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Story: Steve Laidlaw – Distinctive Chesterfi elds


Traditionally Chesterfi eld


An authentic Chesterfi eld is one of the world’s most instantly recognisable traditional styles of furniture with the distinguishing deep buttoning, supple leather and distinctive shape. Handmade by experienced craftsmen in traditional workshops using solid hardwood frames, the fi nest quality leather and with the most beautiful fi nish, an original Chesterfi eld cannot be surpassed.


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hesterfi elds can be found in executive locations all over the world from luxury hotels and


restaurants to opulent offi ces and embassies, each adding a hint of style and elegance to any room it adorns. You may even recognise Chesterfi elds from endless fi lm and TV sets, as well as the political world in the Houses of Parliament and the White House, all of which complement their exclusive interiors with traditional Chesterfi elds.


History Little is known about the history of the Chesterfi eld, although this distinctive, traditional English style of furniture can be traced back to the mid 18th century. The fourth Earl of Chesterfi eld, Phillip Stanhope (1694 – 1773) was honoured by the commissioning of a piece of fi ne leather furniture with the same distinctive features as a Chesterfi eld. This style is believed to have since been referred to as a Chesterfi eld in his name. The term Chesterfi eld was also adopted


at the turn of the century in Canada and parts of America to describe a style of sofa, and the Oxford English Dictionary details that Chesterfi eld was used to refer to a distinctive style of couch, with deep buttoned leather, in the 1900s. In England a Davenport couch with


arms and back of the same height in buttoned leather used to describe the same style of sofa as a Chesterfi eld, but this term is long since gone. Today, Chesterfi eld is


70 Traditional Homes & Interiors | December 2010 – January 2011


a word used to describe a unique style of a traditional leather sofa with deep buttoning and arms that are of the same height as the back of the sofa. An English classic that has adorned


elegant rooms for over 200 years, a Chesterfi eld is a long-established and time-honour piece of exceptional furniture that has preserved the same unique shape, style and fi nishing since its origin in the 1700s. Although Chesterfi elds continue to be made using traditional methods, due to modern health and safety legislations, they are now made with fl ame retardant leather and foam fi llings, while still keeping the original design.


The Changing Chesterfi eld Although previously associated with a style of sofa, Chesterfi elds now come in a range of wing chairs, club chairs and offi ce chairs, as well chaise longs and footstools to complement Chesterfi eld sofas and chairs. With such a beautifully versatile design, Chesterfi elds look equally at home in contemporary and period homes, blending perfectly with any style of decor. Whether it’s a sofa for a living room or hotel lobby, an offi ce chair for a home or executive offi ce, or a wing chair for a bedroom or gentleman’s club, a Chesterfi eld is utterly stunning in any setting. Modern Chesterfi elds are just as


beautiful as original ones and today Chesterfi elds are available in a wide range


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