Web at Simon

Interior Design Advice

Posts by Simon

Want to make your home minimalist? Here’s how

Minimalism has been around for quite some time now and it has become almost a buzzword. In fact, I have seen more eclectic, mid-century modern to contemporary apartments claiming to be minimalist in their design than I have seen real minimalism in the recent years. And from what I heard from my friends, it’s rather similar in other arts. Instead of masterful minimalist music you have attempts at extravagancy with little thought behind it and don’t even get me started on the visual side of things.

Minimalism has always been a kind of stylistic movement that does push the things to the extremes a bit, but still, the art is balance, as often in life.

But, don’t let this discourage you. Minimalism is no rocket science. With just a little thought you can easily turn your messy apartment into a minimalist masterpiece.


Minimalism is all about reducing the things to their basic elements, ditching the excess and doing all that with a healthy dose of sophistication. As such, minimalism is very versatile and it can be laid back just as easily as it can be luxurious and classy.

In this article, I will briefly explore some of the essentials of minimalist interior design when done right.


Clearing the clutter

Ok, this one is to be expected. So, we are talking about unneeded piles of papers, keys and shoes all over the room, empty cups and an army of random items scattered all around your home. So, start there. I recommend making a quick series of decisions – what is completely superfluous and what you really need to keep. Take the former and store it somewhere practical out of sight and just get rid of the latter. If you are too sentimental to just let some stuff go into the trash bin, then attic might serve as a good step between those two.

Neutral background for the statement pieces

Base colour is absolutely essential for a proper minimalist appeal. All calm, simple and subdued shades are equally good choices. While clear white might seem like a good idea, I would personally suggest experimenting with the shades a bit. For example, if you want a bit warmer and cosier appeal, why not mix a bit of yellow into the white foundation? Or for a crisp look, you can go with adding a bit of blue. At this point, you can also start thinking about lighting. LED or fluorescent lighting gives off a very cool ambience, so if you plan on using these, warmer tones would be a better option. However, a room with huge windows that will receive a lot of natural light can be painted in cooler shade as the warm natural light will even it out.

However, if this all still sounds a bit too sterile for you, you can always add some details, and even do a full accent wall in earth shades, blues, greens or tans.

Quality over quantity

The pared-back aesthetic of minimalism presents you with a very unique challenge – at first it may seem like you just have too little to work with. Because of this, choosing any element for your home, be it a piece of furniture or a completely decorative element, can be rather tough in the beginning. You will have to make an effort to pick only those elements which are built to last and that will withstand daily use. Speaking of, here is a quick tip – patina works wonders with minimalism, so be sure to keep in mind that your furniture needs to age gracefully too.

One in – one out approach

If you are curious at minimalism, we probably don’t have to tell you just how much stuff can a single person accumulated during a rather short span of time. But, if you need a reminder, just open any drawer, cupboard or closet and take a good look at all those unused, completely unnecessary things that are collecting dust in your home. We already mentioned that getting rid of this is the first task when you decide to go for minimalism.

But, just getting rid of it once is not really enough – you need to maintain your minimalist home in the shape in which you brought it once you started with the whole redecorating thing. One simple rule that can help you with this is the following – for every new thing you bring into your home, you should get rid of the old one of the same size or ideally bigger.

Play with textures

Another challenge of minimalist rooms is the struggle to prevent them from becoming too cold, bland or sterile. One of the best ways to counter this is the use of textures, especially those with strong tactile element – like knitted throws, pillows, rugs or velvet décor elements. However, always try to stick with the same colour palette so that the diversity will come from the very texture, not the whole mess of colours that you might end creating if you don’t exercise restraint.

Invest in stylish storage

You could easily anticipate this one coming – stylish storage units will do wonders for your home. They will keep all the mess firmly on the inside, while being stylish and elegant on the outside. Stylish storage units are absolutely essential for a minimalist home, especially if you have issues letting go of the smaller things that are the main cause of clatter. By obtaining one nice and simple cupboard for example, you can easily keep all your mess there, without it having a destructive impact on the appeal of your home.

Rove Concepts Reviews

My experience with Rove Concepts

If you are a fan of midcentury style as we are, then you must be familiar with the struggle of finding the right place to shop for your designs. Ordering from European manufacturers holding the license can be rather pricey, especially when you count in the costly shipping from the old continent. And if you tried your luck at second-hand shops, you probably know that more often than not, the cost of restoration of old vintage design can more than triple the price you got it for. So, for most of us, US and Canada companies specializing in midcentury design are the best and most affordable option.

