Welcome to Influent Home

A Dream and a Passion

Once upon a time, there was young man who saw a need for a brick and mortar furniture store in the East Bay. His name was Michael Garig. He had been in the interior design industry and had his own design business, but felt the options were few when it came to shopping for clients. With a tiny investment, a good amount of experience, and a whole lot of hope, he found a little space and opened Influent Home on San Pablo Avenue. That was almost nine years ago. A lot has changed since then.


Influent Home is a boutique furniture showroom located in Berkeley, CA that opened its doors in the fall of 2015.  We started this business to provide a curated selection of furniture and accessories to the growing East Bay population as an alternative to driving to San Francisco.  The flow of people moving out of the big city to Berkeley, Oakland, Albany and the surrounding areas has created a need for more accessible furniture and accessories.  

Our focus is on community. While selling furniture may not seem like a community focused cause, it is the way in which we can use our specific skills to access that community.  We include local artists and try to source as many products locally as possible. We are always looking for new vendors in the area so if you know someone who makes things with their hands, send them our way! We work with our neighboring businesses to help build that community and lift each other up.

We also have our own small community within the business. We are quite the motley crew, but we all have skills that are foundational to the success of this business. So far there are only four of us and we have a long way to go, but the goal is to provide a sustainable wage, decent benefits and a work/live balance that works for everyone. We want to create a workplace that is fun and healthy.

Then there are our customers and clients. We wouldn’t be able to do this without them. And our goal is to always provide the best service that we can, be transparent, be real and find solutions. While the instant gratification of buying items right of the floor is a core part of our business, we are quite capable of so much more.  Just ask, and we will do what we can to address your needs.

online sales

Our Commitment

With the growth of the Internet and the ability to find just about anything you want there, it is vital to any business to offer its goods online.  We have worked very hard to establish an online presence that allows customer access to our fine furniture and decor at a competitive price with discounted shipping rates.  As we grow and add to our inventory, we continue to strive for an excellent customer experience all the way from product curation and selection to delivery.  We invite you to contact us if you ever have any questions.

Also, some of our products can't be sold online due to manufacturer rules & regulations. Contact us directly and we will take good care of you.


Michael Garig ~ Owner & Principal Designer

Michael has been in the Interior Design business since 1998, starting off as a bookkeeper for a small design firm in San Francisco.  He opened his own Interior Design business M. Garig, Inc. in June of 2007.  After his family grew, he relocated to the East Bay and continues to work as a Designer to mostly residential customers in the East Bay, as well as in San Francisco and all up and down the bay.  He created Influent Home in Berkeley as part of his effort to establish his business more firmly here.  He brings a wealth of knowledge about business, products and design to this unique store.  He is a playful person who enjoys having a good time with clients and customers, but also takes his role very seriously in providing quality products and design.  He is currently also the bookkeeper, marketing guru, buyer of goods, and anything else that we need as a small business entity.

Michael lives in Kensington with his husband Michael and daughter Calliope. They spend a lot of time eating, playing games, going to swim meets and traveling. Michael’s favorite game to play is Terraforming Mars, a completely nerdy, overly complicated, extremely long board game. He enjoys connecting with people on a personal level and believes all his best traits are centered around interpersonal relationships. He believes in love in such a hopeless way that you wonder how he exists at all. That love is the source of his endless optimism and it comes through in whatever project he might be working on. Michael loves tennis (watching mostly) and cooking and a nice glass of bubbly.

Robin Helbling ~ Lead Designer & Unicorn

Robin has spent the last 7 of her 28 year design career working at Influent Home. She brings imaginative thinking and a creative eye to all situations. Robin believes design is a highly personal experience that should take into account the unique personality and point of view of the client.

Interior design is both a product and a process. That process, the flow of ideas culminating in a well conceived design solution, is what she values most. Good design tells your story, reflecting who you are and where you’ve been. Good interior design has the ability to make anyone feel at home no matter where they are.

You can find Robin at the intersection of quirky and interesting. She finds flea markets, Wes Anderson films and traveling to far flung locations the cats meow! Throw in a board game without too many rules and she’s there. Robin lives in Oakland with her daughter Sayre and their pups Copernicus & Moose and kitty Abigail Van Buren.

Mariah Conley ~ Sales Associate & Media Maven

With little to no experience, Mariah started her journey working in retail for a worldwide company where she earned over five years of experience. She developed significant customer service skills, attention to detail, up-to-date styling, and finding value in differences. “ People will always have different views, different taste, different personalities, different styles, but that is what makes it entertaining. ” Continuing her journey, Influent Home welcomed her with open arms, creating a space for her to grow. Mariah’s work experience gave her clear insight on the importance in having an open mind and positive attitude while working with individuals. She believes understanding and building relationships with others could lead to a lifetime connection. 

Mariah - an up and coming creative. Assisting friends with projects while giving opinion on certain detail involving aesthetic direction. She envisions bringing her resources and artistic eye together, building her very own consortium. Providing others the environment to connect and construct their talents and giving them an outlet to look forward to. A safe haven. She would love to share her knowledge yet still learn more along the way as she takes interest in creative directing, photography, etc.