Did You Say Enfilade? On Fill What?

Happy New Year Y’all!


Hope that you had fabulous holidays.

Today is a pretty easy post that I hope that you’ll enjoy.


It’s all about something called an Enfilade.


pronounced On Fill Odd.

For those that don’t know what it is, it’s when the doors all line up to create a passage that goes from room to room.

What differentiates it from a hallway, is that there is an actual door or doorway.

There can be rooms on both sides or just one side.

Enfilades have been around for centuries and as far as I know began in Europe but that might not be true. You can read more about them here.

They were commonplace in castles and grand homes, especially in England and France.

Enfilades lead one from the living areas to the bedroom and yes, the bedroom was open.

You might say it was the “open concept” of the 18th century.

The higher your stature or connection to the homeowner, the further in you were allowed. Folks weren’t as hung up on privacy as we are. That started later, maybe in the 1800s.


But I also think that there were practical reasons for the enfilade.


  • Ventilation
  • Staying Warm
  • Light

Just depends on the situation.


Do architects still make use of the enfilade?


Absolutely! And we will see that later on.

But besides residential use, the system of the enfilade is very popular for museums as it facilitates movement of large numbers of people.

The enfilade as we will see goes from very plain to very ornate.


Let’s take a look at some enfilades.


Chateau de Versailles Apartement de la Reine – book by Francis Hammond Private Versailles Enfilade

The grand daddy of all enfilades is probably this marble clad wonder at Versailles.

There is info about the book in the link.

Chatsworth House in Derbshire, UK

Chatsworth has been home of the Cavendish family since the 1550s. Very interesting and tons of info in the link above.

via Canadian Pacific on Flickr

Castletown House was built in 1722-1729 for William Conolly Speaker of the Irish Parliament

Musée Jacquemart André boulevard Haussmann Paris VIIIème

Expositie Museum Oud Amelisweerd

rather plain and austere but I love that scrubbed look.

Előszállás kastély enfilade Daniel Kovacs

Whoa, that might be a little TOO decayed, even for me. But the potential is there.


A Fabulous Enfilade at the Compiègne Castle, Picardy, France


Well, isn’t that another  French beauty!

And this one too!

But get this.

It’s wallpaper!

You can find out all about here, the company’s name is Koziel


Schönbrunn Palace

Is that mural exquisite or what?

Domaine de Voisins Chassons fine french interior


Beningbrough Hall

above and below

State dressing room at Beningbrough Hall


Now, let’s begin to explore the enfilade of more modern times.


Leta Austin Foster recreates Milburne in Virginia


via Architectural Digest


Phillimore Gardens Mansion House - Reclaimed Parquet Flooring, Custom Architrave Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam
Phillimore Gardens Mansion House with Reclaimed Parquet Flooring by Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam


An enfilade in Sheila Bridges landmark Harlem Home!


Well, I’ve been saving this one! You might recognize the home as the Bronxville home of a lovely family of six that loves to entertain.  Because I noticed right away that they have a three door enfilade which I don’t commonly see. Wallpaper from Cole and Son.


By the way, I just happen to have a before shot.


enfilade before shot Bronxville home we did a couple of years ago.

Or rather, in progress shot. I took this from the entrance hall, not dining room, obviously.


My Scandinavian Home

You can find the source if you click here.


You might also find an enfilade in a garden if you’re lucky!


From My trip to England. The exquisite Laskett Gardens!


An enfilade of garden doorways at Tuinzondernaam the gardens of Frank Thuyls and his late partner Pierre van Kol.

An enfilade of garden doorways at Tuinzondernaam the gardens of Frank Thuyls and his late partner Pierre van Kol. Via JennyRoseInnes on instagram.

And via Henhurst (Phyllis Higgerson) on Instagram. An enfilade, a breezeway and in the far distance an aqua loggia. All related. So incredibly beautiful!

And I could keep going. There are a lot of fabulous enfilades out there, but many of the images are not even close to being up to snuff, so they didn’t make the cut.

Now, I realize that I haven’t said anything about painting on wallpapering or rules of thumb. But please feel free to ask away in the comments!




PS: Don’t forget to check out the hot sales pages if that interests you.


50 Responses

  1. Once again; thank you for the education and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you Laurel. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Enjoy Florida! Where I am, it is a balmy -40° F.