The market isn’t exactly saturated, but it isn’t too hard to find what you’re looking for either. Ensuring the best quality for your money is a whole different story and again, more often than not, you end up relying on luck primarily, hoping that you’ll get what you saw on the site, that is, unless you’re lucky enough that you can visit a showroom nearby.

I decided to write this Rove Concepts review so I could share my experience with you guys. However, this is my first, and for the time being last time ordering from Rove Concepts, so my experience is rather limited. For more info, I would recommend checking their trustpilot page which has a decent amount of reviews.

Rove Concepts is a company that has been around for some time and it has a decent amount of exposure and positive reviews online, so I decided to give it a try. We were looking for a nice and unimposing sofa for our new living room and RC’s Florence Loveseat seemed absolutely stunning. So, we chatted a bit with the customer service and after being ensured that there is no reason to worry, we made our order and didn’t bother to check it out in the showroom.

The delivery was a bit longer than originally agreed upon, but still reasonably quick, especially since I am located quite a distance away from the city center, so I am used to delivery guys taking their time when coming in my direction. After the delivery, I had much bigger problems. Namely, the sofa arrived damaged – by the looks of it, honestly, I think it was a production defect, as upholstery on one side was sewn noticeably skewed and the leg on the same side was also slightly angled, compromising the stability of the sofa.

When we contacted the customer service, they were rather polite and listened to our problem, but it turned out that their return and replacement policy is absolutely horrible. We were expected to cover the total shipping costs for the return which amounted to over a third of the sofa price, plus 15% restocking fee, plus the shipping costs of sending the new sofa. All in all, it ended up being way too expensive for us, especially when you count in the risk that you will get yet another damaged product.

So, we gave up on the whole replacement idea, and I called my friend who fixed the sofa for less than 100$ which is more than three times cheaper than just the return shipping costs.

Now, to tell the truth, things like these happen even to the best of companies out there, so damaged good isn’t as much of a problem as the rude replacement policy which isn’t made clear as it should be before purchase. With that being said, the couch wasn’t completely bad and after invested more into it to fix the problem, we love how it looks in our living room.

Rove Concepts have a very good offer of midcentury furniture, from lamps to chairs and sofas, but for me personally, this chain of unlucky events made me become a bit skeptical about ordering from RC again (which doesn’t mean I won’t at some point in the future).

Overall, the idea behind Rove Concepts is very sound and I love the look of their website as well as diversity of their offer. But would be much more pleased if they take extra precautions to show that they care about their customers and what they have to say. I know that covering your shipping costs in case of a return or replacement is a fairly common practice, but the price quickly became way too high for something which is their mistake, not my change of mind.

Checkout the review of the Rove Concepts.

By Bespoek Reviews

My experience with byBESPOEK

For all of you midcentury style enthusiasts, we have another special treat for you today. Another review of the company specializing exclusively in dealing with classic midcentury designs and that came from Europe to bring their offer to the US market. Our more dedicated readers might be familiar with how much we love midcentury style and we hope you do too. Of course, getting your hands on these designs in the US has always been a bit tricky. Not only are the license holders rather unwilling to compromise on their often inflated prices, but the shipping from Europe is undeniably costly and is sure to hit hard on your valet. So, any local company specializing in this type of furniture is something we are looking forward to checking out.

When we stumbled across byBESPOEK, we were pleasantly surprised. It seems that these guys are rather experienced in the industry, but back across the pond, in the old continent. So, they are a rather fresh addition to the US market, which was a slight plus for me and it certainly peaked my curiosity.
So, I went to the website to browse it and make a test order so I could compile this review. The first thing that you can notice is that the website is rather clear and easily navigable. According to the front page, byBESPOEK specializes in two types of midcentury designs, chairs and lamps. Both categories are relatively limited, numbering some 80+ designs which include all types of lamps (floor, table, wall and pendants) as well as dining, lounge and office chair, with a modest collection of bar and counter stools. There is a nice of addition of some other elements.

When it comes to offer, it is not as diverse as is the case with some of the competitors, but every single design in their offer is either a recognizable classic, or a variation on a classic design, so if you are familiar with the history of midcentury design, you will certainly enjoy browsing through the website as you are bound to encounter some of the most iconic models. Even though ‘midcentury’ is written all over byBESPOEK reviews and website, the company is rather limited to the Scandinavian midcentury first and foremost (although, to be honest, in the lighting section there is quite a significant number of French and Italian works).

