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An icon: the Chesterfield

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The Chesterfield sofa: what’s not to love? The extensive tufting, the luxurious antique ‘rubbed’ leather, the turned mahogany feet, not to mention a decent helping of history and opulence. The Chesterfield is a classic, it’s an icon, and an envy-worthy piece of home furniture. The history of the Chesterfield is, however, a mystery. Some say it is named after arbiter of 18th century trend and style, the Earl of Chesterfield. However, Paul Fleming from Fleming Howland, the furniture makers who have copyright over the name Chesterfield, is still unsure of its origin, and despite extensive investigation is no closer to discovering the concrete truth about the couch’s elusive past. Needless to say the style of the Chesterfield has become synonymous with luxury, and evokes a sense of mystery as well as classic refinement.

But where to start when buying one? Colours, fabrics, and authenticity are all fundamentals that need to be considered before purchasing—take a gander over the following helpful hints below, and choose a high-quality Chesterfield that will become a cherished heirloom for decades to come.

Choosing a genuine Chesterfield

 Living room by Locus Habitat
Locus Habitat

Leather Chesterfield Sofa

Locus Habitat

Buying a Chesterfield is often a daunting and overwhelming experience, while there are many different styles and designs on the market, there are also many fake Chesterfields. These fakes capitalise on the name whilst providing a sofa that is far below the high quality standard of real Chesterfields. So how to ensure you are buying a genuine Chesterfield? 

Firstly a Chesterfield is a style of couch, and not a brand. In Canada, the word Chesterfield is a generic term used to describe any and all sofas, couches and settees, so ensure you are not led astray if buying internationally. High quality Chesterfield sofas exude luxury and opulence, and therefore, a real Chesterfield from a seller should come with a warranty for upwards of 10-12 years.

Check the details

 Living room by Locus Habitat
Locus Habitat

Chesterfield Sofa & Leather Furniture from Locus Habitat

Locus Habitat

When looking at Chesterfield couch the key to discovering an authentic piece of furniture is to check the details. Certain standards apply to this style of sofa, and there are several crucial elements to check before you purchase your new piece of furniture. The frame should be made of hardwood, be handmade, with matching timber feet. Fittings should generally be brass, and unless otherwise specified, should match throughout the couch. 

Finally, the leather should be of a high quality—look for leathers that are antique, or have been treated to show the underneath colour (rubbed leather), as well as semi or full aniline leathers. Aniline leathers are dyed without a top sealing coat and allow the natural hide to show its grain, blemishes and natural surface. This type of leather is highly desirable, although takes a bit of maintenance to ensure it does not become damaged or scratched. 

Inexpensive Chesterfields are constructed using bi-cast leather, or reconstituted leather; these leathers are partially synthetic and do not offer long lasting use. Cheaper partially vinyl leather tends to tear and rip over time, and can fade and become visibly worn.

Pick a stylish and timeless colour

 Living room by LUCY retrò & chic
LUCY retrò & chic

Divano Chesterfield modello 'Old Fashion' in pelle 'Deluxe Mulled Wine'

LUCY retrò & chic

Chesterfields generally come in two traditional colours, a rich antique red, or a deep mahogany, with the latter being the most common and popular choice. In addition to these hues, British racing green, as well as dark brown and light camel are other popular shades. When buying a new couch, remember to pick something that will suit the area it will be placed within. If it is a family sofa, choose a colour that will not show dirt, and will act as a hard-wearing and long-lasting shade.

The Chesterfield armchair

 Living room by Locus Habitat
Locus Habitat

Chesterfield Back Leather Armchair

Locus Habitat

Perhaps you are looking for something less extravagant, but still delivering a good dose of elegance, sophistication and class. The chesterfield armchair has it all, carved timber feet, high back, turned arms and stylish refinement. Place your Chesterfield armchair in your study, home office, library or living space for seating that will be cherished and admired for by young and old alike.

The right setting for your Chesterfield

 Living room by Locus Habitat
Locus Habitat

Chesterfield Sofa from Locus Habitat

Locus Habitat

One of the most important things to consider before you buy your Chesterfield is where you are going to place it within your home, and whether you have enough space for the generally oversized seating. Place your chesterfield in a living space with enough room around its four corners to enjoy the tufted quality of the back of the couch as well as the front. Chesterfields that are pressed up against a wall generally do not look as sophisticated and can make a space seem cramped or poorly styled.

Stylish accessories

 Living room by Locus Habitat
Locus Habitat

Classic Designs with Leather Vintage Side & Storage Trunks

Locus Habitat

Don’t forget to accessorise your Chesterfield—equip your space with leather pieces such as this vintage style trunk that evokes an ambience of wisdom, agelessness and history. Sturdy timber furniture also works tremendously, as well as dim mood-lighting to exude a sense of richness and into your domestic space.

Add that extra touch

 Living room by Locus Habitat
Locus Habitat

Ottoman from Locus Habitat

Locus Habitat

If you absolutely love chesterfields and want to add that extra hint of luxury, elegance and character to your space, consider a suite of furniture with some tufted accessories to match. This tufted leather ottoman is tasteful as well as providing the room with a sense of personality and extravagance.

Another traditional alternative

Not usually as common as the leather Chesterfields, but equally as opulent and traditional, is the velvet upholstered couch. Velvet was often a fabric for the rich and upper-class members of society, and these days, a velvet upholstered Chesterfield style sofa evokes a sense of magnificence, refinement and grace, as well as being a stylish and gorgeous addition to one’s home.

Chesterfield alternatives

 Walls & flooring by Anthea's Home Store
Anthea's Home Store

Chesterfield Button Back Wallpaper by Mineheart

Anthea's Home Store

Perhaps you love the chesterfield look but don’t want to invest in a solid piece of furniture? Consider a wallpaper that evokes the tufted beauty of an upholstered Chesterfield without the large or oversized furniture that comes with it. Fill your space with a little faux upholstered style and create a room that will be sure to create a stir and get your guests talking.

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