10 objects to bring Bauhaus style to your studio
Bauhaus style never goes out of fashion. The most important school in the history of arts education, the Bauhaus, practically coined the term design. The Bauhaus merged arts and crafts with industry and technology to produce timeless objects that are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago.
As the Bauhaus celebrates its centenary, there is no better time to equip your workspace with these coveted Bauhaus-esque objects, which are sure to add some serious design cred to your studio.
If you’re after more home studio inspiration, you can also check out our guides to the best office chair, plus the best desk.
01. Bauhaus-style clock
Bright and elegant Bauhaus-style timekeeper
Could brighten up a neutral room
Never lose another second with this cheery Bauhaus-style clock, inspired by the work of Piet Mondrian. Piet Mondrian was a central figure in the De Stijl movement, and was responsible for catapulting the primary colour combo of red, blue and yellow, framed in black and white, into the mainstream. In keeping with this, this Bauhaus clock is bright and stylish, and is handmade in the USA with laser cut wood and acrylic. It could add a welcome splash of colour to more neutral colour schemes, and having it a prominent position in your studio will show clients you’re serious about style (and hopefully mean your meetings won’t run over).
02. Barcelona Chair
Iconic modernist Bauhaus chair in leather and steel
A design classic
Comfortable and stylish
Aside from his buildings, German architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe’s biggest legacy in the world of design is the Barcelona Chair, so called because it was designed for the German pavilion at the 1929 International Exposition, which was held in Barcelona. The chair is perfect for receptions or waiting areas, or for sly cat naps after the Friday afternoon food coma hits. It also comes in the form of a two-seater sofa, for the high rollers out there who want to make a big splash in their studio.
03. Bauhaus chess set
This Bauhaus chess set is minimal and geometric
A real conversation starter
Board not hugely sturdy
Nothing screams ‘serious intellectual’ like a chess set, and if there happens to be one on display in your office, then you’ll score bonus points with clients, who will forever more associate you with the ‘thinking person’s game’. This iconic Bauhaus chess set is based on designs by Bauhaus sculptor Josef Hartwig in 1923, and is notable for its reduced forms, which distill every chess piece back to its essential geometric fundamentals. Hartwig started his design career as an apprentice stonemason, so it follows that his chess pieces appear as if they were hewn out of one solid block of wood (although in this case, they’re actually 3D printed).
04. Mies Office Chairs
These Bauhaus cantilever chairs combine innovation and elegance
Lean back without falling over
Lots of different coverings
Suits lots of spaces
Only available in US
Sometimes architecture and engineering come together in a marriage so beautiful that no one would suspect they were often duelling disciplines. Such is the case with this office chair design from Mies Van der Rohe – a 1927 creation he designed for Austrian furniture company Thonet. This is perhaps the most famous cantilever chair, owing largely to a photo of the bulky Mies reclining in the chair puffing on a giant cigar. This photo went some way to instilling confidence in the chair’s unorthodox concept, the cantilevered seat. The chair has a distinctive silhouette, with a curving, tubular steel frame across which is stretched a fabric seat and seat back. A set of the Thonet chairs can add a gleam of chrome to a conference or meeting room, or if the kitchen is the heart of your studio, they are great for bouncing into after languid lunch shared among colleagues.
05. De Stijl-inspired Bauhaus poster
Eye-catching Bauhaus print of geometric forms and primary colours
Looks great on the wall of any studio
Good for designers/non-designers
Two design movements in one print
Too bold for some colour schemes
Who doesn’t love a good graphic print? Depicting the photogenic Bauhaus staircase in the Dessau campus, this angular print is executed in the colour combination made famous by the Dutch art movement De Stijl and Piers Mondrian. Mondrian was the original colour blocker, and hanging this print on your studio wall will show you know your van Doesburg’s from your Van der Rohe’s. It also couldn’t be easier to get your hands on this geometric goodie, as all you have to do is pay and print from Etsy. Go large or go home with this one.
06. Josef Albers Nesting Tables
This colourful solid oak side table set exudes Bauhaus style
Four tables for the price of one
Different sizes and colours
A real Bauhaus classic
Stack em up or spread em out, the choice is yours, but rest assured that these neat Josef Albers tables will make your studio pop. Albers was both a student and a teacher in the Bauhaus, and was a central figure in modernist design education on both sides of the Atlantic, so you’re in good hands with these tables. The tables are typical of the Bauhaus’ strict geometric style, with straight lines and clean edges the order of the day. The glass tops, the underside of which are painted with turquoise, blue, yellow or orange, give the tables a glossy finish, and the recessed support underneath the tabletop gives a sense of how thoughtfully these tables were designed. Stick one at either end of a couch for maximum effect; these babies deserve to shine bright in your studio.
07. Taschen Bauhaus Book
Engaging coffee table and reference book about the Bauhaus
Adds design cred to your library
A great read
Full of amazing images not available elsewhere
Not portable as big and heavy
Any design studio worth its salt should have a book on the Bauhaus gracing its library shelves, so look no further than this one-stop shop for everything Bauhaus related by Taschen. There are countless books published about the Bauhaus, but this is perhaps the most comprehensive and engaging. It charts the history of the school, gives the global and European context of its development, includes anecdotes about teachers and students and gives thorough insight into what set the Bauhaus apart and why its legacy is so important. Go the whole hog and position in carefully on one of Josef Albers’ nesting tables (above) for full Bauhaus effect.
08. Bauhaus lamp
Opaque glass-domed table lamp
Definitive Bauhaus object
Lovely diffuse light
You can’t go wrong with this Bauhaus Lamp. Designed in 1923 by Wilhelm Wagenfeld and Carl Jakob Jucker, this lamp design is another iteration of Gropius’ design fundamentals, and uses the simplest of geometric forms – circles, spheres and cylinders – in the creation of this iconic lamp. The opaque glass dome was particularly innovative back in the day, as this type of glass was usually only seen in industrial light fittings, so it was unusual to see it being used in a domestic object. As part of your studio furniture, it will spruce up any work desk as task lighting, or it can be used as part of an overall lighting strategy when different ambiences are required.
09. Marianne Brandt Ashtray
An iconic modernist ashtray
Ideal as decorative object for non-smokers
Smokers can use it as intended
Easy to clean
Smokers rejoice! There’s a new ashtray in town! Well, it’s a very old ashtray and so few people smoke in 2019, so perhaps it’s more of a showpiece than anything else. This stainless steel, hemisphere ashtray was originally designed by Marianne Brandt in 1924. Brandt was the only woman in the Bauhaus’ metalwork department, and as such became a pioneering figure in early 20th century industrial design. This ashtray would look great in a display cabinet, or on a side table, or as part of a collection of objects on a shelf or dresser.
10. Bauhaus desk
Black patent partner desk
Big enough for two
Shiny and impressive
Might be too big for some
Don Draper, eat your heart out. Nothing says ‘intimidating creative’ like a mammoth high-gloss desk, all the better to beat irritating clients into submission with. This desk might be more Mad Men than Bauhaus, but it has all the trappings of Bauhaus design, from the sharp angles and heavy rectangular form to the metal trim under the desk top and on the drawers. This desk has plenty of storage, and can be used as a corner desk or to seat two people. The price tag might be hefty, but it will certainly impress your clients.