Published on Dec 1, 2020

Atelier Ulric & Associés: Nothing’s Lost… Everything’s Recyclable!

Founded by a dynamic trio of creative entrepreneurs, established in downtown Waterloo, this multi-use space is both a decoration boutique and a workshop promoting “upcycling.”

By Natalie Sicard

We don’t know where to look, their boutique space is so inviting from every angle! Decorative objects, local gourmet products, soya candles and coloured furniture are placed beside each other with taste. Here creative effervescence reigns! It’s brought about because Michel Benoit Papineau, Geneviève Thériault and Alexandre Arès share a passion for creating, restoring, designing as well as for the “upcycling” style art of living. This movement first got underway in England and consists of giving a second life to furniture and objects by revalorizing them, whereas normally they would have been thrown out. In their workshop, the well-known aphorism “Nothing’s lost, everything is transformed” takes on its full meaning. “The workshop is the last stop before the eco-centre. There’s always a way to refurbish these outdated or damaged objects,” insists Michel. “By reclaiming this basic material in a creative way, we’re actively participating with reducing their footprint on the environment and to slow down mass consumption.”

For amateurs of eco-responsible designs who would love to adorn their homes with a unique piece of furniture, or discover a rare find, this is the ideal shop for you.

Three Heads are Better than One

Geneviève is a designer, Michel studied Applied Arts and Alexandre is a carpenter. Each one’s expertise is called upon for every creation. They find their furniture at garage sales, auctions, rummage sales, etc. Since last July, they began using their own paint, which they took 18 months to develop; “It’s the first organic paint made 100% in Quebec.” Michel proudly states. Under the brand name Upcycle the paint can be purchased at their boutique and very soon, also online. Because, besides selling their own creations, you can also entrust them with one of your pieces of furniture or benefit from their tools and advice so you can do the work yourself: varnish, paintbrushes, etc. They also have a general and interior design consulting service.

But where does Ulric fit in all this? While visiting this building with the hope of establishing the boutique here, Michel noticed the fine quality of the woodwork. The realtor mentioned that the house was built by very talented carpenter, in 1961; Ulric Petit built this home and several others in the region! Michel was speechless: Ulric Petit was his grandfather! The next day, they completed the transaction. This truly gives meaning to the idea of following in the footprints of our ancestors!

For more information:

Their Address Book

  • Maplewood Manor. This used to be Senator Foster’s home, to whom we owe the establishment of the railway here. This olden-day beauty was completely restored by its present owners, who took on a colossal restoration job and who converted this property into a very unique little hotel. The municipality of Waterloo counts more than 30 heritage homes throughout its territory.
  • Robin bière naturelle. A Waterloo microbrewery to be discovered! This is the end result of the hard work two passionate brothers (Mathieu and Hugo Noiseux-Boucher) put in to develop their own farmer-style beers, using an in-barrel aging process which gives their brews their unique taste. A suggestion: the Achilée no 4, an exceptional rye beer.

  • Duvoquic Cakes. “For your sweet tooth, it’s well worth the detour! You’ll find cakes and pastries worthy of the best European pastry shops.”

  • Coralie Huckel. This local ceramist holds a special place in the heart of Ulric & Associés, and you can find some of her pieces exclusively at their boutique. “Newly established in a magnificent ancestral home, in Waterloo, Coralie creates refined objects with a Japanese spirit. What we particularly like is that she makes all her own glazes in her workshop, and that they contain no lead, therefore being very safe for eating purposes.”

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