The best sofa style for your living room for many years to come

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I’ve never thought about living room sofas in the same way I think about skin care products, and yet, strangely enough, there are some parallels. Both can be big investments, and for that reason, you want to be sure you’re spending your money on something that’s going to work in the long run.

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I’m starting to think about buying a new sofa in 2020 so I decided to ask a few Decorative designers whether they thought there really was a style or type of sofa that was “anti-aging” – you know, built to last and something that would age gracefully – or dare I say – get better with time. Surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly, if you’re a sofa fan), they all had essentially the same answer: A Chesterfield sofa! For someone who was thinking about upgrading from a small seat to a clean section, this recommendation is potentially a game-changer. Here’s why three designers think chesterfields are the way to go in your living room now – and forever!

To Caitlin McBride, a Decorist classic designer, it’s all about texture, and leather is her default choice for extending the life of a sofa. “A good leather sofa—chesterfields are my favorite!—is anti-aging because worn leather gets better with time,” says McBride. “It becomes soft as butter and when the leather starts to wear, it adds character to the sofa, which is something that cannot be bought as it is achieved over time.”

Technically, she’s right—you don’t get that perfect worn patina when you buy off the shelf at a big box or home improvement store. But if you can find a leather Chesterfield sofa on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, a thrift store, or otherwise, you’ll be a leg up on the burglary process. And you will probably also save a lot of money by buying used.

Then there is the whole matter of the chesterfield silhouette. Slouchy and super shapely sofas with lots of cushions might be trending right now – I think I’ve been loving a few curvy beauties at Anthropologie lately. But the tight, high back of a Chesterfield always appears neat and clean. “The Chesterfield sofa has the traditional rolled arms and tufts that will look chic for years to come – maybe even decades,” says Briana Nix, a Decorative elite designer. Also, you won’t have to worry as much about misshapen or deflated pillows down the road because there are fewer of them on chesterfields by design. And while there isn’t much extra fluff for chesterfields, they’re still incredibly comfortable to sit and lie on, especially if you find one with a deep seat.

Audrey Marguerite, a Decorist Elite Designer, is also a chesterfield sofa fan. But she believes that you can solve the problem of hanging down the road by thinking about what is really under the upholstery when you shop. “Look for a sofa with a hardwood frame and an 8-way hand-tied spring system,” says Margarite. “This is a quality sofa that will not sink over time. With use, you may want to recreate the sofa in a new fabric, but you can be sure that the sofa’s construction is solid.”

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