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With Vintage Values, The Chesterfield Shop Serves Modern Toronto

Like interior design and decor, the city is always changing. But some things never go out of style

By Designlines in partnership with The Chesterfield Shop
Photography by Mike Parker

You don’t hear the term “chesterfield” too often these days. Initially used to describe stout, buttoned leather two- and three-seaters, its usage later broadened to describe any sofa and couch – then those shorter forms took over. But that should tell you something about The Chesterfield Shop: it has history.

chesterfield shop

Opened in 1948 by Carl Freedman, a Polish immigrant, it’s been family-run ever since. Husband-and-wife team Steve, Carl’s son, and Pam Freedman, along with their wonderful team, run it today, making for more than 70 years of providing Torontonians with the seating they need, with an emphasis on Canadian-made. But despite its vintage name, as the city has changed, so too has The Chesterfield Shop.

chesterfield shop

Just look no further than the City-Sized Seating collection at their newest location – their sixth – in the King East Design District. With more people than ever living in condos and small spaces, the generously upholstered furniture typical of suburban homes isn’t the right fit for everyone. Instead, The Chesterfield Shop’s latest collection is scaled for urban living, ensuring city dwellers can right-size their homes with a clean-lined selection of wares. “We want to maximize seating opportunities and comfort for all spaces, and we realize what a challenge it can be for some urban rooms,” says Steve.

chesterfield shop

It’s a welcome addition to the modular sectionals, recliners, sofas and convertibles – across all price points and innumerable styles, from mid-century modern to contemporary – that the Chesterfield Shop has long specialized in. Some collections can be easily dis- and reassembled, a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that? feature that should appeal to anyone who’s struggled to get their sofa up a narrow Victorian staircase. And if that doesn’t satisfy, customer orders are available, too. “We have almost everything that we carry in stock for next-day delivery,” says Pam. “Or you can special order seating with your preferred size, shape, configuration and finish options, including a stylish and durable array fabrics, leathers, arms and legs.”

While The Chesterfield Shop has kept up with how we live and the styles we love, not everything has changed. Just like in the senior Freedman’s day, the “sit, touch and feel” shopping experience is still paramount, as are the personal relationships developed between sales professionals (some who have been part of the Chesterfield family for decades) and the customers they serve. “Our website is continually updated and shows a cross-section of our rapidly evolving collections, but there is nothing like one of our in-store shopping experiences to simulate your own home lifestyle and comfort, with design consultants who are qualified and knowledgeable about the many choices available to you,” says Pam.

Deluxe, white glove delivery is standard whether the goods are being shipped down the block or up to cottage country. And wherever those goods are going, teams exclusive to the Chesterfield Shop – who have seen all situations that can arise – will be taking them there. “All of the drivers and helpers have been with us for years,” notes Steve. “The service includes unpacking, setting up and taking the replaced furniture to the curb or condo recycling room for city pick up. Our delivery people are the best!”

Whether the term “chesterfield” will come back into common use alongside “sofa” and “couch is an open question. But with six shops across the GTA and seven decades serving Toronto, it will always be a hallmark for great selection, great value and great prices. THECHESTERFIELDSHOP.COM


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