By Mario Toneguzzi
Montreal-based home furniture brand Bois & Cuir has launched its newest location in the city set in a converted bank – a flagship boutique on Rue St-Antoine at the corner of Atwater (3000 St-Antoine Street West).
“We consider this as one of our most important flagships because it’s in the neighbourhood that allows us to best connect with our clients, who are mostly millennials and Gen Xs – right on the edge of Westmount and St-Henri,” said David Ouaknine, CEO and Creative Director of Bois & Cuir who also holds the same titles with CDI Furniture which is the retailer’s wholesale supplier and design house.
“B&C is known for our ability to completely redesign spaces with our in-house designers, the very same ones that design all of our furniture. This furniture store is hands down one of the nicest in the city.”
Ouaknine said the 7,500-square-foot historic location inspires all who enter, with gorgeous vintage elements, unique to the building.
“Browse through the brand’s eclectic collection of home accessories, as natural light flows into the store, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. What better way to find new design inspiration, than through Bois & Cuir’s various collections designed in Montreal and displayed in the historic nineteenth century building. Bois & Cuir’s new location will also display the unique collaboration between its design house CDI Furniture and artist Stikki Peaches,” says the company.
Established in 2014, Bois & Cuir offers a unique selection of home furnishings, lighting, and accessories; featuring a wide range of styles that reflects their belief that furniture is fashionable. The boutiques offer a varied selection that moves from industrial to classic, to vintage and more.
There are three stores in Montreal, one in Quebec City, one in Victoria, and one in Yorkville Village in Toronto. The brand is expecting to have a total of 10 to 15 stores by the end of 2020.
“We’ve just acquired a property in Winnipeg and one in Kingston which is actually the next stores we’re doing. We also just finalized a deal with Carrefour Laval and Cadillac Fairview to do a few more stores with them starting with one in Carrefour Laval which is the biggest mall in Quebec right now,” said Ouaknine.
“We’re in a pretty strong expansion. The store on Atwater is an example of the concept of Bois & Cuir which is really taking these buildings that have a lot of heritage . . . We kept the original safe inside. We broke down through all the windows, through all the concrete to get all the way to a floor to ceiling window. When you walk in you have 22 or 24 foot high ceilings with chandeliers that are amazingly displayed.
“And then we get the CDI design team which travels the world all the way from Italy to Asia to London to Paris to really be able to understand what’s going on with hotels, architecture. We really put our twist with our key components which are our concrete, barnwood and different elements that we use to really give the space its true and original aesthetic with a modern take that really helps explain our furniture and where we come from and how we design everything ourselves in-house. CDI Furniture has a design team of eight to nine people in the Montreal headquarters which actually designs every single piece of furniture which is then produced in Asia.”
CDI Furniture has also unveiled a one-of-a-kind collaboration with Montreal-based and renowned street artist Stikki Peaches. Now shoppers can browse through a unique set of home furniture pieces and interact with the art from the CECI N’EST PAS UN DIVAN CDI Furniture x Stikki Peaches collection.
“Bois & Cuir is a concept where we basically sell all of the CDI furniture through a brick and mortar and online channel, business to consumer, but that concept is mostly going to morph into franchises,” said Ouaknine.
Ouaknine said CDI Furniture first reached out to Peaches with the idea of creating a limited vintage leather sofa collection. The brand provided Peaches with four of their vintage distressed leather sofas and divans, upon which the artist used materials like painted Tunisian tiles, spray paint, acrylic paint, and metallic studs amongst others to create something never before seen in home furnishings. As Stikki’s tagline goes “what if art ruled the world” the CECI N’EST PAS UN DIVAN collection begs the question; what if art ruled your home?
“From the very beginning, I wanted these to be pieces of furniture that I could identify with; the design, the quality, the history. These are all characteristics that my favourite couch, the Chesterfield, has: a timeless, classic piece of furniture with a royal feel to it. Being able to dive into each piece with no restrictions from CDI Furniture enabled me to treat each one as a blank canvas and use my signature details that I would normally use on my mixed media paintings. CDI Furniture gets it, they know what’s up,” said Peaches.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.