Is there a more iconic piece of furniture than the Chesterfield sofa? Visit any stately home in Britain and you’re bound to see Chesterfield footstools, sofas, and chairs. Designed in 18th century England, the Chesterfield has a rich and illustrious history. Named after Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, this iconic British design hasn’t waned in popularity since its first outing.
Perhaps the biggest change in Chesterfield furniture is its owners. Once the sofa style of the nobility and a fixture in manor houses and mansions, Chesterfield footstools and sofas now appear in modest, modern homes as a symbol of understated luxury and elegance.
It’s no surprise that this quintessentially British design is beloved by all. With its distinguished looks, a Chesterfield sofa is a statement piece that stands the test of time. Deep seating, hallmark tufting, and instantly recognisable rolled arms remain key features of Chesterfield furniture regardless of the upholstery. The fact that Chesterfields can be upholstered in a variety of fabrics, from rich burgundy leather to chic white linen without losing their grand sense of presence is one of the reasons why Chesterfields are so popular still, today. We predict that the Chesterfield sofa isn’t going anywhere and will continue to be loved in homes for many years to come.
Today we’ll show you how to style and place Chesterfield sofas and footstools within your home, which fabrics work best with this iconic design, and where to find them. Luckily, you won’t have to browse far as the Chesterfield is one of The Original Chair Company’s most popular and enduring designs!
Without further ado, let’s look at how to make this statement piece of British design history your own.
Where Should I Place the Chesterfield Sofa?
First thing’s first, where to place sofa or footstool? Here’s a guide to help you decide.
Refine your living room
The most obvious place to put a Chesterfield sofa is in the living room. It’s the perfect place to wow visiting guests and is used often by family. One of the great things about Chesterfield furniture is that they’re designed to be lived on. Comfortable and durable, placing your new Chesterfield piece in a high-traffic room like the lounge will ensure it’s part of the family. For maximum impact centre sofas against the biggest wall and position armchairs and footstools around it. This configuration creates a sense of sophisticated grandeur while also being practical.
In your ‘library’
You don’t need to live in Highclere Castle to own a library. Any cosy nook can be transformed into a book lover’s haven with some shelves and a Chesterfield armchair. Position your armchair at an angle within the nook so that shelves are within arm’s reach. You’ll find the Chesterfield’s arm rest is generous enough to balance a cup of tea (or glass of wine!) to truly get into the book club spirit. Layer up with contrasting cushions and a cosy blanket to complete the look. A Chesterfield footstool is the perfect companion for deep-seated, tufted armchairs and makes bingeing the latest bestseller a luxurious experience.
An inspiring study
In the past, it might have been considered grand to have a separate study in the home. Post-pandemic things have changed and many are looking for ways to spruce up their bland home office. A Chesterfield sofa in the study brings to mind illustrious professors and adds decadence to an otherwise functional room. It’s also the perfect spot for an afternoon nap! Depending on the size of your study, you could fit a two-seater sofa or scale back with an armchair. Whichever style you choose, you can be certain that a Chesterfield will look at home in your study.
In the master bedroom
Your bedroom is your home’s sanctuary. It’s a place to sleep but also a room where you can escape the hubbub of the house and spend a quiet hour reading or relaxing. Placing a Chesterfield sofa and matching stool in the master bedroom provides extra space to unwind. You can match the upholstery to your bed linen and place the sofa at the foot of the bed or along the biggest wall to create a tranquil focal point. Drape your best dressing gown over the rolled arm and pair it with a footstool so you can put your feet up after a long day.
In the conservatory
Putting a Chesterfield sofa or armchair in the conservatory sounds strange, but you’d be surprised at how this British icon elevates an ordinary sunroom. Adding a leather Chesterfield to your conservatory extends your living space and provides extra seating for guests. Be sure to have the fabric treated to prevent it from fading in the sunlight. There are more conservatory furniture options than you’d think, and the stately Chesterfield is just one example of how getting creative can bring more personality and sophistication to your home.
How do I choose the right fabric for my Chesterfield Sofa?
When we say ‘Chesterfield’ the first image that springs to mind is probably a deep-buttoned sofa with rolled arms upholstered in oxblood leather or bottle green. The traditional look is a timeless classic. However, today you can upholster your sofa or armchair in any fabric or colour you wish.
When it comes to picking the right fabric for your Chesterfield there are options galore, which can make picking overwhelming. Our guide will point in you the right direction of which fabric will best suit your room’s aesthetic and which is most practical for your daily lifestyle.
It’s for good reason that leather is a stalwart fabric when it comes to Chesterfields. Leather is durable and stain resistant, so can stand up to high use. It’s ideal for families with young children and pets, where spills and stains might be more common. Today you can upholster your sofa, armchair, or footstool in sustainable faux leather, which always holds up well against the sun. If you’re looking to recreate a classic vibe then you can’t go wrong with a Chesterfield upholstered in striking oxblood red.
Chesterfield Armchair in Cotton
If your decor is minimal or incorporates natural elements (or you favour neutral colours) then cotton is a fabulous option. Cotton is a breathable fabric that helps keep you cool in summer and cosy in winter. What’s more, cotton is a natural fabric which makes it hardwearing and less likely to stain. Nowadays cotton can be the more sustainable option with recycled materials every bit as durable and good-looking as the original. Cotton in classic white will add an airy touch to contemporary living spaces and is a surprising but chic contrast to the Chesterfield’s manly image.
