The Chesterfield sofa has a classic look that has never fallen out of style, but in recent years it has made even more of a comeback. People have seen how this distinctive piece of furniture combines both comfort and good looks in a way that works in any kind of space and any kind of decor, from a formal or Old World living room to a laid back artsy or Bohemian romantic writing studio.
The two essential features of this kind of sofa are deep button tufting on the upholstery which gives a quilted look, and high arms that are the same height as the back. Typically the traditional style has rolled arms too, and often the upholstery is accented with nailhead trim. However, some more modern interpretations will minimize the rolled arms or give them a slimmer, stylized roll rather than the plump roll that we usually see. Other Contemporary or Mid-Century Modern interpretations remove the rolled arm shape completely and replace it with a straight arm.
Often the sofas are upholstered in leather, creating a very traditional look that harks back to its British origins and makes it look perfectly suited to being placed in an old-fashioned gentleman’s library or exclusive country club. However, other upholstery fabrics create a very different mood for this classic sofa. For example, velvet gives a slightly decadent feel that is perfect for seating in a bedroom or other relaxing space. Linen upholstery will create a tailored look that is more formal.
The sofa is said to be named after the fourth Earl of Chesterfield in England, who commissioned a leather sofa in this style to be made for him in the middle of the 1700s. Rumor has it that he asked a furniture maker to create a piece of seating for him that would let him sit comfortably but upright enough that his clothing would not wrinkle. He was quite a fashionable type so he would care about such details!
The timeless appeal of Chesterfield sofas means that not only will they always be in style, but when you buy a high-quality couch of this type it will only look better with age.