[caption id="attachment_412" align="aligncenter" width="410"] What modern IS. Not what modern WAS. Photography courtesy of EQ3.[/caption] To be honest, I'm afraid I haven’t had all that much time for EQ3 in the past. With some degree of guilt (it IS a Canadian brand, after all…) I’d written off their upholstery fabric options as underwhelming, and I found that it tended to embody the minimalist approach to modernism, which is a look that's never truly appealed to me. Recently -- and rather spectacularly -- the brand has redefined its vision of “modern,” and EQ3 has emerged as a seriously stylish player on the Canadian decor market. This is most definitely a warmer EQ3 than what’s come before. It’s shed any of the chilly “white box” sterility that came before, and now takes its design direction from the timeless Midcentury Modern movement. It acknowledges design classics, and stocks iconic brands like Herman Miller, Vitra and Alessi. It also proudly flaunts the fact that -- despite being an international institution, with stores and studios in the USA, Aruba and Bahrain -- it’s still based in Winnipeg, and manufactures all of its soft furnishings right here in Canada. So yes, you could say that I’m impressed with EQ3 – especially now that I’ve had the chance to preview the new 9,000 square foot flagship location in Toronto’s Liberty Village neighbourhood. [caption id="attachment_424" align="aligncenter" width="410"] Last night, I attended the press preview for EQ3's flagship location in the heart of Toronto's Liberty Village. The doors will open to the public on September 1st, but you can start pre-shopping with the new fall catalogue, available online at www.eq3.ca. Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_425" align="aligncenter" width="410"] An entire wing of the new store is dedicated to the punchy patterns of legendary Finnish design house, Marimekko. This shop-in-a-shop boasts an edited selection of Marimekko merch, including dishes, throw cushions and shower curtains. You can even get custom Marimekko upholstery on any of the soft furnishings in store. Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_426" align="aligncenter" width="410"] Bolt after bolt of eye-popping Marimekko printed fabrics. Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption] Not convinced? Check out my five fave finds from EQ3’s hot new lineup. 1. Valentin occasional chair, $249, EQ3. [caption id="attachment_413" align="aligncenter" width="391"] Nice legs! Keep an eye out for contrast piping this fall - you're going to see a lot more of it. Photography courtesy of EQ3.[/caption] Love the grey cotton/polyester blend. Love the white contrast piping. Love the fully upholstered tapering legs. 'Nuff said. 2. Scout Functional coffee table, $799, EQ3. [caption id="attachment_414" align="aligncenter" width="410"] Sealed seamlessly shut... Photography courtesy of EQ3.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_415" align="aligncenter" width="410"] In its raised position, the open tabletop reveals tons of storage space. Who knew? Photography courtesy of EQ3.[/caption] Let's face it -- we all eat in the living room at some point or another (I know I do). This clever coffee table design, with its rising tabletop, saves you from having to hunch over while tucking into your TV dinner, and would come in just as handy as a platform for your laptop when you're catching up on emails from the comfort of the couch. Marvellous mechanics aside, it's an incredibly handsome new piece in a beautiful burled-walnut finish. Smashing. 3. Asterisk 3-ladder desk in white, $149, EQ3. [caption id="attachment_417" align="aligncenter" width="410"] It's a mean, LEAN desk. Geddit?!? Photography courtesy of EQ3.[/caption] Who said a desk always needs four legs? This ingeniously engineered piece props up against a wall just like a ladder. What's more, it takes up such a tiny footprint, you can create an office nook just about anywhere in your home. 4. Nautical 8-foot-by-10-foot flatweave wool rug, $600, EQ3. [caption id="attachment_418" align="aligncenter" width="410"] Simply can't get enough of those nautical stripes... Photography courtesy of EQ3.[/caption] Summer may be drawing to a close, but that doesn't mean I've had my fill of summery navy-and-white stripes. This generously-proportioned rug (with a great price point, considering not only its size, but the fact that it's made from hand-woven wool) has the added edge of an artisanal touch -- unabashedly imperfect stripes that appear as though the blue dyed bands have bled. So chic! How handsome would this carpet be, paired with some of my fave nautical finds from the August issue of Canadian Living? 5. Hedge alarm clock, $50, EQ3. [caption id="attachment_419" align="aligncenter" width="238"] Confession: I've had the same alarm clock for the past 20 years. It doesn't look ANYTHING like this. Unfortunately. Photography courtesy of EQ3.[/caption] What do you get when you cross an LED display with a translucent wood veneer? Well, this hot little number, of course! This would be a fantastic gift for the teenager at home who, a) needs help waking up in the morning, and b) hates just about everything. For a full lineup of the latest and greatest at EQ3, why not request one of their gorgeous Fall 2012 catalogues? Have you peeked at the catalogue already? What are YOUR fave pieces? Follow me on Twitter! Don't miss out: Subscribe to the Canadian Living Home & Garden blog!