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Bauhaus interior design: What, Why and How

Explore the essence of bauhaus interior design in our latest article. Discover the principles and aesthetics that define this iconic style.

bauhaus interior design
Bauhaus interior design: What, Why and How
Clara Carlino de Paz
April 9, 2024

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Few movements have left as indelible a mark as Bauhaus. Originating in the early 20th century, Bauhaus design continues to inspire modern designers with its emphasis on functionality, simplicity, and clean lines. Understanding what Bauhaus interior design entails, why it remains relevant, and how to incorporate its principles into contemporary spaces is key for creating visually striking and functional interiors that resonate with this style.

If you'd like to discover Bauhaus, brutalist and minimalist products to use in your designs, all you have to do is head to our free, curated directory and explore.

What is Bauhaus Interior Design?

Bauhaus interior design focuses on the timeless principles of functionality, simplicity, and craftsmanship. By incorporating geometric shapes, clean lines, primary colours, and minimalist aesthetics, homeowners and interior designers can create interiors that are both visually striking and practical.

Emerging from World War I in Germany, the Bauhaus school, founded by the visionary architect Walter Gropius in 1919, set out to reimagine the very essence of art, architecture, and design. At the heart of this movement lay Bauhaus interior design—a bold and minimal exploration of space, form, and function.

You can go into more depth on the history of Bauhaus School through this article.

bauhaus interior design

While describing the entire of ethos of Bauhaus would take a feature length film to describe, we've done our best to summarise it in the following points:

Integration of art and industry

Central to Bauhaus interior design is the seamless integration of art and industry. Rejecting the traditional divide between fine art and applied arts, Bauhaus designers sought to unite craftsmanship with industrial production techniques. This fusion of artistry and efficiency gave rise to furniture, lighting, and décor that were not only aesthetically pleasing but also accessible to a broader audience, marking a departure from the elitism that had long plagued the world of design.

Geometric shapes and clean lines

Step into a Bauhaus interior, and you'll be greeted by a symphony of geometric shapes and clean lines. Furniture and architectural elements eschew the ornate in favor of simple, precise forms—squares, rectangles, circles, and triangles—that serve as both structure and ornamentation. This emphasis on clarity and rationality not only lends Bauhaus interiors a sense of modernity but also underscores the movement's commitment to functionalism above all else. On that note...


Minimalism, simplicity and functionality

In the world of Bauhaus interior design, less is always more. Extraneous ornamentation is stripped away in favor of clean, unadorned surfaces that prioritize function over form. Every piece of furniture, every architectural detail is carefully considered for its usability and efficiency, resulting in spaces that are as practical as they are visually pleasing. This minimalist ethos not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of Bauhaus interiors but also fosters a sense of clarity and orderliness that resonates with modern sensibilities.

bauhaus interior design

Primary colours and colour theory

Bauhaus interiors come alive with the vibrant hues of primary colors—red, blue, and yellow—set against a backdrop of black, white, and shades of gray. These bold colours are not merely decorative but are deployed strategically to create visual contrast, vibrancy and dynamism within a space. Moreover, Bauhaus designers were pioneers in the field of colour theory, exploring the psychological effects of colour and its impact on spatial perception. The result is a harmonious interplay of hues that evoke specific emotions and experiences, enriching the sensory experience of Bauhaus interiors.

Craftsmanship and Materiality

While original Bauhaus interior design embraced the efficiencies of industrial production, it also celebrated the enduring qualities of craftsmanship and materiality. Furniture and décor were crafted from high-quality materials such as wood, metal, and glass, with meticulous attention to detail. Bauhaus designers valued the honesty and integrity of materials, eschewing veneers and artificial finishes in favor of authenticity and transparency. The result is interiors that not only look beautiful but also feel authentic and grounded in their materiality.

bauhaus interior design

Why does Bauhaus Design endure?

The enduring appeal of Bauhaus design can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Timelessness: Bauhaus principles prioritize simplicity and functionality, resulting in designs that transcend fleeting trends. By focusing on enduring qualities, Bauhaus interiors maintain relevance across generations.
  2. Adaptability: Bauhaus design principles are adaptable to various architectural styles and interior spaces. Whether in a sleek urban apartment or a rustic countryside retreat, the clean lines and minimalist aesthetics of Bauhaus design can be tailored to suit diverse environments.
  3. Influence on Modern Design: Bauhaus design laid the groundwork for many contemporary design movements, including modernism and minimalism. Its influence can be seen in the work of renowned designers and architects worldwide.
  4. Integration of Art and Technology: Bauhaus emphasized the integration of art and technology, a concept that resonates in today's digital age. By embracing modern technology and craftsmanship, Bauhaus designers created practical yet visually compelling designs.
bauhaus interior design
bauhaus interior design

How do I Incorporate Bauhaus Style?

Incorporating Bauhaus style into contemporary interiors involves a thoughtful approach, which we describe below in detail. To explore products that would shine in Bauhaus style, check out Portaire.

Geometry first

Choose furniture and decor featuring geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles. Opt for pieces with clean lines to maintain the minimalist aesthetic characteristic of Bauhaus design.

Red, blue and yellow (plus a little black + white)

Infuse spaces with pops of primary colours like red, blue, and yellow to evoke the vibrant spirit of Bauhaus design. These bold hues can be introduced through furniture upholstery, accent walls, or artwork.

bauhaus interior design
Imagery via

Minimalist Interiors, AKA no-clutter zones

Embrace minimalism by decluttering spaces and focusing on essential elements. Avoid excessive ornamentation and opt for sleek, streamlined furnishings that prioritize function over decoration.

Functionality as a foundation

Prioritize practical purpose when selecting furniture and décor. Choose pieces that serve a dual function or offer innovative storage solutions to maximize space efficiency.

bauhaus interior design
Imagery via

Investing in craftsmanship and artwork in decor

Showcase craftsmanship through quality materials and well-crafted furniture pieces. Incorporate artwork inspired by the Bauhaus movement to add depth and character to interiors, paying homage to its legacy of integrating art into daily life. Posters or limited-edition prints are a great option to add here.

Visual balance will become your middle name

Maintain visual balance by carefully arranging furniture and décor items. Pay attention to symmetry and proportion to create harmonious spaces that promote a sense of tranquility and order.

Rugs and Accessories

Bauhaus interiors can read a little cold to those unacquainted. Use rugs to anchor seating areas and add warmth to minimalist interiors. Select accessories sparingly to avoid clutter, opting for items that enhance the overall aesthetic without overwhelming the space.

bauhaus interior design
Imagery via

To conclude...

Whether designing a living room, workspace, or any other interior space, embracing Bauhaus principles can elevate the overall aesthetic while promoting simplicity, functionality, and visual harmony. As a testament to its enduring legacy, Bauhaus design continues to inspire interior designers and homeowners worldwide, showcasing the timeless appeal of this iconic movement.

bauhaus interior design

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