One of our favourite furniture stores, EQ3 has just relocated to a newly renovated space on South Granville. EQ3 designs, produces and sells affordable, modern furniture for every room in your home, with many of the items made right here in Canada.
We caught up with Creative Director, Thom Fougere to learn more about this incredibly stylish Canadian company.
Tell us about your role as EQ3’s Creative Director
I’ve been Creative Director of EQ3 since 2011. When I started in this role, I facilitated and initiated a company-wide rebranding process by redeveloping all visual components of the EQ3 brand including the company logo, typography, graphic standards, photographic content, catalogues, advertising, packaging, interior design of new and existing showrooms, upholstery, casegoods, accessory product line, and in-store product presentation. It’s quite a broad role to play, but I’m quite happy to be involved and trusted with such a diverse amount of creative responsibilities. It’s never a boring day at the office.
What are some of the key words you use to describe the EQ3 aesthetic?
Canadian, clean, comfortable, functional, and modern.
What do you enjoy most about designing items for EQ3?
We’re always talking about what Canadian design looks like at the moment, or even what Canadian design means. At this point in time, I don’t believe there is an overriding “Canadian Design Aesthetic” that can easily be defined, but we’re always searching for it. So it really feels like it’s open ground for exploring and understanding. That’s probably what I enjoy the most about designing for EQ3.
Everyone has their influences, but I personally approach design from a Canadian perspective – looking at vernacular architecture, materials, furniture. Canada is so young compared to a lot of other countries with rich histories, so there’s still a lot left to explore.
The EQ3 Vancouver location has just relocated to new space. Tell us about the new store.
The new location is just up the street a few blocks from our old location on Granville. It’s one of the larger storefronts on the street, mostly because it was once three separate stores that we renovated into one large cohesive space.
Like most of our new showrooms, we dedicate a large portion of the storefront to the EQ3 Accessory boutique, which carries EQ3’s smaller items, as well as our Marimekko shop-in-shop concept we developed with Marimekko. The remaining space houses the entirety of EQ3’s product line in a large expansive space. I really like the window and skylight coverage in the new building, it really makes the space feel brighter and more open than I was even expecting.
What other brands are you excited for EQ3 to carry?
The Finnish design brand Marimekko is a fantastic partnership we started in 2012. Most of our stores carry a large collection of their smaller tableware pieces, pillows, as well as bolts of their screen printed fabrics customers may purchase for their own projects. We carry new patterns and product every season, so it’s always interesting to see what’s new when we’re planning our displays.
EQ3’s new store has a full design center for their customers. Tell us how it works
Each upholstered sofa and chair EQ3 carries is made to order in Winnipeg. Customers are able to select over 130 fabrics or leathers to apply to the sofa they choose, as well as multiple leg options. It’s a pretty phenomenal business model that doesn’t really exist to the degree it used to in North America.
The design centre is there to help customers put together their sofa, and tailor it to other items EQ3 also sells such as coffee tables, rugs, lighting, etc.
What advice would you give to our readers when approaching the design of their own home’s décor?
A lot of people claim to know or have all the answers to what looks best or “works” in home decor. I really believe there are no rules; it all comes down to personal preference. You’ll find our showrooms have a bit of an eclectic yet cohesive layout- rooms may have mixed wood tones, materials and colours with adjacent room set ups. This is something interior decorators might advise against, but it looks great. Everything EQ3 produces works together, and can work in any type of space. Modern furniture is very adaptable.
I won’t deny the fact that fashionable products materials, or colours come and go, but it all comes down to confidence in one’s personal style. Everyone is correct, and incorrect at the same time.
What items are you excited to add to your home this Fall / Winter season?
We just released the Chiara lounge chair, designed by a talented design studio named 45 Kilo based out of Berlin.
I also designed an entertainment unit, and side table collection called the Tambour Collection that I’m excited to make use of in my studio and home. The design is inspired by a roll-top desk my grandmother owns, and I was fascinated with when I was younger.
Images courtesy of EQ3
For store locations, visit EQ3.com