The Evolution of German Design Styles Before Minimalism Became Mainstream
The popular opinion among contemporary professional designers about the classic German interior designs is that they merely attempt to modify the medieval Empire style. As in most ethnic styles, German designs started out with subtle rawness that absorbed the country’s strict, laconic and restrained culture. Nonetheless, it strived to develop an atmosphere that doesn’t lack in gloss and craftiness.
The Biedermeier style is considered as the pioneer of the eclectic German design introduced as an alternative for the Empire style. Other aliases for the style include ancient Germanic, Neo-Renaissance, and Altdeutsch.
Modifications in designs had to be made as the new generations of aristocrats replaced castles, mansions, and manors with palatial homes built on smaller spaces. The Empire style design elements particularly the huge medieval style furniture were no longer suitable. Yet, the changes introduced by Biedermeier furniture makers still included Gothic details and romantic elements, which essentially retained many features of the Empire style,
Massive furniture installations, and an array of impractical interior decors that included dust-gathering stucco moldings failed to gain following that would have made the Biedermeier style popular in Germany. It was even branded as a “bug renaissance” as many mocked the concepts of its caricature-like cramped appearance inside space-sparse rooms. The Biedermeier style therefore was short-lived, as the trend finally became pas·sé by the end of the 19th century.
The Bauhaus Style Systematically Eased Out the Biedermeier Designs
During the 1930s, a brand new German style called “Bauhaus” appeared systematically. It was created by architect Walter Gropius together with a group of students attending his school of architecture. The style, which possessed laconic and modern concepts, also had practical direction. Design elements that were very different from both the Empire and Biedermeier styles that was full of meaningless decorations and eclecticism.
The “Bauhaus” German style gives emphasis to architectural components in its interiors, which made the design principles of minimalism, constructivism, and modernity several German national characteristics the right design treatments.
Bauhaus style combined light wall decoration with a dark floor, while maintaining huge free spaces in which to arrange functional furniture and podiums, mostly in rounded lines. Over time, the Bauhaus style became the contemporary designs adopted in the homes of many wealthy German folks, giving it the distinction of being the option of “connoisseurs.” Bauhaus presented a more elegant style as it interposed minimalism and pure ethnicity that didn’t completely transform German culture.
Bavarian Designs Provided the Contrast
Although the Kingdom of Bavaria became part of a Unified Germany during the mid-18th century era, the Bavarian design style likewise retained its own design culture. Up to now, visitors are quite delighted with the colorful Alpine-inspired buildings that still use ornate mosaic tiles
While the buildings in the cityscapes include an assortment of architectural styles, from Baroque to Classic, Neoclassic, Rococo and Romanesque, the only architectural style that is distinctively Bavaria are the variations of farmhouse in different regions, which German designers call Bauernhaus.
When applied to residential homes, the style denotes an environment that has the cosiness of a traditional farmhouse yet at the same made modern by the addition of kitchens equipped with high tech materials and appurtenances that provide great levels of functionality and comfort.
The concept of contrast is somewhat similar to King Ludwig II’s Schloss Neuschwanstein bei Füssen, which wanted to project an image of a medieval fairy tale castle but enhanced with all the trappings of the emerging technologies introduced by the industrial revolution. The Bavarian King was in fact accused of being a madman for spending Bavaria’s fortune on a castle, with which all the spires, spikes, towers and bridges were only for design and aesthetic purposes.