So, for my test order, I got Wishbone chair replica which seems to be their core product, and a couple of AJ lamps (two table lamps, one floor lamp). The shopping experience is fairly enjoyable and simple. The thing I absolutely love is that on the checkout page the website automatically shows you the breakdown of the total cost which includes the price of the product(s) plus the shipping costs calculated based on your address. You get all this without actually committing to the purchase which is very fair. There are no hidden costs and what you see is what you pay, which is a huge plus for me.
Speaking of checkout page, byBESPOEK also offers you a fairly affordable SMS notification service which you can purchase on the checkout page, plus a very cute offer to add additional 12 bucks to your order which will be used for reforestation efforts in the region of the US you choose. This was a bit of a flag for me and wanted to check it out, even though the price is rather low. But, the company they partnered with for this checks out and is not only legit, but also a kind of a leader in the industry, so I was very pleased that even this was absolutely legit.


When I completed my purchase I got a decent amount of emails containing my invoice and notification about estimated time of delivery, return and refund policies and everything else you might need to know. I would love if this was all sent in one email, but I still love the transparency and fairness, so I was very confident that all will turn out fine.
The delivery time was a bit longer than I they promised, but still not too much, we are talking about several days difference. The Wishbone chair was superb and I loved it at first sight. I got an oak model, knowing that most reproduction companies don’t pay enough attention to oak processing resulting in rough surface, but this was very far from the truth. The chair was absolutely stunning and very smooth to touch, but with a lovely rustic oak texture. Table lamps were ok (after all, not much can go wrong with these), but the table lamp was clearly damaged, yet so was the box, so I think it was clear it got damaged in transport.
I contacted the customer service and made an inquiry about that. I was a bit annoyed that I had to send them photos of both the box and the lamp, but once I did, they promised to take care of it. I still had to cover the shipping costs which weren’t all that expensive as their warehouse is located in Texas, but aside from that I had no additional costs and got a replacement within three days.

So, my overall experience with byBESPOEK was more than positive, but still fairly limited. However, searching for byBESPOEK reviews online is not likely to provide you with much more info since the company is fairly new in the US. I think they would certainly benefit from more consistent delivery times and maybe a wider offer, but aside from those comments, I think it is fair to say that the company is doing fairly good and manages to keep the prices even surprisingly affordable, especially when you keep in mind the quality which is truly superb.
So, if you decide to buy from byBESPOEK, don’t forget to throw a review on trustpilot or wherever you see fit. Let’s give these Europeans a warm welcome to the States and help them build their business here – as I am sure we will all enjoy if we continue having such lovely midcentury designs just a couple of clicks away.

Check the reviews of byBESPOEK on Trustpilot!

How to make your home look as if it was designed by a pro

To say it straight away – don’t get us wrong. We respect interior designers and absolutely love what they did for all of us over the last couple of decades. It was interior designers who put a lot of effort and time to develop philosophies of making your home feel like home, of making the most out of space at hand and of using elements at your disposal to create your unique stylistic expression. After all, this is not something that comes naturally to everybody – you need to have a keen eye for details and ability to mix style and functionality without either of the two compromising the other.

But, with all that being said, not everyone can afford to hire an interior designer to make their home shine with style and elegance. And many of us would really love if we could be the one in charge, the one who will make decisions and make our home truly ours, a true expression of our individuality.

How hard could it be? Is it something that can be learned or you just need to be born with talent to be able to look at the room and picture it at its best?

Well, the truth is probably somewhere in between these extremes. Being an interior designer involves talent and hard work alike, with many years put into studying, analysing and exploring the world of décor. But, on the other hand, with just some tips and tricks and a little bit of attention, you can learn enough to make your home look stylish and inviting, just like if it was designed by a pro. In this article, we would like to help you with exactly that, to provide you with some rather flexible guidelines that you can use to come up with your personal stylistic expression.

Where to find inspiration?

The best way to get the idea of what a designer might do your home is to take a look at what the pros have done with other spaces which might be similar to your home. This wasn’t too hard to do even in the pre-internet days, but today it is as simple as going to Pinterest and searching for home styles that appeal to you. In fact, we highly encourage you to make a couple of inspiration boards as a first step to making your home stylish and elegant.

Some other websites such as Freshome can also be of help here. There are no strict rules, simply search for inspiration wherever you can and try to keep them handy at all times so in case of an unexpected opportunity to do some shopping, you can quickly check what works and what not.

Once you have a decent collection of images, take some time to look at them and try to ‘read the story’ of the design you are striving to. Hey, you might even be a bit surprised with the end result!

Smart use of colour schemes

This is a mistake many people make – mixing colour palette and style. These two are deeply intertwined, but not exactly the same. While there are some rules – like bright colours for mid-century design or minimalism, warm and rusty for industrial style or something similar – you must keep in mind that interior design is not about strict rules, but exactly about bending them. On top of that, colour is something that should always be personal and that should contribute to the overall mood and ambience of the room.

