The day we visited Filoli, the temperature reached a little over a hundred degrees. Fortunately, the inside of the grand old home was relatively cool!
Another map to help you make sense of the place:
The thing that tickled me most was that right next to the holding room is a lavatory. Talk about room specialization!
The following text is taken from the self-guided tour booklet:
Filoli represents an excellent example of architecture and garden design from the first part of the twentieth century. Although the house is predominantly modified-Georgian in style, other major architectural traditions are also represented in the design. The arched window heads of the first floor, the French doors, the exterior brick laid in Flemish bond, and details of the trim are from the Stuart period while the tiled roof is in the Spanish tradition. This eclecticism reflects a Golden Age in California's history, free from the conventional rules of design and exuding a pride in creativity and expression.
Ceiling detail in the portico.
The marble fonts in the niches flanking the portico came from the Bourns' San Francisco house and are copies of ones excavated from Pompeii.
The floor plan is U-Shaped, with the Servants' Wing on one side of the front courtyard and the Ballroom on the other. The long Transverse Hallway runs north to south, parallel to the valley in which the house is set. Both the rooms of the house and the formal Garden are organized along this axis. The residence, which connects to the garden wall, was sited to one side, preserving the valley floor and the grand vista to the north towards Crystal Springs Lake.
In the middle of the transverse hall.
The house contains 36,000 square feet of interior floor space on two floors and a mezzanine. The spacious major rooms have ceiling heights of seventeen feet, while the ballroom ceiling is twenty-two-and -a-half feet high. There are forty-three rooms and seventeen fireplaces.
Reception room. The door on the right goes to the library which is currently closed in order to repair fallen plaster and other water damage.
During the blooming season, exquisite specimens of Mrs. Roth's collection of orchids are displayed in the house and garden pavilion. The beautiful flower arrangements in each of the rooms reflect Mrs. Roth's desire that Filoli be shown as a family home.
The ballroom fireplace is much taller than I. For more on the decoration and history of the ballroom and the whole house, really, go here.
Kitchen. Not pictured are the pastry room and cold storage rooms.
Servants' call board.
Storage in the butlers' pantry.
And every butler's pantry needs a walk in silver vault, right? The cavity at the base of the vault held the family silver in a specially-created Tiffany chest.
It's easy to get lost on the main floor so it's probably a good thing that the wing containing the servants' quarters and the entire upstairs of the house are not open to the public. Wouldn't it be fun to see the attic and basement of such a large house?
The house is featured in several motion pictures and you may also remember it as the home of Blake and Krystle Carrington from Dynasty.
Here's an interesting half hour tour complete with insider stories from retired curator, Tom Rogers.