Any anniversary will spark renewed interest especially when it comes to Bauhaus - the art school established exactly 100 years ago. Centenary or not, though, it’s likely that you’ve probably come across no end of Bauhaus design or have elements of it in your home without realising.
For those of you who are not in the know, Bauhaus was an art school established by architect Walter Gropius in Germany in 1919. The school had the ambition of putting architecture, interior design, craft and textiles on the same level as fine art by using modern manufacturing techniques and a simplistic approach to design.
Since then, the Bauhaus style has become known for reducing things down to their most basic form. Which is why the word 'Bauhaus' is now associated with everything that is clean and streamlined - from the minimalist interiors that you regularly stalk on Instagram to the functionality and practicality of some of your favourite design brands.
To mark the centenary year of the Bauhaus school opening, we’ve pulled together a quick and easy guide of the best Bauhaus-inspired pieces around today that you can easily integrate into your home.
The basic Bauhaus ideology of ‘form follows function’ means that all designs, and designs that have been inspired by the movement, are made to be functional, practical and simple. In terms of furniture, Bauhaus has inspired a lot of number of streamlined shapes and designs that can adapt to different scenarios.
If you’re looking to add a more playful piece of Bauhaus-inspired furniture to your living space, then we've got that covered too with the aptly-named Bauhaus Trolley from Kristina Dam. The metal construction looks clinical, but when integrated into a room it will stand out for being a useful and moveable serving tool. It's one of those home accessories that you will get an awful lot of use out of - especially after a hard day's work - and one that will contribute to the character of your home in the process.
The Fritz Hansen Floor Lamp benefits from all the functionality bestowed in Bauhaus. The characteristic design, broad shade, small foot standing and sculptural simplicity is exactly what makes it so essential. The popular Kaiser Idel Luxus floor lamp embodies all the luxury associated with Bauhaus thanks to its understated chrome details and plated clamp that allows you to adjust the height, making it both sculptural and functional.
The most obvious nod to Bauhaus that you’re likely to find is this print from Desplans. The architecture gallery intends to bring you closer to some of the world’s finest architecture and this piece shows a different side to the Bauhaus story. Iris Lacoudre and Jennifer Heinfeld settled in a residence in the Bauhaus, Dessau, district in autumn 2014. They live and work in the former school of Walter Gropius, between a metal workshop, a canteen, a theatre and the entrance. This limited-edition drawing traces a moment in the entrance - a simple, contemporary scene that has experienced a lot in its time.
Because Bauhaus is all about taking a considered approach to design, you don’t need many pieces to really transform a space. It can all start with the addition of coffee table book. Pick from one of these, TASCHEN’s diminutive Bauhaus bible or Phaidon’s Breuer Book, and you’ll be well set.
TASCHEN’s must-read book introduces the school’s commitment to creative expression, cutting-edge ideas and the combination of fine art and technology in a utopian future. While, the most comprehensive book on architect and designer Marcel Breuer (1902-1981), looks in detail at all the houses, furniture, and public buildings he designed in Europe and the United States– from his beginning at the Bauhaus through his collaboration with Walter Gropius, and the establishment of his own practice in the USA.
One thing that is important to remember, even in the face of centenary celebrations, is that the values behind Bauhaus are not driven by trend. So, that’s why all the Bauhaus-inspired pieces that we’ve picked out are items to build an interior around - pieces that you'll be proud to own in years to come as well as today. Sculptural candlesticks like this one from Kristina Dam will survive all kinds of decoration changes and house moves to remain a staple of your interior. That’s because it will add a graphic, changeable element to anywhere you put it – whether that’s on the dining table, living room or windowsill.
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