Exactly because of that, we cannot really tell you which colours to use, but we can give you one very useful piece of advice, especially if you are new to the whole interior design thing – always try to use a mix of up to three colours and their shades. So, one colour will dominate walls, another will be noticeable on large accent pieces (such as sofas or chairs) and the third will add some interest with small details and accessories such as flowers or pillows. Also keep in mind that colour is brought to life by light reaching the room so be sure to keep this in mind. All the colour experiments won’t do you any good if your room isn’t properly illuminated.

Adding some texture

Texture is just as important as colour, and even more so if you decide to forego our previous advice and go for a single-colour scheme in a minimalist manner. All-white, all-grey or other monochromatic rooms will benefit greatly from texture of the elements such as draperies, velvet or silk furniture, rattan chairs, faux fur or other accessories rich in tactile texture. All of these can easily transform somewhat dull room into a sophisticated expression of personal taste. For all of you who are just starting out with the whole interior design thing, we highly recommend relying mostly on fabrics as you won’t be able to avoid them either way (well, in most cases) and they can be much easier to use than wooden elements, for example.

The importance of big furniture pieces

Accent and statement pieces can make or break the room. This will naturally create some pressure for you, but if you’re feeling like making the right choice is just too much of responsibility, then keep in mind that one big statement furniture piece will more often than not be much more stylish addition than a clutter of small spindly pieces all crammed together in one room. Always try to avoid the clutter of legs and instead opt for a large statement piece, maybe with two to three medium sized ones. The main guideline here should be to mix various furniture styles and sizes, while always keeping the room balanced and without letting either size or style to dominate over the others. This same tip can be just as easily applied to accessories.

Lighting tips & tricks to illuminate your home

Lighting is the most underestimated element of interior design out there. While we can spend not hours, but days searching for perfect furniture, even perfect details and ornaments, we often speed things up when it comes to lighting. After all, how hard it can be to find a light source?

If you really want your home to be warm, balanced in its expression, stylish and sophisticated, the way you choose and utilize lighting fixtures have to reflect that. Let’s mention something that is just an overlooked common sense statement – bright and sharp light make you feel more alert and awake, while dim and ambient solutions are relaxing and inviting you to sleep or just dream away the problems of the day. Now just imagine of all the variations that exist between these two extremes and you can begin to grasp the importance proper lighting has for an overall feel and aesthetic of your home.

Feel maybe a bit overwhelmed? No need to worry, because we’ve got you covered! Here you will find some simple but efficient tips and tricks that will help you illuminate your home in style!


Always make a lighting plan

When beginning with your redecorating efforts, take some time to create a mini-brief lighting plan that will cover all the essentials. Try to think about the activities that will take place in every room – eating, relaxing, working, socializing and other. Then try to think about the key features of the room that you would like to highlight. But don’t let the possibilities overwhelm you – always keep the architectural limits in mind and try to think how the layout of your home can limit your ideas.

With this in mind, you can begin considering the style, scale, output and color of the lights before rushing into big decisions (and hits on your valet!). After all, early planning always ensures less issues later on and when you’re doing something as important as redesigning your home, you certainly want to avoid those rushed last minute decisions.

Take a layered approach

Several light sources will almost always be better than just one and the reason is fairly simple – with light fixtures positioned across the room on different levels, the ambience and interest in the room are sure to follow. The best advice we can give you is to always try to use lighting in such a way to make the most out of a room’s size and shape. For example – upwards lights make the room feel bigger and add to spaciousness, while low hung pendants can create an illusion of height. While big lights can create a more formal atmosphere, clusters of small lights are prefect if you are looking for that warm, cozy vibe.

Never compromise on functionality

Are you now thinking about all the aesthetical possibilities before you? Well, we are glad, but don’t get carried away! All the aesthetic expression and character won’t do you much good if you choose the lighting solutions that are simply not right for what you need. For example, cooking will require direct and concentrated light, so downwards light with a bit of upwards refraction is certainly a better option than diffuse one. Similarly, for reading, you will need flexible and directional lighting that can be aimed away from you. Don’t forget that you can always install dimmers to easily change the atmosphere of your room gradually, while at the same time being very energy efficient.

Not all bulbs are the same

Too much thought put into lighting solutions will pay off only if you pay equal attention to the choice of bulbs. Some of the things you should definitely need to keep in mind include the brightness you need which is directly related to the power of the bulb, then the atmosphere you are going for which will be determined by the color temperature and whether a given fixture is a focal statement or an element of design.

