Discover the History of the Chesterfield

Whether a sofa, chair or footstool, the Chesterfield is well known as a classic piece of furniture for its distinctive buttoned leather upholstery and elegant design. The Chesterfield was commissioned in the mid 1700s by the Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Stanhope, as a piece of furniture for his guests to sit on. However, there is some debate regarding the true origin of the name. Some sources suggest that the Earl commissioned the first Chesterfield sofa, while others argue that the name simply became associated with the style of furniture that was popular during his time.

The Chesterfield is easily identified by its intricate deep button tufting, rolled arms, and low backrest. These features, as well as the leather upholstery, were not only chosen for an aesthetically pleasing look, but also to serve practical purposes. The tufting helps to keep the leather upholstery in place and prevent sagging, while the rolled arms provide comfortable armrests. It has been suggested that the low backrest was designed to allow those to sit comfortably without wrinkling their coats or messing up their hair.

Initially, the Chesterfield chair was primarily found in the homes of the English aristocracy and affluent families. Over time, its popularity grew, and it became a staple in various settings, including private clubs, libraries, and gentleman’s offices. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the Chesterfield chair’s design underwent some modifications and adaptations. Different variations of the chair were created, including those with fabric upholstery and different wood finishes. Despite these changes, the essential elements of the Chesterfield chair’s design remained intact.

In the present day, the Chesterfield chair continues to be a popular choice for those seeking a timeless and sophisticated piece of furniture. Its enduring design and association with elegance and refinement have made it a classic symbol of traditional British craftsmanship. The Chesterfield style has also inspired contemporary furniture designers, resulting in modern interpretations that incorporate the chair’s signature features with a touch of modern flair. This sofa style left a lasting impression and established itself as a staple in modern homes.

Style Your Chesterfield

Styling a Chesterfield chair or sofa can add a touch of sophistication and elegance to any space. 

Here are some expert tips from our Design Experts:

  1. Choose a suitable location. It works well in living rooms, libraries, or even home offices. Consider placing it in a spot where it can be the focal point of the room or create a cosy reading nook.
  1. Select colours in your room of choice that compliment the chair or sofa. Neutral tones like beige, cream, or grey are versatile and can work well with different colour schemes. If you want to make a bold statement, consider choosing a chair in a vibrant or rich hue that stands out against the room’s backdrop.
  1. Chesterfield’s often feature tufted leather or fabric upholstery, which adds texture and visual interest. You can enhance this by adding contrasting textures, like a soft woollen throw blanket, velvet cushions, or a patterned rug.
  1. Decorative pillows can enhance the comfort and style of a Chesterfield. Choose pillows that coordinate with the colour scheme of the room and compliment the chair’s upholstery. Mix and match different sizes, shapes, and textures to create visual interest.
  1. Place a side table or ottoman next to the chair to provide a convenient surface for placing books, drinks, or decorative items.
  1. Consider the lighting around your sofa. A well-placed floor lamp or table lamp can create a cosy ambiance and provide task lighting for reading or work.
  1. Choose complimentary furniture and decor pieces that match the overall style and theme of the room. Avoid overcrowding the space around the chair, as it should remain the focal point.
  1. Add personal touches to make the space unique. Incorporate artwork, framed photos, or decorative objects that reflect your style and interests. These elements can help create a cohesive look and make the chair feel like a curated part of the room.

Delcor’s Iconic Handmade Chesterfield

At Delcor, our expert craftsmen and women are committed to creating luxurious bespoke furniture designs with quality at their heart. This includes our handmade Chesterfield Sofa and Chesterfield Chaise Chair, complimented by our Chesterfield Footstool for an additional level of comfort in your home. With a plethora of premium fabrics, patterns, and styles to choose from, make the Chesterfield your own.

Do you have some questions? Get in touch with us. We’re happy to help!