Furniture is an important investment – you want to love your furniture and feel great about showing it off! One of my favorite classic frames is the chesterfield sofa. So, what exactly defines a chesterfield sofa? The Oxford dictionary defines chesterfield as, “A sofa with padded arms and a back of the same height and curved outward at the top.” The dictionary is exactly right; the entire back of the chesterfield is one height and curls backwards, which you can see in the arms. The back and sides too are characterized by the intricate and excessive tufting which gives it that regal look. Though now you can get the chesterfield in nearly any fabric, the classic version was leather. While other fabrics might be more economical, in the long run leather is often a smart choice. The great thing about leather is that it is easy to clean, and it wears well. It is one material that looks better with age, so if you stick with the classic leather style, it might pay off in the long run. Just make sure you moisturize the leather regularly.

When you purchase a chesterfield, you feel like you’re purchasing a piece of history. As it turns out, the chesterfield has been around much, much longer than we have. No one really knows its exact origins, but it is believed that Lord Phillip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, first commissioned the tufted leather sofa in the early 1700s. The goal of the stately sofa was to create seating that allowed a gentleman to sit comfortably upright without wrinkling his garment. Lord Phillip Stanhope was an arts patron known for his trendsetting tastes, and this sofa was a trend that caught on!

Often when you think about the chesterfield sofa, you imagine a man cave, a smoking room, or perhaps a mahogany library. Though the sofa did originate specifically for men, today those curvy couches can match the most feminine of decors. So don’t let the chesterfield’s manly origins keep you from enjoying the sofa even if your décor is feminine. You know how classic pieces in your wardrobe go with everything? The same goes for your interior. This classic sofa works just about anywhere.

The Modern Chesterfield

If you just love those clean lines, don’t worry — several designers have reinvented the chesterfield with a modern twist. The modern version of this classic still exudes the same over-indulgent luxurious feel of the original. If your living room needs a focal point, a colored chesterfield can really make the room pop! Consider a bold color like red, yellow, green, or blue, which are popular in this classic style. If you have a rustic or industrial interior, the worn leather of a vintage chesterfield is a classic choice for such a space. For a large space, consider a sectional in the chesterfield style.

What do you think of the chesterfield? Share your thoughts below.