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Images and text by Gabrielle. This post brought to you by EQ3 — celebrate their new flagship showroom in San Francisco and you could win EQ3 furniture!

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Do you remember the origami-style paper lanterns I shared in my living room tour? Several readers asked about them and I got a kick out of telling them they came from a furniture store called EQ3 — EQ3 was one of my first discoveries when I moved back to the U.S.! So it felt like I was sharing a fun find. : )

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We do a lot of our errands in Emeryville — it’s a nearby town where the big movieplexes and shopping centers are located. Best buy. Michaels. That sort of thing. (Fun fact: it’s also where Pixar is located, too!) Anyway, when we were still very new here, on our first visit to Emeryville, we were exploring a shopping center called Bay Street, and I noticed a store with long banners of Marimekko fabric hanging in the windows. Of course I was super curious.

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It was called EQ3 and I had never heard of it. So I went in to explore and immediately felt like I’d found treasure! Such a great store. It’s full of furniture and homegoods — some items exclusive to EQ3 and some from brands you already know. Unusual things too — like the Marimekko section which is a mini-store within the store. Very cool!

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EQ3 is based in Canada, and they are currently growing their presence here in the U.S.. Since I was already a fan, I was happy as can be when they reached out and told me about their new flagship showroom opening in San Francisco.

I got the chance to visit the day before it opened and shoot photos (the photos seen here in this post). The whole place has a terrific vibe — open and spacious and warm. If you’re in San Francisco, definitely take a peek. And if you’re nowhere near San Francisco, don’t despair, you can also check it out online. : )

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One thing I noticed about EQ3 is that they really have a range of prices to fit a lot of different budgets. It’s a really modern and sleek showroom, so it could feel snooty, but it doesn’t. I feel like the prices reflect that. There are high-end lines like Herman Miller, and there are mid-range lines like the EQ3 original upholstered pieces with decent prices and a ton of fabric options.

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But you can also pick up little things — like a pack of your Marimekko paper napkins!

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A few of my favorites:

The Harvest Bench. When I was designing the living room, I considered these seriously for the window benches, but they weren’t quite long enough for my particular need. Still, it’s exactly the configuration I was looking for with the shelf beneath. (I wish I had the same shelves!) It would be perfect for coffee table books or extra blankets.

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This handsome, unusual hamper caught my eye as well. It stores compactly and doesn’t feel like same old, same old. When it opens up, the holes become the handles!

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I’m also way into these adaptable Mod Box Shelves! No big surprise — they remind me of the ones we built in the reading loft. But these have additional shapes and sizes, plus two finishes, plus you don’t have to build them yourself! : )

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Lastly, I know I’ve mentioned Marimekko like a thousand times in this post, but I have good reasons: 1) Outside of a stand alone Marimekko shop, it’s unusual to find so much of their wares in one place — EQ3 even sells Marimekko fabric by the yard! And 2)  I’m sentimental about Marimekko, which I  know I’ve mentioned it before.

Growing up, our family had essentially zero budget for decorating the house, but my mom managed to make our home beautiful anyway, and give us some design training in the process. She loved Finnish design house, Marimekko, and saved up to buy a piece of their car fabric, then she used it to make a quilt for my brother’s bedroom. I felt so sentimental when I saw the fabric of my childhood in the store!

So there you go, a little introduction to EQ3, a store that may be new to you. And now I’d love to hear: have you ever visited one of there showrooms? And if you’re from Canada, do you already know all about it? Also, for those of you who are into design, do you remember the first designer/design company you were taught about or made aware of?