Jasper in a colorful room. He's playing with a colorful felt board made of bright squares and rectangles
Overlapping colors of felt

In the Mood For Josef Albers

We collaborated with Domino Magazine to make a Josef Albers-inspired felt board, which is great fun for kids AND beautiful enough that adults will love having it around, too. We first did a Henri Matisse version a few years ago, but I’ve been wanting to do a Josef Albers version because of his Homage to the Square series.

Albers was an influential Bauhaus designer whose work on color theory is still the backbone of color theory classes in colleges worldwide today. I took a whole class on the Bauhaus during graduate school that was taught at the Smithsonian and got to learn it in depth from a German scholar. It has influenced by work ever since!

Even if you don’t want to make this felt board, having some Albers-inspired home decor will make your space feel fresh and contemporary. I put together some of my favorite home decor pieces that will bring this Bauhaus hero into your living space.

You'll Need:

Art-inspired furniture is a great way to bring color and style into your home. After all, we at Lars don’t talk about building an artful life for nothing!

Who was Josef Albers?

Josef Albers was born March 19, 1888, in Bottrop, Germany. His career in teaching art took off in 1923 when Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus school, invited Albers to teach as a professor at Bauhaus alongside his wife, Anni. They taught alongside Oskar SchlemmerWassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee. When the Nazi government forced Bauhaus to close in 1933, Albers emigrated to the United States. He brought along the ideas formed at Bauhaus as he headed the art department at the newly established and experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Years later, he headed the design department at Yale University where he worked until retirement.

Josef Albers Homage to a Square: concentric red, orange and yellow squares

Josef Albers’ book, Interaction of Color first published in 1971 and remains an essential handbook and teaching aid for artists, instructors, and students to explain color theory principles. His most renowned work, the Homage to the Square series, began in 1950 and lasted for 25 years. 

Jasper playing with an Albers-inspired felt board in a colorful room

Josef Albers Felt Board

Our Josef Albers felt board is a great project for a lot of reasons. It comes together in just 10 to 15 minutes, depending on whether you make a two-toned background, looks incredible hung up on the wall, and cleans up in a trice. Even though it’s technically a toy, this felt board doubles as art-inspired furniture!

A pile of colored felt.

Materials:

¾-yard felt in two colors, colored felt sheets in various colors, rotary cutter and fabric ruler or scissors, thread, sewing machine, velcro, hot-glue gun, hot-glue sticks

When you’re selecting your felt colors, look for a balance of bright and more subdued hues in a few tonal groups that pop well with your bigger background felts

cream and yellow felt pinned together. Sewing the background felt together sewn together felt background Cutting strips of felt for the feltboard

Instructions:

  1. Line up your background felts with about an inch overlapping. Pin them together.
  2. Sew the background together with two straight lines. The first seam should be half an inch away from the edge of the overlap, and the second seam should be an eighth of an inch from the edge.
  3. Trim the edges of your newly formed large background rectangle to make sure they’re nice and straight.
  4. Cut pieces of your felt sheets into rectangles and squares of varying sizes. (For reference, our larger ones are 9-by-10 inches; medium are 7-by-7 inches, and small are 4-by-6 inches and 3-by-4 inches.)
  5. With a dot of hot glue, attach Velcro to the back of the felt background. Use a Command strip or other removable adhesive to attach the other side of the Velcro to the wall—and let the creative color pairings begin!

Can’t get enough of felt boards? I don’t blame you! Check out our Mattise-inspired felt board here!

colorful felt board in a colorful room

Art-Inspired Furniture a la Josef Albers

Whether or not you want to make your own felt board toy/decoration, this art-inspired furniture is sure to make your living space feel extra special.

Rugs

Rugs add so much impact to a room. Remember Brittany’s rainbow office? The tonal rug in there really brings things together and makes the space feel cozy and modern. I was thrilled to find these extremely accurate representations of Albers’ work in rug form! You can really live in a work of art with these amazing pieces.

Even though these other two rugs aren’t perfect replicas of Josef Albers artworks, they really capture the spirit of his work, so I wanted to include them here. The golden tonal rug invokes Albers’ color theory work, and the the color block bathmat is so reminiscent of the geometric patterns he used.

Golden tonal rugA grey, white, black, and gold colorblock bath mat

Don’t forget to check out these other rugs we found, which are all under $1000!

Pillows

Throw pillows are versatile and oh so cozy! Here are some of my favorites.

I also love this one with concentric squares a la Homage to the Square.

Homage to the Square Pillow

Lots of these would pair excellently with our collection of statement sofas. Statement sofas have the same mood as a lot of Josef Albers’ work: bold, color-driven, and designed to stand out.

Blankets and Throws

Contemporary style doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be cozy! All these blankets and throws combine beautiful color mixing with bold graphics to make for an utterly luscious and snuggly addition to your home.

Books

Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color is still used to teach about color. The 50th anniversary Edition came out a few years ago. I recommend it for every student of color!

Josef Albers

Show us your art-inspired home!

If you make our Albers-inspired felt board or buy any art-inspired furniture from our collections, we would love to see it! Tag us with #LarsMakes and #LarsAtHome to share.

Thanks again to Domino magazine for collaborating with us on this project!

Jasper sits in front of a colorful Josef Albers-inspired felt board in a colorful room

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