Nation Valley News
CHESTERVILLE — Approaching 40 years in business, Boucher’s Upholstery has sewn up a continuing future in downtown Chesterville.
Corey Boucher officially took over the enterprise — originally based in Ottawa’s Alta Vista neighbourhood — from his retiring father three years ago. At the time, Boucher moved the furniture upholstery shop to the garage at the Forward Rd. home he shares with wife, Lisa, and their two children.
“My dad started out of the basement of our house when we were little kids,” recalls Corey, on a recent weekend at the 18 King Street shop where the process of moving in and renovating was nearing completion toward its grand opening event, slated for Dec. 3.
Swatches of material adorn a wall, while Lisa proudly points to a corner that will feature repurposed and re-upholstered furniture items for sale under her own ‘Side of the Road Designs’ brand.
“I still have a lot of clients from Ottawa who knew us from before,” remarks Corey, whose skills also take him regularly to Crysler Marina during the boating season, where he replaces tops and interiors on all kinds of yachts, on site from a cargo van. “I can work on boats from April until November,” he says of that particular niche. “I have four boats booked for next spring already.”
But the addition of an honest-to-goodness Chesterville storefront will bring a new dimension to the firm, which has employed Corey since he returned to his roots by taking a job with his father in the late 1990s. Ending up as a Chesterville resident in 2001 because of the affordable housing, he initially commuted back to Boucher’s Upholstery in the Nation’s Capital before acquiring the operation and relocating it to North Dundas.
“The difference now is there’s a store that will be manned all the time,” observes Lisa, clearly excited to have a walk-up place to showcase her designs refashioned from furniture left at roadside. Her husband, she says, “is an artist. It’s beautiful work.”
The scavenged pieces are entirely stripped of their old stuffing and fabric and furnished with new padding and covering to put a new spin on old stuff with quality bones not produced today. “It’s very unique, very custom furniture,” says Lisa, highlighting a pair of chairs recovered with outdoor vinyl and custom anchor and lighthouse imagery, transforming them into comfortable and interesting seats fit for an outdoor deck or the livingroom. “We did two vinyl chairs for the Chesterville Fire Department,” adds Lisa, a member of the local firefighting squad and an instructor with St. John Ambulance in Ottawa.
“770 kg of furniture waste per person goes into landfill every year,” she says, explaining her motivation behind the retail sideline.
The storefront will also raise awareness about the repair and reupholstery services at Boucher’s Upholstery, which has otherwise depended on word-of-mouth references, according to the couple.
The craftsman obviously knows his traditional trade, describing the technique required to properly centre a button on a tufted backrest cushion or headboard. “Once you put a button in that fabric, it’s got to stay there,” Corey says, estimating a typical job as lasting anywhere from three days to two weeks.
Depending on complexities like style and the client’s choice of fabric — Corey can even do leather — it’s possible to spend as much redoing a classic couch as buying a new one, he says. “But it’s better than a new couch, and it’s going to last much longer.”
He also fixes brand new pieces that have been damaged, or whose owners simply want a change in design or colour to match a renovation. Beyond re-padding and recovering, he also repairs broken springs — but stops short of refinishing wood.
The Bouchers bought their single-story white store building after talking with previous owner Eve Campbell, who continues to offer custom embroidery and other services as MT Advertising by Design, now based from her Crysler home.
They see their operation’s arrival on King Street as complementing an interior-design vibe in their immediate neighbourhood — a stone’s throw from the textile offerings at Ruth Liscumb’s Flair with Fabric’s, extensive paint supplies at Kaireen Cotnam’s Ace Hardware, and other interior touches at Colleen Young’s Forever Young Creations.
Spotlight – Chesterville Breakfast with Santa, Saturday, Dec. 3
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