The chesterfield, an iconic staple of British furniture, epitomizes the sophistication and charm of English lifestyle. It was the 4th Earl of Chesterfield that requested a sofa that would allow a gentleman to sit upright in the utmost of comfort without wrinkling the garment. Ever since the creation of the chesterfield in the mid 18th century the style has continued to live on. The details revealing themselves in different furniture styles and eras, from the traditional wingback armchairs seen in libraries to midcentury designs in Paris.
The style of the tufting varies according to the furniture’s designer. For example, these chesterfield chairs from Sweden have a very shallow tuft yet the stitching is iconic chesterfield. The ebonized carving of the wood legs in the style of chinoiserie design make this pair of chairs quite unique.
The English furniture style, while sometimes overly traditional, lives on through new mediums and eras. The iconic Barcelona chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich draws tufting inspiration from the chesterfield while being applied to an architecturally new body shape just as this Danish egg chair does by designer H.W. Klein.
As trends continue to evolve so will designer’s inspiration. However, one thing remains constant, traditional English furniture will always be an inspiration and will never go out of style.
The holiday season is upon us, table decorations are once again playing a big role in event planning for all the parties to come. The December issue Elle Decoration UK gets it right with she’s antique table settings.
Ken Fulk’s closet in November issue of Architectural Digest is the epitome of rich and eclectic design. He goes against the grain by utilizing antique bookcases and a brass clothing rack to replace the all to common closet kits of today. He embraces English details with a large antique box on stand hidden behind an unusual antler upholstered chair, these being reminiscent of the once popular royal hunts. So why not defy the expected and harness the old world culture by embracing antique furniture in order to diversify your own closet?
England circa 1820’s Regency upholstered chair (B161), England circa 1930 bookcases from Oxford university (BC131), England circa 1880 large mahogany box (BD110)