Keeping rooms are making a comeback in new builds and renovation projects. Once popular in 18th-century colonial homes, a keeping room is a small living space adjacent to the kitchen to optimize warmth around a hearth or fireplace. While the need for a hearth’s warmth has faded, socializing tends to take place near the kitchen. Keeping rooms provide space for friends and family to gather before mealtimes. They also allow the chef to work in the kitchen without guests apologizing for “being in the way”.

Over the past few decades, as open floor plans grew in popularity, modern kitchen layouts began to flow into other rooms. But an open-concept design doesn’t mean you can’t have a keeping room. Simply define the space using rugs, drapes, screens, furniture placement, dividers, or even plants.

Decorating a small keeping room can be tricky. Ideally, this room should be a versatile space for activities such as reading, doing homework, sipping tea, pursuing a hobby, or just unwinding after a long day. Some keeping rooms may feature a built-in breakfast nook with casual rattan furniture, similar to a sun room, while others center around a fireplace surrounded by cozy overstuffed chairs. Many modern keeping rooms have bookshelves beside the fireplace and some offer built-in desk space. To make the room inviting to guests, add pillows and special family photographs.

Homemade meals from a warm, inviting kitchen invoke a feeling of coziness. Add to the good vibes by designing or utilizing the perfect keeping room for your home.