Even if you do not own one, you are sure to have seen and probably sat upon a Chesterfield sofa. This sofa's distinctive deep-button and high arm design stands out in almost any living room, and getting just the right furniture and accessories to complement it can be a fun challenge. We've researched living room decor from countless sources to show you some of the most popular items that go with the Chesterfield.
Chesterfield sofas can be easily matched with oversized coffee tables, tall end tables, and ottomans or other furniture pieces with the Chesterfield look. It's easy to find settees, chairs, and love seats that are Chesterfields. Choosing pieces to complement your larger piece will tie the room together in a more uniform fashion.
Now that we know what will go with a Chesterfield sofa, we'll take a close look at several living rooms that use this sofa style. You might also be wondering how it got the name Chesterfield or if this sofa style is comfortable. To see what we've discovered, read ahead in this post.
Incorporating The Chesterfield Into Your Living Room
Finding the right accent pieces of furniture and accessories can be an exciting endeavor. When you have the Chesterfield sofa as the dominant feature of the room, here are some great decorating ideas we've discovered that might inspire you to make similar moves in your own home.
Here we have a Chesterfield sofa that has an accent chair in the Chesterfield style across from it. Note that the large coffee table matches the style of the side table in front of the window. The rug in this living room also plays an important role. Its colors offset the dark Chesterfield's tones, and its size is ample enough to cover the sofa's length. Placing the similarly styled chair on the opposite side of this area rug ties together the room.
From this decorator, the Chesterfield sofa is featured as the lone seat along one wall of the living room. Flanking the sides are two pairs of high top end tables. This addition gives a sense of symmetry to the room as a whole. The Chesterfield's dark color makes it pop out visually when it's set against a wall that's a much lighter tone.
In this living room, we see a Chesterfield sofa that has been matched up with a chair and love seat of the same style. The long coffee table in front of the sofa compliments the sofa's sheer size, while the low lying end tables give a great contrast to the sofa's high arms. This decorator used a lot of black and red to pleasantly disrupt the senses.
Why is it called a Chesterfield sofa?
While you have more than likely seen a Chesterfield sofa, you might not be aware of its British origins. In the early eighteenth century, it's told that this furniture style was commissioned by Lord Phillip Stanhope, the fourth Earl of Chesterfield. According to legend, Lord Stanhope met with a local craftsman to design a chair to allow a gentleman to sit upon it without creasing his suit fabric.
Lord Stanhope was a respected writer and politician in this era, as well as a trendsetter. The seat he had his craftsman create was admired by many, but it would take his death to begin its surge in popularity. It's said that on his deathbed, Lord Stanhope summoned his butler and instructed him to give his godson, Solomon Dayrolles, the chair he had made many years before.
It was in the home of Dayrolles that this style began to get noticed. A well-known diplomat in his time, Dayrolles had the chair on display in his own home. His numerous visitors admired the chair, and demand for reproductions of it grew rapidly. Helping popularize this style was also the British Empire's long reach; where the British went, so did their fashion and furniture. Within a few generations, the Chesterfield became popular in all corners of the globe as a symbol of high status and class.
Fast forward to the Victorian era, where comfort met with style. Craftsmen took the Chesterfield's design and used it to make sofas. Adding the newly patented seat coils and the deep-seated cushion buttons to the sofa made the Chesterfield evolve into what you might envision one looking like today.
While you might think of a Chesterfield as having leather upholstery, velvet was a popular covering for this sofa style in this era. Of course, in the modern era, you've seen this sofa covered in about any upholstery available.
Are Chesterfield sofas out of style?
The Chesterfield sofa has never fallen out of style. As with some other furniture styles, it has certainly evolved over the centuries. You will find the Chesterfield design in many popular chairs, settees, sofas, and more. Keeping this style popular is not only the appearance but also the level of comfort that it provides. But we'll cover the comfort of the Chesterfield later in this post.
How can I tell if my Chesterfield leather is real?
Concerned that the Chesterfield you have your eye on might not be made of real leather? Rest assured, there are easy ways to authenticate this type of upholstery.
The smell test
Real leather has an unmistakable odor that is nearly impossible for fake leather to mimic. One method you can employ is to sniff different sections of the Chesterfield. If you are getting that rich and familiar smell, then you likely have a sofa upholstered by the real thing.
Check the tag
Carefully read the manufacturer's tag on the Chesterfield. If it's made of real leather, it will read full-grain, top-grain, or genuine. Should you read that it's made of leatherette, faux leather, bonded leather, or blended leather, then you are looking at a sofa that is using a tiny amount of real leather and having it blended with synthetic materials.
Real leather upholstery comes with a higher price tag than the fake stuff. Compare the prices of a full-grain leather Chesterfield with one made of bonded leather. The price difference is staggering!
Are Chesterfields comfortable?
We mentioned earlier in this post that the Chesterfield we know today evolved during the Victorian era. The spring technology and lush cushion stuffing make for a really comfortable seat. The high arms and deep-buttoned back cushions lend for one of the most comfortable places to sit in your home.
The Chesterfield sofa has been in homes for hundreds of years. This distinct style is recognized by the high arms and deep-button cushions, which are also used in popular models of chairs, love seats, and settees. Matching furniture to your Chesterfield isn't difficult, as there are many types of accent furniture in this style to choose from.
While not a symbol of high class or social status as it once was, the Chesterfield still lends a lush and rich feel to any room that you place it in. While today's Chesterfield is upholstered with numerous material options, genuine leather is still one of the most popular.
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