A keeping room is an area just off the kitchen of a home. Keeping rooms date back to Colonial times when families would sleep in that area when the rest of the house was cold. Since the area could be heated by the kitchen stove, it often provided the only heated place in the house. Today, a keeping room is called by many different names, depending on one's geographical location, such as a family room, a great room and a hearth room.
A fireplace is the focal point in many keeping rooms today. Many people also have a television in this room and families gather in here daily. The whole idea of a keeping room is to have a family gathering place that is near the kitchen. The open space concept of the room is popular with modern design trends.
Keeping rooms help to sell a home as they are usually very popular, well-used rooms. Homeowners working in the kitchen area are able to see and hear their children playing or watching television in the keeping room. When entertaining, they can also talk to guests easily from the kitchen. A keeping room can be small or large, but it is always next to the kitchen. Some keeping rooms that have windows on one end are used for displaying plants.
Some modern housing plans show a living room, family room and a hearth room or keeping room. Larger homes especially may have more than one gathering place close to the kitchen. Popular home remodeling projects include removing walls to create an open concept keeping room right beside the kitchen.
The multi-purpose aspect of a keeping room today is similar to its function in Colonial days. Although people don't regularly sleep in keeping rooms now and there was certainly no televisions in Colonial times, children still play there and families gather there to read, talk and often keep warm by the fire. In warmer climates a fireplace is not usually a part of a keeping room, but in many regions it is even if it is more ornamental than heat-producing.