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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Design Under the Influence: Chesterfield Sofas


Hello, it's Erika from small shop, with another edition of "Design Under the Influence". Today's topic is the formidable, well-loved chesterfield sofa. I've been seeing a lot of tufted leather couches in all types of interiors lately, and am intrigued by its mass appeal and broad range. From traditional to industrial to boho to contemporary, you can find this sturdy mainstay in just about any style of room.

Upon doing a little research, I learned that the chesterfield is actually not as old as you would think — only 18th century. It's said that the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, England was the first to commission one, specifically requesting a piece that would allow a man to sit upright in the most comfortable manner. Quite the trendsetter the Earl must have been, as the chesterfield has since become a symbol of noble sophistication, and of the quality and craftsmanship of the British furniture industry.

A true chesterfield has rolled arms and back of the same height, is deep button-tufted, and leather. But some of the newer renditions have simplified lines and seem to still provide the comfort and durability we'd expect. And although they lost popularity in the late 20th century, they definitely seem to be back in full force!

Just take a look at its versatility!

Jonathan Adler for Nanette Lepore via Elle Decor

Melián Randolph via Nuevo Estilo


Antonello Radi via Elle Decor

Alfons Tost via Nuevo Estilo

Dalla Polvere via Nuevo Estilo

via ideas y estilo deco

West Elm

West Elm

via Coco+Kelley

Todd Klein via House Beautiful


via the handmade home

via Country Living

Martha Stewart Living


I would think the chesterfield would be a great kid-friendly sofa too, which is always a plus in my mind!

So what do we think, a good buy?


Angela Dai said...

I like it! They are more structured and elegants and have more character than most couches.

Dawna Jones Design said...

I love this piece! It's so regal it reeks of royalty! def. a classic.

Heidi said...

I'm a big fan of the chesterfield look. The hubs and I considered more than one in our recent couch hunt, but just couldn't find one that fit our space. There was more than one I said, "let's get this one!" but at the end of the day it just wasn't in the floor plan.

Wendi @ Classic Chic Home said...

I would love a tufted back sofa. These examples are beautiful, and I enjoyed your info on the history of chesterfields.
Thanks for sharing,
~ Wendi ~

Erin said...

Aren't they gorgeous?! I think they immediately make any room feel like home.

Kristen said...

I scored an AMAZING deal on a classic brown leather one and I plan on having it forever. It's well built and can be a family heirloom. Love the look, so sophisticated.

Unknown said...

love love love!! The look is great for sure, and although I do like the leather, I'm curious what we would all think of the chesterfield look in velvet? thoughts? like navy velvet in a mostly neutral room though...thoughts?

For some reason, leather just bothers me a little. I can't quite put my finger on what it is though!!


Elizabeth said...

I love them and all these pics..I think it is most cool in white or a pale color to make it more feminine. Great post!
xoxo -e (modern24seven)

Unknown said...

ABsolutely LOVE a chesterfield. We are eventually planning to turn our bonus room into my husband's man room and I am thinking a Chesterfield would be PERFECT in there!



Unknown said...

Love love love a beautiful chesterfield! I have a olive green velvet one that I splurged on but definitely worth it and I plan on having it forever (or near enough) :)

Lovely Sofas said...

Hi Brighton,

We handcraft "velvet" Chesterfields in our Modena fabric at There is a navy colour called Delft Blue in that can play around with the customiser on the site to see your sofa in different colours/fabrics which might help too.

Have a lovely day

Sectional Sofa said...

This sofa has met all my expectations. After being assigned to a temporary position away from home for the next year I needed something inexspensive and easy to transport (in my car). I had been sleeping on the intex air bed and it was great so I thought I would give this Sofa a try. (Since I needed some furniture in my apartment) The seat cushion is nice and deep which is good for me with my long legs. (may be a little too deep for a short person) I really like being able to pull the cushions out and use it as an extra bed. It holds air well as I have only been needing to add air about once a week. The material that the sofa is covered with is also a plus as opposed to being just the vinyl. It makes the sofa much more comfortable. Great product at a great price.