  2. Oh my gosh!! I stopped mid-post to browse the Kozeil site and THEN I continued on to find your garden posts!! Now I’m jumping between websites for wallpaper and plantings! Really enjoyable fantasy exercise while the temps are below freezing. This post is so lovely. Thank you, Laurel.

  3. Always enjoy a good enfilade. So sorry to hear about the leaks and the mold and the workmen. Argh! Did someone’s plumbing burst above you? Or is it coming in from the exterior? Good luck!

  4. Laurel- I have the same New Year goal!I might even sign up for an exercise class. Lots of doctor appointments in my future. Hope 2018 is a healthy year for us! As for this post…. every photo is dreamy. If there is one thing that I don’t like about our cape, it is that NOTHING lines up, and all the door frames are varying widths. Cheers!- Maura

    1. Thank you so much Maura. Oh man. have to out today and feeling nauseous at the thought.

      But I love your home! Guess you know that by now. You turned it into a stylish, classic, timeless, cozy gem and it’s not as easy as you make it look! xoxo

  5. What a beautiful post! I love seeing pictures from your tip to England. I’ve been a devoted lurker, but this post really got me to comment. I did not know that was called an enfilade, and sadly, we don’t see that in modern open concept houses. I love learning from your column! Stay warm….

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for your virgin comment! I’ll be gentle. lol Yeah… the old open concept. Our great, great grandchildren are going to be laughing their heads off at us! And yes, we’re getting socked with a storm and then FREEZING TEMPS! but I’m escaping next week.

  6. lovely photos, great post, never thought of garden enfilades! in your first Chateau de Versailles post the caption ought to either be Apartement du Roi or Apartement de la Reine (minor point i know). thanks for all you share.

  7. Oh my gosh! Now I have a classy name for my “Hallway of Doors”. And thank you for the wallpaper resource! I saw the tin tiles as a feature wall in a catalog and thought it would be a great accent wall in my terribly bland featureless family room. Who knew that it was wallpaper!

    1. Hi Karen,

      Yeah, the wallpaper is pretty cool, not to mention quite the conversation piece. But I wouldn’t serve any liquor lest people go walking into walls. LOL

  8. Hi Laurel. I look forward to every one of your posts. The wallpaper in the Bronxville home is stunning. You mentioned it’s Cole & Son but I can’t find it on their website. Can you please help me find it?

  9. Our first home was built in the early 1900’s in the Midwest. It was referred to as shotgun style. At least that is what I was told by multiple people. Is that the same? We had doorways from the entry hall through the dining room through to the kitchen. It did make placement of furniture challenging, but we had no money so not much furniture haha. I loved the charm. We moved after number 3and 4 kiddos arrived. And sadly torn down last year for a convenience store. We were able to tour before it was demolished and snagged a door and some hardware for sentimental. I loved that house, so charming, just too small for our busting at the seams family.

  10. Hello Laurel, Enfilades can be dramatic, but I would not want to include bedrooms along the line, even for the terminal chamber (if I were inside sleeping, I would get the uneasy feeling that people were staring at my door! I once looked at a house to buy in Ohio that had all five bedrooms on the second floor in a ring-type enfilade–no striking vistas, just inconvenience. The only bathroom was set into the largest bedroom, not part of the enfilade, but the walls were only partial height, as in a public restroom. However, the museum-quality Greek Revival woodwork on the facade and in the double parlors would bring tears to your eyes, it was so beautiful.

  11. I thought the same thing as Gemma. An enfilade sounds much more glamorous than shotgun house. Wish I had known at the time!! Wow, do you find gorgeous photos!!
    BTW, I have wondered why you don’t have ads. A girl’s gotta eat and this is a tremendous amount of work. However, since I am from Louisiana, I do wish you had gotten the big ass ceiling fan. Everybody needs a ceiling fan.

    1. Hi Nancy,

      It’s true shotgun vs enfilade. lol

      BTW, I DO have ads. But this ad network is less than two weeks old.

      Re: the fan. One of my issues is the state my apartment is in. In fact, right now after it started raining in my bathroom last night, I have guys here ripping it apart and yep. black mold everywhere. And it’s in the kitchen too, I’m sure since there’s water damage there as well.

        1. Hi Karen,
          It’s busted pipe from above and it’s been leaking the entire time I’ve been here. Most of the time, it doesn’t seep through, but this time, it came pouring out. Oh, what a mess! And the kitchen wall that is on the other side is messed up too. But, they are fixing it now.

  12. Well, Laurel ! Knew about enfilades for the interior but never thought about describing

    them in the Garden that way ! As I am pruning my Roses, I shall start to name-drop in

    French, as soon as I learn how to pronounce it, right away . That should impress the


    I do think ‘new-builds’ are missing a trick..if it was good enough for the French & the

    Cavendish family I think this wonderful architectural titillation, is worth implementing

    more today, albeit on a smaller scale. I love the way they tempt the eye by revealing what

    lies just beyond.

    For Nosey ‘interiorists’ like us, they would prove irresistible & start my feet itching to

    discover what lies further….

  13. What a wonderful post.

    Re Florida: do you know snow is predicted in Florida this weekend? Or maybe freezing rain?

    1. Hi Gaye,

      Well so much for global warming! Actually, I never got that, because scientifically, the earth is constantly cooling; not saying that there isn’t warming, but some winters it feels quite doutbtful!

  14. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. So much to explore. The Bronxville house is lovely. How great that the architect incorporated enfillade into the floor plan. Effortlessly graceful and “gracious” design. You designed and decorated it beautifully.

    (I had forgotten you switched from Wednesday postings to Tuesday. Duh.)

    1. Hi Libby,

      Yes, he did that, but there was no place to hang a drapery rod for the bay window, so the contractor had to put a two by four up. The clients had most of the tables and pieces like that. But all of the upholstery was new and window treatments. The rugs are new except for the front hall rug. Lovely clients.

  15. Oh my goodness! These are incredible photos. And the wallpaper!! You are educating us in the best possible way. And inspiring us. And …I have no words. Just thank you.

      1. Laurel, the Bronxville dining room wallpaper is the most beautiful I’ve seen in a long time! Where would one find that wallpaper? What a gorgeous room! Thank you for sharing!

      1. yes! what to consider while choosing colors?- saturation, undertones, etc? I’m especially impressed with Sheila Bridges’ Harlem home- all the colors/patterns are complementary. How do you pick color choices that aren’t going to contradict or look ‘off’? Thanks, Laurel! Your photo selection does teach so much— if you could communicate your excellent ‘eyes’ into words for us mortals.

        1. HiJill,

          Well, now we’re getting into a hugely extensive subject as we’re talking color schemes. You could purchase my nearly 500 page curated Benjamin Moore paint/palette collection which spells it all out as well as 40 palettes using all 144 colors and much more. The info is here.

          But one thing that works for me is a jumping off point. It could be a fabric, rug or art. Something like that. Or even an inspiration room/house. And then mixing like colors (analogous) or opposites, sometimes work nicely. Or a neutral scheme with pops of color. And neutral could be whites and creams or beiges or grays.

          And always put everything together on a board or in the way that they’ll live. Your eye will tell you if anything is off.

  16. Yummy. I did not know the name for this or that it was a thing, but have been designing a cottage garden with this in mind. Such a fabulous way to lead the eye. I’ve got a mind to add french doors in the dining room going to the kitchen and out back. I just need the doors!

    Thanks for all the inspiration, you have excellent taste!

  17. Wow! These are all so breathtakingly beautiful. Now I’m suffering from some very serious house and garden envy. The Koziel wallpaper is especially clever. Thank you for this beautiful post, Laurel. I’ll be re-reading and savoring it.

    1. Glad that you enjoyed the post Lisa. I found the wallpaper pic on pinterest and natch, not a clue where it was from and it took me the better part of 30 minutes just to find the source but No one was more surprised than me to see that it’s wallpaper. There are videos on the website, but they don’t work. Too bad. The effect is brilliant!

  18. Hmmm….guess my first apartment in the city had an enfilade……….only then we called them “railroad” rooms. Had to walk through a living room and two bedrooms just to get to the kitchen (with a bathroom beyond that). Had I only known that the apartment was in a grand tradition, life would have seemed, well, more grand!

  19. what a great post Laurel! and such stunning photographs- loved scrolling through these- thanks for your always beautiful inspiration and knowledge! see you in Orlando- can’t wait!!

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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