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    Styling Tips For Your Small Space

    Styling Tips For Your Small Space

    Small space living doesn’t mean sacrificing on style. In fact, it’s about getting creative with space and playing with colour, shape andaccessories to create illusions. Pint-sized spaces favour cost, efficiency, environment and lifestyle over square-footage. A decade ago, small space living almost exclusively referred to loft living, but today petite spaces come in many different forms: micro-condominiums, tiny houses, studio apartments, guest accommodations and increasingly, live/work spaces. Encouraging us to rethink our needs and wants, small spaces pose unique design challenges. From creating optical illusions to clever storage solutions, consider these design-wise tips to make the most of your less than large space.

    Think multifunctional.

    Most pieces in your small space should have more than one purpose. Double-duty furniture is a must and can provide clever solutions for those exceptions to your lifestyle like holiday dinners and overnight guests. Desks that become dining tables, sofas with hidden beds, banquettes that contain storage….think outside the box to find space-saving solutions. Smart storage is key.

    Create optical illusions with colour choices, mirrors and natural light. Neutral palettes will create a more airy and spacious feel while adding mirrors will reflect light around the room. Keep sofas off the floor and let the legs shine. Pull furniture a few inches from the wall (if you can spare the space) to avoid a cramped look with furniture pushed against perimeter walls. 

    Floating and open shelves are less imposing than heavy bookcases and keep sight lines open. EQ3 offers a multitude of options for the modern dweller in a small space. 

    Forego bulky media centres in compact spaces and bring dead space back to life with personal items like books and tropical plants for an inviting feel. The jury is still out on sofa size in small quarters. Depending on how you will use your space, sofa size can make or break your room’s design. A bold jewel-toned sofa can dominate the space but also be the showstopper piece the space needs. The choice is up to you.

    How to Choose the Right Leather For Your Sofa

    How to Choose the Right Leather For Your Sofa

    Leather is a beautiful, natural material that makes us all feel luxurious and comfortable. 100% top-grain leathers are best for furniture because they ensure a durable high quality leather that is made to last. With all of the options available, it can be difficult to choose the one that is your perfect mix of quality, durability and luxury. Since leather is such a versatile material, you are sure to find one that suits your space and lifestyle.
    We are here to break down the types of leather and help you make an informed decision that you won’t regret! Top-grain leather can be categorized into three types: Finished, Semi-Aniline and Aniline.

    Finished Leather

    Finished leathers are great for everyday wear and tear. With a polymer coating, it is a fantastic choice for heavy traffic areas, especially with kids and pets. All of our finished leathers are smooth the touch with natural markings of the hide erased to maintain a solid, uniform colour and texture. Finished leather can also be embossed with a uniform grain to supply a natural look. Made to withstand a busy lifestyle, spills and dirt wipe up with ease!

    Semi-Aniline Leather

    Similar to finished leather, semi-aniline leather has a slight protective top coat added to protect from spills and staining. However, this leather will feature some characteristics of the natural hide as the leather as not been corrected like finished leather. Semi-aniline leather is great for those who love the look of a natural leather but would like the added protection. With a similar feel to a soft fabric, semi-aniline leather is warm and inviting. Regular conditioning of the leather is key to maintaining supple leather that will not dry out. We suggest conditioning every 12 to 18 months.

    Aniline Leather

    Also known as “nubuck”, or “nude” leather, aniline leather – the most natural form of leather – has a velvety nap on the surface and retains much of the natural markings of the hide. These leathers are not finished on the top, providing a luxurious leather that will age beautifully over time. Since there is no protective coating on aniline leather, the leather will develop a natural patina as you use your sofa, giving each piece its own unique rustic look and feel.

    Coffee Table Buying Guide

    Coffee Table Buying Guide

    You don’t have to look far (thanks, Pinterest) to see that the coffee table is giving the fireplace mantel a run for its money in the objets d’art category. Like most furnishings, the coffee table has evolved from a strictly functional piece to a blank canvas for artful arrangements. The once reliable trifecta of flowers, trays and books are slowly giving way to succulents, glass cloche bell jars and carefully curated (even colour coordinated) art books. Whether its purpose is holding the remote or creating a personalized collection of objets, the coffee table is often centre stage so choose wisely. We’ve narrowed down four considerations when choosing the right one for your room.

    1. Style. Square, oval, rectangular, oval…the shapes are about as infinite as the finishes. What you need to look at is the preexisting shapes in your room to conform or create visual contrast.  Stylistically, if you have a lot of straight edges in the room you may want to choose a counterpoint with curves to break up the straight lines. Or if symmetry is your thing, you may want to mirror the shape and style of the other furnishings in the living room. Round coffee tables aid circulation, especially when considering a small space. If the safety of toddlers is a particular concern, a rounded table with gentle edges may be a wise selection. The EQ3 Ynes Coffee Table (above) is a bold addition to your living area with a sophisticated white or black marble top option. Comes in a more compact end table option.

