State room

A state room in a large European mansion is usually one of a suite of very grand rooms which were designed to impress. The term was most widely used in the 17th and 18th centuries. They were the most lavishly decorated in the house and contained the finest works of art. State rooms were usually only found in the houses of the upper echelons of the aristocracy, those who were likely to entertain a head of state. They were generally to accommodate and entertain distinguished guests, especially a monarch and/or a royal consort, or other high-ranking aristocrats and state officials, hence the name. In their original form a set of state rooms made up a state apartment, which always included a bedroom.

Un-scaled plan of the piano nobile of Blenheim Palace. The state apartments are the two sets of rooms either side of the principal dining room (Saloon) marked "B". The master and mistress (here the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough) lived their everyday lives in the similarly arranged but smaller suites either side of the smaller dining room marked "O"