Ed Driscoll

How Bauhaus Arrived At Your House

After escaping from Dessau Germany in the mid-1920s, (with a little assist from America’s Philip Johnson), it apparently established a toehold in the kitchen at some point in the 1930s, as James Lileks illustrates in the latest addition to his sprawling Website. Overall, a number of the designs (more “moderne” than Bauhaus-style modern, to be fully accurate) seem remarkably fresh, even 70 years later. But the busy patterns on the linoleum floor covering (then considered a surprisingly breakthrough product) are pretty frightening. Or as James writes:


Oh yeah. I’d live here, for several reasons: the color. The porthole. The machine-for-living aesthetic. The linoleum!

Well, maybe not the linoleum. You take a look at that some morning when you have a hangover and dropped your eggs on the floor, it would be trouble with a capital Puke.

Heh. As Lileks adds, these are “ultra-modern kitchens you could afford, as soon as they finished up with the Depression and Hitler.” And once they did, modernism would become, for better or worse (and often worse), the mid-century design aesthetic.

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