Design Chick  

EQ3 is a designer favourite

For clients looking for one-offs and really contemporary decor, there's one store I love stopping in at.

Minimalists at heart love the simplicity and highly European-influenced design of the pieces found at EQ3, a Winnipeg based interior furnishings and home decor haven with shops across Canada.

Founded in 2001 by one of Palliser Furniture's higher ups, it caters to those with a penchant for every-day life with simple, clean and functional design, and classical contemporary undertones.


Geometrics, stripes, solids with textures... EQ3 has some fantastic options for bed linens, made from quality textiles with high thread counts, and with pretty affordable price tags.

Their in-house brand has a wide variety of colours and patterns to choose from, but if you're looking for something unique (and want to get your hands on a few pieces of modern design history), their partnership with Merimekko affords the opportunity to snap up some pizzazz.

A Finnish textile and clothing design company, Merimekko is internationally renowned for its original prints and vibrant colours. Those wanting this cheery company's wares for other areas of the house will be pleased to find their curated offerings expand beyond the bedroom: bold cushion covers, napkins, aprons, dishes and more are available in store and online.


EQ3 carries standard sized seating, but is well known for its condo scale pieces as well. For those needing slightly smaller scaled furniture — but not wanting to sacrifice on esthetics or materials — you will find what you're after, in standard and scaled down dimensions.

Everything from sofas, sectionals, chaise lounges, and funky ottomans are available and pieces can be ordered in fabric or leather; the selection of patterns and textures to choose from ensures there's something to suit a wide variety of design styles and tastes.


Dining tables no longer need to only come with four legs... why not consider a round top with a fibreglass pedestal base, like the Simone table, for something fresh and unexpected? Mixing and matching is also highly encouraged: full dining sets are slowly making way for paired up combinations, mixing materials, finishes, and shapes.


You can find nearly everything you need to furnish a single room under one roof, which makes EQ3 a favourable one-stop shopping destination.

Pillows, mirrors, tables, area rugs, table wares, clocks, shelving, lighting, glassware, and other home essentials are tastefully displayed in singular vignettes throughout the store, giving the average DIYer inspiration and practical guidelines for pairing their pieces together.


Design lovers know just how hard it is to find those authentic mid-century modern pieces like the Ray and Charles Eames Lounge Chair, or the idyllic Noguchi coffee table. EQ3 is an exclusive dealer for Herman Miller, Vitra, Alessi, Sagaform, and a few other contemporary icons, exclusive to Canada.

A few times a year Herman Miller will put on a sale like no other... so keep your eyes peeled for some of these historic pieces for a favorable discount!


5 tips for outdoor living

Simple. Summer. Chic!  When creating a space outside this summer for relaxation, conversation, or rest, consider these five inspiring tips for stylish outdoor living.


Nature is so full of different textures – add some to your backyard retreat in the form of moisture-treated woven rattan or banana leaf patio lounge chairs.

We’ve all seen some pretty beautiful pieces in rich espresso or black finishes, but the new trend for your outdoor oasis is to go lighter; driftwood and weathered sand are two of my new favourite trends, so don’t be afraid to lighten up and bring something home in either of these airy feeling shades.


Nearly every outdoor space could use a bit of an eclectic edge for visual and tactile interest. Chair cushions done in summery Batik patterns will definitely add an exotic Tropicana touch.

If you’re confidant with your sewing skills, why not pick up some Batik and sea grass material, and combine the two; one side Batik, the other a woven sea grass or jute.


Do away with twinkle lights this year and instead opt for a more whimsical approach to outdoor lighting. Moroccan-inspired metal, paper, and cane lanterns are fun and playful when grouped together in trees or nestled about on a side bench or patio table.

Battery operated globes are a great way to create mood lighting without the fire hazard but be sure to pick up factory waxed lanterns that will last during summer showers.


Just like indoors, a great, little area rug can really ground the look of your outdoor living space – with the added benefit of keeping your toes cool and clean.

Stick to sisal or jute for this one though, as both are easy to clean and replace if necessary.

Water Feature

Soothing and calming — an outdoor water feature is a great way to kick back, relax, and bring the lake even nearer to you this summer. It doesn’t have to be huge; a little table fountain can do the trick.

But if you’re needing something on a more impactful scale, I would suggest implementing a full-height tempered glass water wall for a major — and stunning — feature area.

Maximize home storage

Here’s an amusing fact: almost every home is uniquely different in some way, and yet nearly every home is deficient in one common element — storage space.

Just when you thought you’d heard everything about finding and making the best use of extra space, below are three untapped areas that, when made use of in smart and resourceful ways, can boost the orderliness and efficiency of your home.

Mud Room Must-Haves

Most rear or side entries are used predominantly by the family, not their guests: coats, boots, backpacks, hockey bags, groceries, pets, and more will be traipsing through this spot, so my No. 1 tip is to make use of valuable vertical surfaces by designing and incorporating built-ins for most of these items.

