Chesterfield Sofa: From Traditional to Transitional

Chesterfield sofa

The Chesterfield sofa is one of the world’s most iconic, recognizable sofa styles, and is easily adapted to both a traditional or transitional interior. This style sofa – deep buttoning, attractive nail head studding, and rolled arms at the same height as the back – is both simple and sophisticated.

But, don’t mistake simple or sophisticated for boring! Although the Chesterfield sofa has been around for centuries, the look is still relevant today in both style and function. The addition of a Chesterfield goes a long way to creating beautiful and timeless décor.


The origins of this classic piece are somewhat murky. Anecdotal evidence maintains that the Chesterfield sofa was invented when the fourth Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Stanhope commissioned a similar sofa in the mid-18th century. And, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, by the 1800’s, the word Chesterfield was commonly used in England to describe a leather couch.

In fact, the quintessential Chesterfield is upholstered in a dark leather, with contrasting nail head trim, a look that is the perfect addition to a traditional paneled library or den. But, this adaptable piece also makes a statement in a sleek Manhattan condo paired with a Lucite coffee table and modern art, or a rustic thatched country cottage, nestled beneath rough hewn beams.

In addition to traditional leather, today, there are many more original takes on the sofa. A more modern look, using upholstery (especially in a shocking, bright velvet), can vastly lighten up the clubby original.


Pricing a Chesterfield sofa can be challenging. Bespoke couches (and chairs) from Distinctive Chesterfields will stand the test of time (in fact, your great grandchildren could possibly inherit them, they are so well made). But if your home isn’t as grand as Downton Abbey, there are plenty of affordable options to suit.

Love home decor, beauty and fashion? NOW YOU CAN WIN IT!  Please take some time to enter our current home and garden, fashion, beauty and style giveaways. Ready for an interior design update? For more design ideas (including plenty a Chesterfield sofa or two!) visit Susan’s Home on Pinterest and the Fabulous Interiors tab.

NEED A PRODUCT REVIEW? WANT TO CREATE A GIVEAWAY? If you have a fashion, beauty or style product line and want an honest evaluation, or if you would like to create a giveaway or promotion, please contact us.

DISCLAIMER: No monetary compensation or product samples were received in exchange for this Chesterfield Sofa post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by, Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to style for the way you live. From must-have fashion and accessories, to stunning interiors and gorgeous gardens, plus the latest ideas for chic parties, you’ll find it here. Editor Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait


Add Yours

Say it here!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.