The Chesterfield Sofa: A Closer Look at the Classic Piece
Image: Roger + Chris
The Chesterfield Sofa—or just plain Chesterfield, as some folks will insist—is one of those pieces of furniture that seems to have always been around. And it’s true, since the design was invented in the 1700s. When I see it in popular culture, I am usually transported to a much earlier period; I often have a specific time and place that I associate with the Chesterfield. But, as all good designs tend to do, the Chesterfield has become timeless. I’ve seen this trusty furniture show up more and more often in current rooms, so I thought I’d take a closer look at this classic piece in modern time.
What Makes a Sofa a Chesterfield?
The name Chesterfield comes from its original commissioner, the Earl of Chesterfield (of course that’s where the name comes from; makes me wonder if he was a buddy of the Earl of Sandwich…). The defining features are the deep button tufting and the arms and back of the same height. Everything else, as we shall see, is up to the individual. The example above is a new piece that has all the hallmarks of an original upholstered in charcoal denim.
Classic and Contemporary
I tend to think of the classic Chesterfield Sofa as being covered in leather, much like the above example. Seeing any classic furniture piece in a streamlined, contemporary design setting such as this can be a real eye-opener. I think after seeing this image a while back, I never thought of the Chesterfield in the same way again.
Funky and Retro
Image: Design to Inspire
What do you do with an olive Chesterfield with flared arms? Place it in a fabulous ‘70s inspired space like this one, that’s what. And you know what? It’s perfect.
Fun and Fancy
Image: ABCD Design LLC
This formal-looking white Chesterfield steps away from serious. It is plenty relaxed when a few fun throw pillows are added. Wonder what the Earl would think of this?
Are you a Chesterfield fan?