of an object should be based on its intended function. This principle is often expressed through simple, geometric shapes that are free of decorative ornamentation.

Geometric Shapes and Primary Colors

colorful retro bauhaus style living room
Credit: Hdi

This style favors simple geometric shapes, such as squares, triangles, and circles, as well as primary colors like red, blue, and yellow. These elements are often used in bold, graphic patterns, making them a perfect textile idea for those looking to incorporate Bauhaus style décor into their homes.

Use of Industrial Materials

close up of black metal shower enclosure against beige bathroom floor

Industrial materials, such as steel, glass, and concrete, are often utilized in order to create functional and efficient designs. This emphasis on practicality can be seen in Bauhaus-inspired furnishings, which are often made from metal and other durable materials.

Simplicity and Minimalism

Bauhaus style values simplicity and minimalism in design, with an emphasis on clean lines and uncluttered spaces. This approach can be seen in the pared-down aesthetic of Bauhaus-inspired interiors, which often feature sleek, simple fixtures and sparse décor.

How to Incorporate Bauhaus Interior Design Style

Here are a few examples of how Bauhaus style can be integrated into various areas of your home.

Bauhaus Style Bedroom

bright bauhaus bedroom with yellow, red, white, and blue colors
Credit: Hdi

For a Bauhaus style bedroom, focus on clean lines, neutral colors, and functional furniture such as platform beds and built-in storage. Use geometric shapes and primary colors sparingly, such as in a bold, graphic rug or a statement piece of art.

Bauhaus Style Bathroom

Consider using industrial materials such as concrete, steel, and glass for a Bauhaus bathroom design. Incorporate shapes and colors through bathroom wallpaper ideas, such as a bold, graphic print or a subtle, textured design. Add sleek, functional fixtures and finishes such as a frameless glass shower enclosure and a modern, wall-mounted sink.

Related: Learn how to find the best bathroom mirrors and best bathroom towels for your space. 

Bauhaus Style Kitchen

Utilize industrial materials for kitchen countertops, backsplash, and cabinets. Keep the color palette simple and neutral and add pops of color through artwork or accessories. Consider including geometric shapes through a statement light fixture or a tile backsplash design.

Bauhaus Style Office

living room with dark walls and bright, retro geometric furnishings and wall art
Credit: Jamila

A Bauhaus style office should be streamlined for ultimate functionality. Use a simple, neutral color palette with pops of primary colors through artwork or accessories. Add geometric shapes through a statement rug or a unique, angular desk. Keep storage solutions simple and functional, such as built-in shelving or file cabinets.

Influence of Bauhaus Style on Modern Design

Bauhaus style has had a profound influence on modern design, shaping the way we think about form, function, and aesthetics. Here are a few examples of how Bauhaus style has influenced other modern styles.

Minimalism

Bauhaus style's emphasis on simplicity and minimalism has influenced a wide range of contemporary design styles, from Scandinavian to Japanese. The use of clean lines, neutral colors, and functional materials can be seen in everything from furniture to architecture.

Modernism

Bauhaus style played a key role in the development of modernism, which sought to break away from traditional styles and embrace new forms and materials. The use of industrial materials, such as concrete and steel, and the focus on function over ornamentation were central to both movements.

International Style

The International Style, which emerged in the 1920s and 30s, was heavily influenced by Bauhaus style. Both movements emphasized functionality, simplicity, and the use of industrial materials, and many of the key figures in the International Style, such as Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe, had connections to the Bauhaus school.

Architecture and Graphic Design

Bauhaus style has also had a lasting impact on contemporary architecture and graphic design. Many of its principles, such as the use of clean lines, simple forms, and functional materials, have become staples of modern design. From sleek skyscrapers to minimalist furniture and digital art, the influence of Bauhaus style can be seen in a wide range of contemporary designs.

Bringing Bauhaus Style Into Your Home and Office

In the end, the beauty of Bauhaus style lies in its versatility and timelessness. Whether you're looking to add a touch of modernism to your home or simply appreciate the simplicity and elegance of Bauhaus design, there's something to be gained from this iconic movement.

Of course, you don't have to adopt a strictly Bauhaus aesthetic to incorporate its principles into your design—experiment with mixing different styles and eras to create a look that feels uniquely yours.

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