Like cotton, linen is a natural fabric that’s durable and stain-resistent. Furthermore, it’s supremely comfortable. A striped linen sofa looks beautiful in the Chesterfield style; it strikes the perfect balance between relaxed and traditional. Of course, you can pick from a variety of colours. That’s why linen is a go-to in many interiors. Sophisticated and stylish, linen’s simplicity emphasises the supreme craftsmanship that goes into making a Chesterfield sofa or chair. If you want to show off your statement furniture to its best advantage while keeping practicalities in mind, you can’t go wrong with linen.
Velvet sofas are having a moment. Thankfully, it’s a fabric that never truly goes out of style. Velvet is soft to the touch, feels luxuriant, and exudes charm and beauty. Velvet is also more practical than you might think. A simple brush and hoover will keep your velvet Chesterfield in pristine condition. Robing this classic design in sumptuous velvet has never been easier with a range of colours and designs available, from dusky hues to glittering jewel tones. Whether it’s a decadent boudoir or chic and sophisticated study, velvet and Chesterfields are a perfect match.
How To Style Chesterfield Furniture
Now that you know where to put your Chesterfield sofa and footstool and what fabric to upholster them in, it’s time to style. This is where everything comes together. It’s important to pay attention to small details like styling otherwise the impact of your grand furniture might be lost. Give your Chesterfield pieces the attention they deserve with considerate styling.
Moody and masculine
This is office chic circa the 1700s. Take your Chesterfield footstool or chair back to its roots as the focal point of gentleman’s clubs and smoky studies. Leather is the only choice for this look. Sticking to neutral tones like tan or dark brown will be in keeping with the masculine look. Bottlegreen and burgundy are two other classic options if you want to add colour without spoiling the moody aesthetic. Dark wood castors ground the piece in subtle elegance and craftsmanship. Dark walls and an array of floor and desk lamps will create a brooding atmosphere that’ll inspire you to light a cigar and open the port. In fact, a drinks trolley with vintage glassware would make perfect additions to your very own gentleman’s club.
In contrast to masculine leather, upholster a Chesterfield footstool or chair in sumptuous velvet for alluring elegance. Dusky pinks and powder blues add a touch of feminine charm, recalling Parisian boudoirs. Match to bed linen or curtains in a bedroom for a cohesive look that envelops you in softness. Accessories like sheepskin rugs, silky cushions, and floral wallpaper add to the opulence.
Cool and contemporary
If sleek and chic is your style, you can’t go wrong with a Chesterfield in cool black. The surrounding lines should be clean and the accessories minimal to showcase your sofa to its best advantage. Think chrome finishes on the lamps and picture frames, or reflective metal vases. A bold burst of colour is permitted with cushions or freshly cut flowers.
Scandinavian-style interiors aren’t going away. A good thing in our opinion! It’s so easy to create an inviting and cosy yet contemporary space with a grey Chesterfield sofa upholstered in linen. Plush two-seaters offer generous seating for big families. Place opposite the fireplace to bring more hygge into your living room. Scandi style is all about balance, so if you’re considering an armchair then get a matching pair. Bonus points if you opt for Chesterfield footstools to match!
Finally, rustic but sleek wooden textures throughout and a touch of greenery from potted plants will bring the space together. For all its traditional roots, Chesterfields are surprisingly versatile!
Take it to the max(imalist)
Not one to shy away from bold statements? How about a magnificent, midnight blue Chesterfield sofa? Or a lime green footstool and armchair combo? Thanks to their classic design, Chesterfields look great dressed up or dressed down. The sky’s the limit when it comes to bold colours and patterns. Place your Chesterfield in front of a feature wall for a bold, eclectic look or set up matching Chesterfield chairs and footstools in canary yellow against a navy wall to make your feature furniture pop. No matter how bold and bright, a Chesterfield’s classic design will always look elegant.
Chesterfield styles at The Original Chair Company
The Original Chair Company specialise in classic sofa and chair designs. The iconic Chesterfield is one of our most loved pieces. It’s easy to see why. With generously padded seats, quintessential tufting, and elegantly crafted rolled arms, modern upgrades have made the Chesterfield a practical and elegant choice for modern life.
We offer classic Chesterfield sofas and, for added luxury, Chesterfield footstools to match. Once you know your desired style, create bespoke designs by upholstering in the fabric or colour of your choice. Our Fabric Studio carries elegant designs from iconic brands like Mulberry and Morris & Co.
Our Mayfair Chesterfield is one for the maximalists. We think it looks gorgeous upholstered in bright green with fuschia scatter cushions. If your style is more minimalist, our classic Chesterfield in sleek black velvet is a contemporary classic. Both styles feature the traditional scroll arm rest Chesterfields are known for, as well as the low back and deep-buttons.
Either of these styles can be upholstered to suit your tastes. Not a fan of black? Browse our Fabric Studio to get an idea of the dizzying choices available to you.
Our Chesterfield footstool is a decadent addition to any home — we love this winey colour in touchable velvet. Leather Chesterfield footstools make a great addition to any study to increase comfort and add a sense of luxury while working from home. Customise your footstool in any fabric to coordinate with your sofa. Our footstools feature the hallmark Chesterfield deep buttoned top and exquisite diamond tufts, set off with decadent polished wood-turned legs. Pick from brass or chrome castors depending on your room’s aesthetic.
We believe that your home should tell a story. Picking the right furniture is one of the many ways to weave personality into our living spaces and feel more comfortable in our daily lives. If you’re unsure about which style or fabrics to pick, our creative team can help you decide. Visit our UK showroom in person or call us for expert advice on how to style your Chesterfield footstool and sofa.