Barb Dornbush is one of the industry's leading sustainable interior designers. She was the first recipient of the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) Award for Sustainable Design in Georgia. She is a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council (Simbly is too), and overall a designer of refined and delightful taste.
We jumped at the chance to have Barb write a guest post for Simbly. Here it is:
Simbly & Soft Modern Style
by Barb Dornbush
As the co-founder of Eco Rooms, I’m always looking for stylish and sustainable home furnishings that are available to consumers online. As soon as we launched our website, I knew I wanted to feature Simbly’s furniture. Not only is it available online, it’s also very stylish and sustainable.
At Eco Rooms we only recommend furniture that is made of North American hardwoods and/or is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. See FSC Certifed ApplePly for the importance of FSC certification. In addition, any furniture we recommend must be manufactured in North America. Simbly’s furniture meets all three of our sustainability criteria. In fact, Simbly furniture actually exceeds our criteria by being flat packed. Flat packing significantly reduces the furniture’s carbon footprint during shipping.
Soft Modern Style
Simbly’s furniture, which is designed by the award-winning designer Christopher Douglas, is stylish in a way that I would describe as soft modern. Soft modern style keeps the minimalism of traditional modern design but warms it up a bit with curves, woods and other materials.
Traditional modern furniture design often contains many straight lines and right angles. In contrast, soft modern furniture (inspired by Scandinavian design) frequently uses curves. For example, all of Simbly’s tabletops have rounded edges rather than sharp corners. Design motifs in traditional modern design tend to be geometric whereas in soft modern design they tend to be more organic and nature inspired.
In soft modern design both light woods (such as Simbly’s maple) and dark woods (such as Simbly’s walnut) are used for furniture, flooring and accessories. In contrast many traditional modern pieces use metal for furniture and accessories and concrete for flooring.
Other natural materials, such as light marble, are often used for tabletops and/or counters. A more sustainable alternative to consider would be Cambria’s quartz counters which are made in the US and GREENGUARD certified. GREENGUARD Environmental Institute is an independent organization that aims to protect human health and improve the quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants.
For lighting, faucets and hardware (such as knobs) light, warm and/or dark finishes are recommended. Light finishes could be matte white or stainless steel. Although it’s a light finish chrome is not recommended for environmental reasons. Warm finishes include rose gold, polished gold or copper. Dark finishes could be matte black or black stainless steel.
Glass, tinted glass and crystal are frequently used for soft modern accessories. Vintage Scandinavian glassware is particularly gorgeous.
For more ideas on how to implement the soft modern style in a sustainable way, see our Soft Modern Styled Rooms.