Spotlights draw attention

If you have some décor elements that you would really like to stand out, you can easily use lighting to draw the attention. The element in question can be architectural, piece of furniture or something as simple as a collection of vintage photos on your accent wall. If you point the spotlights to the center of a dining table, you can create an inviting atmosphere, while symmetrical lights arranged on either side of a statement mirror or above the fireplace can add a completely new layer of warmth and elegance.

Consistency is the key to success

The general theme, color schemes and materials of your lamps should be more or less consistent throughout your home. Too many different styles can easily create a sense of clutter and uneasiness. Brighter light will open up a space, make it appear larger and add interest, while dimmer one will create a sense of luxury and coziness. However, mixing the two will simply create a sensation of imbalance, so always keep it simple and consistent.

Hot interior design trends for the spring of 2019

Slowly but surely, the snow is melting, the cold wind is getting quiet and the memories of cold, grey, cloudy days will soon fade away with an explosion of colours, smells and new memories waiting to be made!

So, it is a perfect time to take a look at the hot interior design trends that await us this spring! From comebacks in big style to some true surprises, it looks like 2019 is going to be a very vibrant and exciting years where everything is about you!

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Wabi-Sabi and the aesthetic of the imperfect

One of the trends that is really catching on fast is sure to bring delight to all the fans of exotic décor styles out there. Wabi-Sabi (侘寂) is a philosophy and a concept that comes from the traditional Japanese aesthetics that is based around transience and imperfection. With a thing for simplicity, austerity, roughness and simplicity, Wabi-Sabi readily embraces the imperfection and fading of the material. Combining minimalism with rustic elements, this décor trend is coming in full force in 2019 and if you are keen on catching up on this trend, keep your eyes open for some handmade ceramics and beautifully flawed, decayed and asymmetric aesthetic details.


Round, flowing and organic lines

While the past year saw a strong revival of sleek and elegant minimalism with uninterrupted straight lines and angles, the spring of 2019 is coming with a flair for soft and inviting vibe of rounded furniture elements. If you are a fan of oversized ottomans, plush couches, curvy and expressive lounge chairs designed in the spirit of mid-century style, you are in luck! This year, round, flowing and organic lines seem to be what all the hype is about.


Herringbone patterns all over the place

I know what you will say – herringbone has never really been out of style! While I am close to agree with you on that one, I am not talking on traditional wooden floors pattern. This season, herringbone is coming to leave a mark on – well, almost everything! From small décor accents to whole walls patterned in such a way, it seems like you can’t go wrong with this stylish and lively pattern. Be sure to combine it with some bold and vibrant spring colours for maximum expression and a modern feel.


Tropical prints and retro posters

Ok, let’s face it – full-wall prints have had their days and are rather odd most of the time today. It’s rare that they make a comeback, but in spring 2019 it seems like retro is back in style stronger than ever before and with it, we can see a new love for floral and tropical prints flourishing all over the place! And if you don’t want to risk with a full-wall print just yet, we have some more good news. It seems like framed retro posters with tropical and botanical motifs are again hip and in style. This can be an amazing opportunity to take part in this new fad while still keeping it subtle.

Gilded details for a vintage look

As the hype about sleek urban black-and-white minimalism is fading and giving way to warmer retro aesthetic, so are the chromed finishes going out of style, giving way to classic brass that will give your aesthetic accents a vintage gilded look. Vintage, brushed and even super-shiny brass finishes are the way to go in 2019, so you are free to experiment. If you like the Wabi-Sabi thing I mentioned above, rustic brass might be the best choice for you. But if you’re not ready to give up on your sleek minimalist expression just yet, add some polished brass details for a bit of glam.

Warm, natural and rustic

If you made it this far, then you must have seen this one coming. And it’s not really a surprise – natural and rustic elements never seem to completely go out of style and most of us are used to them always being somewhere near, ready to find their way into our homes yet again as soon as we thought that we’ve seen the last of them. With Wabi-Sabi aesthetic and tropical prints, wooden accents, rustic concrete vases or leather drawer pulls seem to come to full prominence, adding a completely new level of warmth and sophistication.


Home office in casual style

Home offices have been almost a must for some time now. Even if you’re not a freelancer and you’re not bringing your job home, it is highly likely that your study or dedicated internet-surfing corner is looking a bit like an office. In previous years we’ve seen a lot of attention being paid to serious elegance and sophisticated vibe of your workspace, but let’s be honest – if you’re not expecting any business meetings in your home, your office or study should be all about you. In spring 2019 this is more true than ever before with playful prints, motivational posters and strong personality being in the focus.