Include shelves and hanging space with doors to close off clutter, and built-in shelves which can store shoes and boots and free up floor space for a bench or chair.

For a vintage look, install locker-style cabinets for each member of the family; they’ll add nostalgic interest to the space and keep each person’s items organized in one spot. Alternatively, dedicate a shelf, cubby or basket for each family member. It’s never too early to start instilling good habits, so install hooks 36 inches high, so little hands can easily hang up jackets and backpacks.

Wooden pegs mounted a few inches above the floor work well for drying off wet mittens, scarves, and gloves. Recreational equipment needs specific shelving and accessories, so source out and install specialty hardware and holders for these items too.

Laundry Luxuries

Times have changed – doing laundry shouldn’t demote you to a dingy spot in the basement.

Many clients are moving the laundry to the main or second floor of their homes, for increased ease of access and functionality. The main thing every laundry space should have is counter space – stash front loading units under wall-to-wall countertops, making way for folding and sorting space, baskets and bins.

Install overhead cabinetry so soaps, cleansers, extra linens and towels, and even folded clothes waiting to be put back can remain neatly tucked away.

If square-footage allows, install lower cabinets under the laundry sink and anywhere else in the room where you may be able to fit them: this will provide extra storage and take away from the utilitarian feel most laundry rooms have by adding warmth and interest to the space.

Fold down clothing rods are great for drying items above a counter space, and installing a tall, pantry-style cabinet at one end of a wall for storing mops, brooms, and a vacuum if necessary will keep your floor space uncluttered and tidy.

Garage Goodness

Notorious for becoming dumping grounds for things people don't want to keep in their homes but are unable to throw away, the garage is an untapped area waiting to be simplified and organized.

Garage storage and specialty shelving opens up more space and makes it easier to find and use your things. Creating zones for different kinds of items — tools in one area, outdoor toys in another — help keep potentially dangerous objects and substances out of reach and at bay.

Wall organizers and slat wall panels are an amazing addition to any garage; designed for tough garage conditions, specialty wall panels can firmly support hooks, baskets and shelves for organized storage of garden tools and supplies, sports equipment and a whole lot more.

Consider installing a bank of pre-fab cabinetry in one section to help keep seasonal items or clothing tucked away neatly.

And be sure to use your vertical square footage as well.

Overhead storage bins are a necessity for homes lacking interior off-season storage while heavy duty over-head storage racks allow you to get items up off the ground and maximize your floor space.


Designer furnishings for you

In The Hot Seat – Designer Furnishings

The annual Las Vegas Market — a world class exhibition and debut, featuring international furniture, decor, and design retailers all under one roof — is coming up this July in, you guessed it, Las Vegas.

If it's trendy, coveted, beloved, and desired, you can guarantee it will be there.

Below are some of the very best and exceptionally "in" must-have pieces you can expect to see in print and in the media as we speak.


This Vancouver, Canada based company is burning through the pages of all the major design mags, and once you visit their website or see their product in person, there's no question 18karat is a design heavy hitter.

An import and retail company specializing in contemporary interior design accessories and furniture, 18karat follows a simple and contemporary design aesthetic.

Practising ethically responsible trade, while maintaining the highest level of quality and style, their dipped spire vases, anemone platters, and selenite votive holders are in high demand throughout the design world.


I'm absolutely loving the exotic-industrial vibe happening at the moment that features spaces with lovely one-off pieces like dining and cocktail tables made from highly polished steel bases, and buttery smooth exotic wood slab tops.

These pieces look absolutely stunning in rooms that are simple and organic or light and airy feeling, and complement schemes of linen, cream, woolly gray, silver, and pearly white.


Ikat, Moroccan-inspired, and beveled are three top area rugs you'll find gracing the floors of featured homes everywhere, thanks to the myriad of options available online and in stores now.

Furniture feeling a little bland? Throw down an eye-popping textile in one of these punchy patterns, and see how instantly your room is transformed.


Nothing screams sensual sophistication louder than an amazingly designed wine rack (even better if it’s within your very own wine room) and there are plenty out there at the moment that fit the bill.

Forget little crates and wire baskets that sit on the floor; you want something bold, suspended, sleek and chic looking. The perfect accessory for any adult space, a gorgeously outfitted wine feature is definitely next level design.


Fit for a king, these early Egyptian-designed pieces are making their way into transitional, and contemporary bedrooms everywhere.

Those with a penchant for low, clean lines will love the sleeker look a platform bed can lend a space, making them ideal for rooms with gorgeous views, or smaller spaces in need of some visual expansion.

More Design Chick articles

About the Author

A graduate of Mount Royal University in Calgary, Crispin Butterfield launched Urban Theory Interior Design in 2003 and has since been featured in Canada’s Style At Home magazine, Covet, Canadian Retailer, and the National Post.

She’s a master in designing residential and commercial soul-hugging spaces clients relish showing up to, socializing in, and especially love coming home to.

She and her team work with clients from conceptualization to completion, providing full scale service with authenticity, innovation, and lots of personality.


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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