    2. Function. How you use the coffee table will help inform your decision. Will it hold your treasured holiday beach finds or do you need a two-tiered shelf to pick up the stacks of children’s books lying on the floor? Inspired by midcentury design, the EQ3 Kacia Coffee Table is made from solid acacia wood and is available as a side table. The Kacia table’s throwback feel gives it a timeless appeal while its unique shape adds dimension to your living space.

    The Trivia Coffee Table by EQ3 is constructed from solid oak legs and a powder coated white or charcoal metal surface. Perfect for either modern or traditionally styled living rooms, the Trivia adds a light aesthetic to many spaces. Resistant to chipping, scratches, fading and wear than any other finish, the powder coated Trivia Coffee Table is a smart choice for the hard wearing family.

    The Real Coffee Table by Calligaris is a rectangular coffee table made entirely out of tempered glass. It has a clean, linear design adding to the airiness of a room and keeping spaces visually light. Metal bases with glass tops are another good choice to keep rooms feeling open. Tempered glass is also a clever way to show off your special area rug and want to keep views unobstructed. Keep your glass cleaner handy, though, as there is no way around fingerprints.

    The Scout Functional Coffee Table boasts a utilitarian design with a top that lifts up for living room meals and easy access to the interior storage. There is also a side drawer for even more practicality.

    3. Scale. Scale can be broken into proportion, length and height. The proportion of the coffee table needs to consider both the size of the living room and the scale of the surrounding furnishings. We don’t like a lot of rules in design, but a generally accepted rule of thumb when pairing a classic rectangular coffee table with a sofa is that the table should run from one-half to two-thirds the length of the sofa. The height of a coffee table should be no lower than 1-2 inches from the seat of your couch. The standard height for a table is 16-18 inches and pairs well with a typically sized couch. A higher sofa requires a taller table, one that is 20-21 inches in height.

    4. Small Groupings. Ideal for displaying house plants or other decorative items, the Peggy Side Table by EQ3 is a fun addition to any room in the home. To bring a modern and dynamic feel to your living room, try a collection of tables. For an interesting look, place two sets of identical nesting tables next to each other and pull out each table to expand the surface area while staggering the table tops too. If your space is wide and you have not found a table you like, place two tables next to each other and create one larger table. If you can’t commit to a full size coffee table, another option is to curate several smaller end tables as a coffee table solution.

    The Calligaris Island Tables are available in three different versions that can be used alone or together to create different heights. They are versatile tables with rounded beveled edges that give this series a distinct look. Available in four different finishes.

      Speaking With Enri Tielmann, EQ3's Product Dev Manager

      Speaking With Enri Tielmann, EQ3's Product Dev Manager

      Since 2001, EQ3 has been a front runner in defining Canada’s nebulous design identity. The Winnipeg-based company specializes in modern furnishings and home decor for every room in the house. Defined by simple, clean lines with function at the heart of every design, each piece is rigorously conceptualized, designed and executed by a select group of Canada’s leading designers. And if that doesn’t have you singing the national anthem, how about the fact that EQ3 produces as much of their product in Canada as possible, manufacturing all of their own upholstery pieces in their Winnipeg factory.

      We interviewed Product Development Manager, Enri Tielmann to dive deeper into this creative company’s psyche to learn the secret of their success. With over 12 stores in Canada and the US, you can find the EQ3 product line at StudioYdesign.

      Tell us about your background. Were you always creative?

      I’ve always been intrigued by the creative process — the idea that you can have a vision and turn it into a reality. My dream job as a kid was to be a product developer for Lego. Lego is basically a simplified model of the real world; it has the ability to create something new that was not there before. As a child, I was also engaged in playing in the forest and carving sculptures out of found wood. I thought it was so intriguing to remove pieces of wood until a form emerged and there was nothing else to remove.

      Describe your path leading to EQ3.

      I studied Theology in Brazil in 2005 and when I was finished I went back to Germany to study business and economics. I was always intrigued by creative fields, especially companies that are involved in innovative product development from ideas on paper to making it available to a broad audience. During my studies in Germany, I reached out to EQ3 to do an internship and in 2010, Canada was my home for half a year. During my internship, I was involved in kicking off the e-commerce platform at EQ3. I returned to Germany to finalize my studies and got a call from EQ3 with a job offer. My options were to continue with the e-commerce project or work in product development. Personally, I was interested in product development so I moved with my wife to Winnipeg.

      What is your role at EQ3 now?

