Enfilade, pronounced - on fee LAHD, is a suite of rooms formally aligned with each other in a row so that upon entering, one is provided with a vista through the entire group of rooms. The word comes from enfiler, French for to thread or to string things in a straight line.
The enfilade was a common arrangement in Baroque palaces of the 17th century. The first room would be a public room, with state rooms thereafter, until the visitor was escorted into the royal bedroom which was treated much like a receiving room. The boudoir would lie beyond. Each visitor was allowed to advance as far down the enfilade as their rank would allow. Only those of higher rank would actually make it far enough down the enfilade to meet the host.
I love homes with rooms built in enfilade so in this post I have gathered images of enfilades from homes in the Baroque period all the way up to some present homes that are using this design element. I hope you will enjoy.
Enfilade at Versailles
At Versailles enfilades consisting of seven rooms were used as a processional route to the king or queen.
Enfilade at Versailles
A palace might have several enfilades......... for example, one for the king's apartment, one for the queen's apartment, and one for the state rooms.
I adore the visual impact of enfilades. This technique can give even a small house a gratifying sense of depth and spaciousness.
When a home had an enfilade of rooms, many time privacy became an issue, so there was usually an alternate route through secret doors.
A splendid picture with light coming in through enfilade of rooms at Château Champ de Bataille. The lining up of elements- doors, windows, columns, or rooms in a row, make enfilades lovely architectural features.
Enfilades provide a wonderful sense of flow and lovely connection between the decoration of different rooms.
I don't care how up-to-date or how large a home, is it will turn out disappointingly if it does not appeal to someone in a personal or emotional way. The layout of the enfilade does this with it's alignment of open doors that draws the eye to the room beyond and beckons us to move from one room to another.
The Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace), Genoa.
Many times the enfilade ran alongside a garden and you could look out windows as you proceeded through the suite of rooms. It would have been an impressive vista.
A suite of decorative Swedish rooms in enfilade.
I just want to see what is behind that last blue door........all part of the mysterious appeal of the enfilade.
The enfilade in the 300 year old English estate, Burley-on-the-Hill. I believe a house should be romantic. It should stir a response especially when the final space terminates with a view to the outdoors.
A stunning enfilade in this Swedish home, just three rooms deep.
Enfilade of rooms in Holkham Hall, Norfolk, UK.
One space opening from another offers a mysterious sense of distance.......just what lies at the end of this enfilade.
I adore this stunning all white French enfilade.
The enfilade in this Paris apartment gives the sense of spaciousness that is especially true if each room is decorated in similar style.
The enfilade is at it's best when it is a suite of public rooms where people are free to move from room to room. It is a great setting for entertaining.
Many museums and art galleries are set up in enfilade because it is a feature that stirs curiosity and facilitates the movement of large numbers of people through a building.
A view through the State Dressing Room of the enfilade at Beningbrough Hall.
In his enfilade the visitor's eye is drawn forward to the outside the house and into nature.
The enfilade is an ancient and compelling design tool that can create a dimensional experience in even the modern home.
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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer