Antique Lesson - Enfilade

Today I want to talk to you about Enfilades as they relate to interior design.   An enfilade, which is  pronounced like this was originally used to describe a military formation used during war.  To be "in enfilade" means to align your troops so their weapons can be fired down the longest axis in a sweeping motion, such as along the line of a trench or battery.  

How does this relate to interior design you ask? 
Well, this term was adopted by the architectural community to describe a long line or series of rooms.  An enfilade is an axial arrangement of doorways throughout a series of rooms with vistas throughout all the rooms in the row.  

Like this . . . 


This term is also used by the interior design community to describe a very long, low French buffet.  Again, the concept of a long linear formation.  One source I found stated in order for a buffet to be considered an enfilade it has to have at least four cupboard doors.  Otherwise, it would simply be considered a buffet.  Another source stated in order for the piece to be considered an enfilade the interior compartments have to be open and connected - for the French "enfiler" meaning "to thread."  Either way, here are some stunning examples of enfilades.


And look! An enfilade in an enfilade!

Regardless of the origin, the next time you hear this word in context you will know exactly what it means.  It's good to be in the know. So glad this is a short week. M.



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Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.