      From Germany, I went into a managerial role in the upholstery category. My role at EQ3 today is to oversee the product development efforts of the entire team. Product development efforts are divided into three categories: case goods, accessories, and upholstery. Our intention is for customers to walk into any EQ3 store or dealer and see a lifestyle offering for complete rooms. Product development is multi-faceted and each category has its own unique challenges and opportunities. With case goods for example, I enjoy traveling to our facility in Indonesia where we do 60% of our case items and work with a local team. Or we travel to India where we develop our rug offerings — we also have a full-time employee in India.

      Describe the process of developing a new product?

      The product development team and our creative director meet in the middle of the year to analyze our product lines by category in order to identify opportunities. During the creative process, we attend several trade shows around the world and keep ourselves informed of where the market is going and what colours and materials are being used so we can progress our designs and integrate the latest ideas into our new collections.

      Our goal is to give a diverse offering at different price points. As we get further into the process, we generate a list of characteristics and constraints that guide our decisions and refine our goals. We try to cater to a need that we see in the market. Is it versatility? Basic? Or are we going to cater to a need that we predict will emerge? Once we identify those constraints, the actual design process can start. Sketches and ideas can begin with the constraints working as guidelines.

      Tell us a little bit about the pen to paper process.

      For upholstery, I work with AutoCad for plane views — I can look at the product from all angles and work with proportions. When I finalize a design, we review it in a design council where we discuss whether we have addressed our original design brief and those constraints we defined. Then we plot a big print out for the research and development team.

      The R&D team can then build the interior of the product — the muscle, fat and skin. The ‘first built’ phase is the opportunity to understand the product’s spatial presence and how it will function in a real environment. What people don’t realize is that it can take up to ten iterations and refinements until our expectations are met. This process can take three months if it all runs seamlessly.

      How do you stay on top of new innovations and what suppliers can offer?

      We attempt to challenge the production capabilities of our sub-suppliers in order to bring new techniques to the mass market that haven’t been available before. For example, for our latest collection we are importing components from a specialist in Italy because they are able to give us the precision we needed. At EQ3, we are passionate about challenging the status quo of how to create new upholstery techniques with each new piece. Every upholstery piece we have developed in the last five years has usually challenged standard ways of how the industry does it or a certain status quo that was already established. We are always exploring new possibilities and capabilities with suppliers to serve our visions.

      Where do you personally feel inspired?

      I am most inspired during my personal and business travel — especially while visiting my family in Brazil. My mind does not stop and suddenly something catches my attention, it can be ordinary objects or moments. Also, I am inspired by the beautiful forms or architecture that are applicable to furniture. I am inspired by the architecture of Oscar Neimeyer and his intriguing design philosophy. He took a modernist approach but combined sinuous curves or organic shapes with rectilinear design language.

      Any particular product you are especially proud of?

      The R&D team laughs because I always say the latest piece is the one I’m going to buy for my home. Every design is so unique and when we tackle a new challenge, we get so excited about the outcome. I particularly like the Eve collection (seen below) for its very balanced proportion and classic, timeless approach. We are so excited about our fall collection 2017 — it will be quite innovative in the way we approach it. Watch for its launch in August.

      Tell us about the new Spring Cello Collection/2017.

      The name itself, the Cello Collection is a reference to the elegant stringed instrument. The original meaning of the word contains an augmentative and diminutive characteristic — an oxymoron or a contrast. The Cello Collection represents this contrast — full-bodied with a strong spatial presence on one hand yet carefully proportioned and quite light in appearance.

      The other dichotomy is that it has well-defined architectural lines paired with a combination of sinuous and soft surfaces. We integrated memory foam into our seating so the seating story is a combination of memory foam with feather filled back cushions for a supremely comfortable seating experience. Complex in concept, the design is simple and clean.

      Let's Talk About The Oldschool Sofa Bed and Chair

      Let's Talk About The Oldschool Sofa Bed and Chair

      Quintessential form meets function; the Oldschool Sofa by Innovation Living is a versatile modular sofa bed intended for stylishly petite living spaces and multifunctional rooms. Featuring a classic tufted seat and back with two back rests that can be adjusted independently to three different positions, the Oldschool Sofa’s pocket spring mattress is ideal for lounging and sleeping.

      Available in Faux leather brown vintage, vintage velvet blue, vintage velvet mauve and your choice of brass, wood or retro style legs.

      Pair the Oldschool Sofa with the Oldschool Chair for a versatile living area with midcentury cool. The Oldschool chair also comes with an adjustable backrest that can be modified independently to three different positions. With its pocket spring mattress, it is ideal for comfort and lounging. Available in Faux leather brown vintage, vintage velvet blue, vintage velvet mauve and your choice of brass, wood or retro style legs.