Q: Hi Tobi, I’ve heard the term “keeping room” used in conversation, but I’m not familiar with this space. Can you explain what this refers to? I’d love to know. Thank you!
Arden; Santa Fe, NM
A: Hi Arden, Great question! Keeping rooms are definitely making a big-time resurgence thanks to the popularity (not to mention flexibility!) of open floor-plan homes.
Traditionally, the area refers to a small sitting and storage area that is adjacent to the kitchen. Not to give a history lesson, but the term is said to have originated in Colonial times. Because the room typically had a fireplace as its focal point, the family would often gather in this room and occasionally even sleep here since it would be warm. They could also “keep” the fire going all night to have it ready for the next day.
Sometimes you may hear the area referred to as a hearth room because of this fireplace. Today, the terms family room and great room can even apply to this space since our needs have evolved and it’s often more about gathering and interacting than coming together to stay warm!
I love the idea of a keeping room because it allows families to gather together no matter what they are doing. One person can be cooking, while another is working on a laptop and kids are playing or doing homework. It’s really about versatility and creating a space that works for everyone’s lifestyle.
Thanks again for writing in to the blog!
I hope you enjoy a great weekend with your family!