“What was old is new.” There isn’t a truer statement in the current real estate trend toward putting a keeping room in modern homes.
A keeping room is a classic architectural feature reemerging in some of the hottest home designs today. It’s basically a room next to the kitchen, where family and friends can relax and keep you, the cook, company. That’s why it’s become a huge attraction in today’s real estate market.
Why is it called a keeping room?
The history of keeping rooms begins with 18th-century Colonial American design around the kitchen, the warmest room in the house. Today, with central heating, this space has morphed into an additional common area in a house, usually next to the kitchen.
What is a keeping room? Sometimes they’re referred to as a “flex room” or a “free room” by modern home builders, but they’re probably better known as the family room or hearth room.
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What makes a keeping room, a keeping room?
There are several benchmarks a room must meet to be a keeping room and not just an additional common room. First, the room must be adjacent to the kitchen. Size is not important — it could seat a couple of people or several.
The focal point of these rooms is a fireplace, which is why you will often hear them referred to as hearth rooms. This is a carryover from the original use of the room.
There’s usually comfortable seating, like sofas or comfortable chairs, for guests to relax while keeping the cook company. You can also set up board games, television, video games, or other fun activities.
Old-School Idea, Modern Layout
Although the idea of a keeping room is a bit old-fashioned, builders today are giving the room a modern twist. The wall between the kitchen and the rest of the house is being knocked down in a lot of homes, so if you’re cooking in the kitchen you aren’t isolated from the rest of the family.
Modern keeping rooms come in all shapes and sizes — some are large enough to accommodate lots of people, and others are more like small nooks with a cushioned bench.
A keeping room is also a great alternative to a kitchen island or a bar peninsula with stools, which can be uncomfortable. If you don’t allow eating in the family room? A keeping room can be a comfortable place to snack.
Eighteenth-century keeping rooms were designed with a very specific purpose in mind, but modern keeping rooms are open to interpretation. You may choose to keep with the classic idea of a cozy sitting area off the kitchen, or you can also be a bit more creative.
If you have hobbies, you can use the space as a crafting room for knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, or other crafts. You can also use it as a mini-library, with bookshelves or built-ins for books and knick-knacks. A game room is another possibility for a modern keeping room, with a small table and storage space.
Increase Home Value
Keeping rooms can increase your home’s value, and provide a comfortable and versatile space for hanging out. Sometimes the addition adds square footage; other times, it just serves as an added bonus.
If you’re not looking to increase the square footage of your home, sometimes builders can “borrow” space from large kitchens or mudrooms and convert that space into a keeping room with just a few structural changes. This is a great solution if you have a good amount of space you’re not using.
Though not seen as a “must-have” for some people, these rooms increase a home’s value in a lot of markets. Keeping rooms are generally viewed by homebuyers as a huge plus.
Alternatives to a Keeping Room
The great room is a large and open space within a home that is often designed with high ceilings. A great room can serve as a space for entertainment, recreation, and relaxation. Great rooms are far more casual than living rooms and are meant to be used every day.
A great room is usually included in an open floor plan design. Most great rooms are located next to the kitchen or dining room, to allow your family to roam from room to room. Great rooms are open spaces that bring your family closer together in a comfortable setting. Even if two people are not in the same room, the open great room design allows them to communicate comfortably with one another.
The great room’s open design makes the inside of the home seem larger than it actually is. As a result, a great room can make the home more appealing to potential buyers. The open floor plan of a great room can also increase the natural light in your home. Since there are no walls, natural light can stream through the windows and light up the great room in addition to the kitchen and dining room.
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Open concept homes
One of the most sought-after features in real estate today is “open concept.” An open concept is a type of floor plan where walls and doors of the kitchen, living, and dining rooms are removed and living spaces merge into one. An open-concept layout is the exact opposite of older floor plans that traditionally have a succession of closed-in rooms that can feel confining.
This type of layout is also appealing because it allows for functional flexibility. For example, a floor plan where the kitchen is open to the living room allows you to multitask, like entertaining guests, cooking while watching TV, or making your morning coffee while watching the sunrise from your windows.
The open-concept trend started in the 1990s, likely due to the popularity of former artists’ lofts in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. Because these units were typically located in industrial buildings with no set rooms, they had open floor plans with high ceilings, large windows, and an oversized main-living area. The open layout gives even small units a sense of more space.
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Why is it called Keeping room?
In America in the 1700s, cooking took place at the fireplace, but that area was also the main source of heat in the home. That’s why family members would gather nearby to stay warm, too. However,to keep people from getting in the cook’s way, the keeping room was created.
What is another name for a keeping room?
There are a few different names for keeping rooms. They are often also calledfamily rooms or hearth rooms, are again gaining real estate clout due to the explosion of open floor plans.