A compendium for luxury living
The Chesterfield Sofa

The Chesterfield Sofa

An enduring style icon, it doesn’t get much more traditional than this.

Jessica Harding
By Jessica Harding, Senior Creative Buyer

It’s the sofa that launched a thousand clones, The Chesterfield (we like to give it its capitalised title in the LuxDeco office) is the ultimate lord of the furniture manor and any sofa bearing its name is one which is worthy of our admiration. Mature, inviting and the epitome of eternal style – with just the right amount of familiarity – the sofa is the indisputable choice for channeling the gentlemanly look, lends itself to any style you can throw at it (a bohemian-inspired patchworked version is not out of the question) and has even offered its button-tufted aesthetic to footstools and coffee tables.

A recurring favourite throughout the centuries, the design is a work of genius of which history can be a bit cloudy on the details. Paul Howland, of Chesterfield trademark brand Fleming & Howland, explains that “the term sort of evolved without notice or precise reason.” We like the story of Solomon Howland though who, back in the 1700s, created the first pieces which are considered the ancestors of the Chesterfields we know today for London’s fashionable upperclass. The style wasn’t officially recognised in the form we now know it – a leather button-tufted sofa with back and arms of the same height – until the early 1900s after, it’s believed, the Earl of Chesterfield (a somewhat renowned style pacesetter of his time) commissioned one of that specification.

Not much can beat a classic brown leather Chesterfield for instant “to the manor born” appeal.

A hop, skip and a few hundred years later since its inception, the sofa still inspires being found everywhere in club houses, restaurants, hotels and homes around the globe. Here’s why we love it.

  1. Not much can beat a classic brown leather Chesterfield for instant “to the manor born” appeal. Just the sight of the leather’s chocolatey colour variations amidst the buttoned indents and antiqued nailhead trim makes us go weak at the knees. Tartan, equestrian motifs and crystalware accessories are absolute musts.
  2. If you fancy a hard-hitting, no-nonsense statement piece the iconic silhouette is a great choice. Bold and oversized in its dimensions, the piece can already hold its own and, when realised in a vibrant block colour, it becomes an absolute scene stealer.
  3. Being the versatile creature it is, a Chesterfield can be slick and shiny or moody and matte. Get creative with texture contrasts – a leather version calls for touchable fabrics whilst its linen-upholstered cousin will add a softness to an industrial space.

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