Bauhaus furniture design is a key style of the 20th century. Architects and designers inspired by the simple power of industrial design methods turned their back on the opulence of Art Deco. As such, Bauhaus furniture easily incorporates into the modern home.
In our Blog on the History and Development of Bauhaus Furniture, we familiarized ourselves with the historical foundations of the Bauhaus design school. We explored the connections between visual artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Bauhaus designers like Marianne Brandt, known for her Bauhaus lamp design, for instance.
In today’s blog, we want to delve deeper into Bauhaus furniture design and how you can identify and incorporate pieces in Bauhaus style into your contemporary home. With a vintage style like Bauhaus, you’ll find lots to be inspired by.
Re-Introducing Bauhaus Furniture Design
What is Bauhaus?
The Bauhaus School was founded in 1919 by German Architect Walter Gropius. It initially concerned itself with the concept of “Gesamtkunstwerk”, an artistic concept that aspires to create an artwork combining as many art forms as possible.
The Nazi regime pressured the school to close in 1933 for its alleged connections to “communist intellectualism”. In other words, the history of Bauhaus coincides with the Weimar Republic, the interwar period of German history characterized by free thought, social liberalism, political diversity, and artistic ingenuity.
Who were major Bauhaus designers?
The Bauhaus school fostered various artists in its 14 years of operation. Bauhaus furniture design varies greatly but embraces a few core tenants: industrial reproducibility, industrial materials, and function over decoration.
The Ceska Chair and Wassily Chair, two of the most recognizable pieces of Bauhaus furniture were designed by Hungarian artist Marcel Breuer. Breuer was among the most recognizable designers of the Bauhaus furniture style. Marianne Brandt, mentioned above, was one of several successful female artists in the Bauhaus School.
The Barcelona Chair, designed by the last leader of Bauhaus, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and architect Lilly Reich in 1929, remains recognizable today.
How can I incorporate Bauhaus into a modern home?
The through-line connecting all of these various products is their radical new approach to interior decoration in the 1920s. Bauhaus reflects a certain disillusionment with the aesthetic grandeur of Art Nouveau and the later Art Deco. It coincides with a radically altered art world in the aftermath of World War I. In many ways, it is the first furniture style truly synonymous with the modern world.
For that reason alone, Bauhaus furniture lends itself for integration into modern spaces. The tools and techniques used by these artists represented a true avant-garde at the time. Any later furniture design period, including the lovely Mid Century Modern, derives direct inspiration from Bauhaus.
Having a Bauhaus piece in the home not only reflects distinguished taste. Lovers of Bauhaus feel a true artistic relationship with the deep beauty of experimental Industrial design.
Bauhaus Selections from the Styylish Catalog
Combining Bauhaus furniture with contemporary design pieces feels natural. After all, Bauhaus exudes its own vision of modernity, an almost futuristic vintage taste. With these selections from the Styylish Catalog, we want to empower you to develop your own sense of everything Bauhaus can be.
This Black Lacquer Bauhaus Side Table is from 1920 Austria. As an early exemplar of Bauhaus furniture design, it incorporates visual elements from Art Deco (particularly a distinct verticality), while embracing clearly industrial materials.
With metal, glass, and lacquer, this side table emphasizes stylish, artful darkness and simplicity. Imagine it as a striking hallway centerpiece, for instance, or as a surface in a living or bedroom.
This Pair of Marcel Breuer Ceska Chairs is a rare find, designed by one of the most significant Bauhaus designers (as introduced above). Breuer’s approach to chairs reflects a simple philosophy. He took the most rudimentary piece of furniture in the home and stripped it down to its barest form.
The result is a pair of remarkable chairs. The steel tubes form a minimalist modern frame. Neutral rattan webbing lines the seat and backrest. It’s easy to imagine these Ceska chairs in a living room with lots of light, for instance, functioning either as accent pieces or as seating around a modern coffee table.
No matter where you place them, however, they will lend vintage modern charm to any room. Whether in an office or at a plain kitchen table, the Ceska chairs embody the best of Bauhaus furniture design.
Other Pieces in the Styylish Catalog
For an office desk that will make you feel like a mid-century executive, consider this Chrome-Plated Bauhaus Desk, for example. The extremely handsome black lacquer finish stands in gorgeous contrast with the tubular steel frame.
High-quality drawers, accented in modern fashion with steel features make this a truly functional designer piece. In a room with lots of natural light, this desk and its dark depth will stand out brilliantly.
Consider combining the desk with a Breuer-style chair like the Ceska chair above, for instance, to develop an engaging connection between the steel tube frames in both products. That style is also reflected in this Bauhaus Tubular Chair, an armchair with so much character and natural comfort that it’s easy to note as a soon-to-be-favorite in your home.
The modern upholstery is designed with a whimsical simplicity. It actually showcases the same color interplay between dark and light as the desk above. The circles emphasize industrial replication and decorative minimalism.
Picture it as a unique accent chair in your living room, right up next to other modern pieces or even unique chairs of different time periods. The decorative simplicity of Bauhaus allows easy combination with many other styles.
Bauhaus Furniture Design: Back to the Future
There’s certainly nothing quite like a Bauhaus piece. Crafted with the forward-thinking idealism of a disgruntled generation of artists, it represents the world’s first foray into the modern world. Indeed, the pieces remain remarkably modern to behold today.
Looking at pieces of almost a hundred years ago with a modern eye is certainly a remarkable pleasure. Bring Bauhaus furniture into your home today and elevate your space with futuristic history.