The Keeping Room

Please, do eat on the sofa.

photography by Jeremy Sharp

The latest must-have room—the “keeping room”—originated in colonial times, before homes were 5,000 square feet. It was a multi-use room attached to the kitchen or open to it, complete with a fireplace for warmth. It’s an old-time concept that adds depth and activity to modern kitchens. 

“Kitchens are always evolving,” builder Carolyn Isler of Isler Custom Homes says. “I have created several keeping rooms for my clients, and they love them.”

The modern keeping room is a cozy, more comfortable alternative to the bar peninsula with stools, which clients almost always eschew for smaller nooks. It’s a place where the family can relax on a sofa and snack, watch television, or gaze into the embers.

Important to note: The keeping room does not in any way replace the breakfast room or the family room.

“You’re really not supposed to eat in the family room,” Isler says.
Which, of course, was news to us.

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