The Keeping Room

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I just shared my S p e c i a l P l a c e  with you...

The one down the road a spell,

 that is old and full of history,

with the farmhouse kitchen!

there is another room we are making decisions for...


The keeping room dates back to colonial days and was located just off the kitchen.

In those days this room was filled with utilitarian pieces such as jelly cupboards,

samplers children would stitch as part of their schooling,

hand-hooked rugs,

candles to read by,

wooden bowls and buckets,

rocking chairs and tables made of pine,

baskets for gathering from the garden and storing goods.

This is where the cooking was done so it was the warmest room

and is where families gathered to talk, stitch, spin yarn, play games, read,

and visit with company who came to visit.

The keeping room fireplace was lit from early morning throughout the night, 

always ready for that next meal or baking of bread.

In the evenings before bedtime embers were taken from the kitchen fire to light other fireplaces so rooms would be warm for sleeping.

I've always loved this type of furnishings 
and have been wondering about the difference between primitive and colonial?

Primitive indicates something coming from an early time,
in the very ancient past where there was no advanced technology,
very simple and basic.

Colonial pertains to architecture and furnishings related to the British colonies in America in the 17th and 18th centuries, adapting local materials from English styles,
where the keeping room was a common room and used for multiple purposes.

Keeping rooms today are still just off the kitchen.

They are quaint,

most have a fireplace,

and depending on the size it is still a place where family and friends gather to spend time together, to dine and play games, or possibly it's an intimate sitting area.

Either way, it is separate from other areas of the home allowing those in the keeping room to be close to the cook.

And when meals aren't being prepared what better place to cozy up to the fire,

to visit with a friend,

or with a book and cup of coffee for a little quiet time...

Personally, I've always been drawn to this style of furnishings,

oil paintings,
homespun linens,
Windsor chairs,
dried flowers,
chippy cupboards..

Maybe it reminds me of days gone by,

simpler times,

when it was all about family,

honest work,

helping your neighbor,


the basics.

It was an exciting day when Mr. Heart suggested combining our tiny kitchen with the adjoining den for our new kitchen.  I've always dreamed of a large farmhouse kitchen and keeping room and it's coming true!  Slowly, we are getting close to the completion, but there are still decisions to make...what furnishings, lighting, style?

Ours will have an area at the fireplace and room for a table, chairs, and cupboard.

Here are some of the inspiration pictures I've been swooning over,

thought you may enjoy them too.

A little French, English, modern, rustic ... what's your favorite?
















So much inspiration and each one has its own character and charm!

Which is your favorite?

Hop over each week for AMAZE ME MONDAY...


  1. I love this post, Cindy. As I was scrolling along I said, wait...I know that room! Thank you.:-)

  2. This was such an interesting post, Cindy! I never really knew what "Keeping Room" meant and what it was. It really makes a lot of sense and I think it will be a great addition to your kitchen! I absolutely love all of your inspiration pictures, I think we have similar taste. I have been leaning towards adding a little rustic to my true "cottage" style. I think it makes it overall less feminine and more versatile for everyone. No matter what, I'm sure you will make a good decision and we all will want to see it! :)

    Jane xx

  3. These are all so pretty but I especially like number 4

  4. I knew that was Pat's room right away! I loved every single image. It had me thinking of what I could do here to make a similiar area! Thanks!!!

  5. I am a big fan of the Keeping Room and Inglenook. You just can't have too many homey places (or fireplaces) in a house to suit me. I really enjoyed this post. What great eye candy.

  6. I like the first, second, third and fifth photos at the top that aren't numbered. The fourth photo is the one of feet. I'm more rustic, fancy is for other people, I can't pull it off. You know, it's like "lipstick on a mule", but I'm still a mule. LOL!

  7. I recognized Pat's room also! I love elements of each of the ones you've asked us to choose from, but I would say #1 and 5 are my favorites - simply because the furniture looks most comfortable, not stiff (and I love Toile and tole!).

  8. I think that 7 is my favorite because I love the collection of bread boards and objects on the wall, but I love the ones with fireplaces, too. I also love 15 because I like white kitchens and lanterns like the one featured. And I will take the kitty in that one, too. I guess it depends what you like. I also like rooms painted in a buttery warm color that have a French sensibility.

  9. Love your post, Cindy! And, such beautiful inspirational pics! I, too, love the simpler days ... where family would gather ... without electronic interferences! Have a great weekend!

  10. Great post, beautiful photos and I learned a lot!

  11. Even the name 'keeping room' conjures up a sense of quieter times spent with family and friends. The important things in life that really matter.



  12. How lucky to get a 'keeping room' with your remodel! I bet it will be beautiful!
    Have a great weekend!

  13. Hi Cindy,
    Oh wow, how fun is that........I liked # 2,4 12, and 14.
    Hard making those decisions isn't it..........especially when
    they have you on a schedule...........will be praying you make
    the right ones that make your heart happy. This was a fun
    post too.

    Blessings, Nellie

  14. Oh, my, love this post! I would have to say #4 was my favorite but I liked them all. Almost too much to digest in one sitting. Know you are having fun! Happy weekend!

  15. Oh my gosh Cindy I loved them all it was so hard to pick a favorite!! But I would have to say the ones I really loved were 1,5,7,8,9,10,11,and 12 can you tell I picked the ones that all had that french country vibe!

  16. I LOVE this post, too! Love the history of keeping rooms and the look. Choosing a favorite isn't many great choices, but if I have to choose, it would be 2 or 9....or maybe...:)

  17. Hi Cindy, It would be hard to pick a favorite but of course I love Pat's room.

  18. Oh wow, Cindy, you have some tough choices to make! My faves are #3 & #8. Our son & family have recently moved to VA and are renting a house until they get their bearings. They have a hearth room which I'm thinking might be the same as the keeping room. In our home, our kitchen, breakfast area & family room are all open together. I think it could be considered a keeping or hearth room, but I think the tv would have to!

  19. So many...and all lovely!

  20. Thank you for putting together this amazing array of rooms!!! The keeping room is what had morphed into today's family room, which has now enlarged and taken the place of a formal living room, which no one ever really used anyway!!!

    I love the prims, the pics with no numbers. Number 1 speaks to me without the heavy drapes. No. 5 is my cup of tea. No. 8 is so sweet. No still my beating heart!!!! No. 15 is just about perfect!!! No. 13...I want the cat......

  21. Cindy, I will feature this post today at HSH! It has so much eye candy!

  22. Oh Cindy, this post is gorgeous, each image is amazing! Had I was gonna decorate a country home, I'd for sure do something as these rooms are...I always loved Ameican colonial style, more then primitive, really!
    Hugs and thanks for sharing.

  23. I first saw the words 'keeping room' on one of the house plans I've been endlessly looking at. I was curious what it meant and found this post. It was an epiphany because this is exactly what I have been envisioning for my new kitchen, whenever it happens.

    I think I want mine to be just like 14 but with a fireplace more like 4 or 7...I am bookmarking this page for when we finally get to put our plans in motion. Thanks for all the beautiful pics and the history lesson!


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