Kitchen Sitting Room

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We created a kitchen sitting room and it has become my favorite space in our home. This cozy sitting room is right off the kitchen and provides more space for relaxing in our small home.

When we first moved into our home, I placed a round dining table and chairs in this space. I mean…that’s what you do – create an eat-in-kitchen space right? But I wanted to think outside the box and so can you.

Our current home is less than half the size of our previous home and a complete open floor plan. With a designated dining space, less than ten steps from the kitchen, I really wanted another sitting area rather than another dining space. Enter the sitting room off the kitchen or more appropriate term – the keeping room. I simply love this space.

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sitting room off kitchen with blue chairs and tan rug

This space does get quite a bit of traffic since our son’s room is off this space, my office is on the opposite wall and we use the backdoor very regularly.

If you are looking to create another space off your kitchen than just an eat-in-kitchen, keep reading to see how we made this room work for us!

sitting room off kitchen

Sitting Room or Keeping Room?

Most of us don’t know or aren’t use to the term ‘Keeping Room.’ I know I didn’t until I began to write this post.

When we purchased this home, the floorpan listed this space as the ‘sunroom’ and that’s ok. Call it whatever you like, but for me…I wanted basically a cozy living space off the kitchen.

Who wouldn’t love to sit in a cozy little room, placed right off the kitchen, illuminated by a crackling fireplace with a small sofa or chairs and plush pillows? We don’t have a fireplace, but you get the idea.

The term ‘keeping room’ is more historic. Keeping rooms are cozy little rooms off the kitchen and they are making a modern-day comeback.

sitting room with blue chairs and wood cabinet

What Is a Keeping Room?

Back in the day, the hearth or fireplace in the kitchen was the only source of heat in the house. Guests would sit in these rooms adjacent to the kitchen to keep warm or gather while the host prepared a meal. It was common for these rooms to have a small-scale sofa or a set of plush chairs for your guests to sit back, relax and stay warm.

Keeping rooms off the kitchen date as far back as the 1770’s and were seen in Colonial-style homes. Our modern breakfast nooks are now the spot for family conversations, homework or a quick breakfast. Or a modern day keeping room but different.

sitting room off kitchen with chairs and cabinet

Kitchen Sitting Room

It really doesn’t matter what you call this space or if you have a fireplace or not. We do not have a fireplace. However, creating a comfortable, relaxing sitting room can still be achieved with just a few elements. Bring in what you love and what works for your space.

When I realized I didn’t want another dining spot; I began to look into creating this sitting room. Since we have an open floor plan, with the living room in front of the kitchen, I wanted this space to look and feel different.

The key with open floor plan homes to create designated spaces. If you don’t, then your home can feel like one big blob. I love that the kitchen sitting room looks right into the kitchen. Whereas the living room, that is literally around the corner, faces away from the kitchen.

blue stripe pillow in blue swivel chair

Elements in a Sitting Room

A sitting room or keeping room is all about warmth and comfort. A keeping room is a great area for guests or your family to mingle and chat without crowding the kitchen while still being close to the action.

The size and design of your sitting room might vary, but one thing should always remain. Creating a space that feels intimate and cozy. A keeping room typically has plenty of comfortable furniture, like a deep sofa or plush chairs with soft pillows and plush throw blankets.

You could also incorporate a built in breakfast nook with your seating as well. Some have fireplaces as the focal point which is reminiscent of the original keeping rooms.

kitchen with sitting room adjacent

Keeping Room vs. Family Room: What’s the Difference? 

It might sound like a keeping room and family room are the same, but there are some differences. Family rooms usually have a television, and it’s not necessarily next to the kitchen although they can be. In our previous home we had a breakfast nook with a family off the kitchen. Many family rooms are in a basement or back of the house, but a keeping room is always adjacent to the kitchen.

sitting room with wood cabinets and blue swivel chairs
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  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match. An eclectic mix adds interest to your home.
  • Blend different woods and finishes, materials, and shapes.
  • Find a piece you love and make it the focal point!

How to Style a Sitting Room

Styling or designing your sitting room will be all about your personal taste and the elements you need to make it feel homey. I feel the elements of a sitting room are much like a living room, but perhaps on a smaller scale. With this space being off your kitchen, you can create an eat-in/sitting room area too. Add a small dining table and chairs with your comfy furniture if you need to create a flexible space.

Sitting Room Seating

Without seating you don’t have much of a sitting room. Most sitting rooms off the kitchen are smaller in scale so determine the size of your space before purchasing any furniture. I have three swivel chairs for seating in here; and might eventually purchase a fourth chair. You might want a small settee or sofa mixed with some chairs.

blue and white floral pillow on blue chair

Side Tables

A small coffee table or side table is likely key for a sitting room. Maybe you just need one of the other or both. My tables are small and complement the space, but great for setting down a cup of coffee.

Art and Decor

I have very little wall space in this room because my large cabinet takes up most of the space on one wall and the other wall is a large window overlooking the patio. We incorporated this antique oil painting from a Parisian flea market and the little collection of framed prints by the cabinet. The rest of the decor is pretty simple with faux greenery.

antique art on wall in living room

Lighting for a Sitting Room

To create that cozy look, add a lamp instead of using overhead lighting. This space needs a light fixture, but more on that another time. The lamp is very adequate for this space when you want that cozy vibe.

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Create your sitting room space with an appropriate size rug. You can use a rug even if you have carpet in this space. This rug has become my favorite rug in our home…I simply love it.

tan plaid rug

Pillows and Throws

Want to add more cozy? Toss in those pillows and throws to make it extra comfy in your sitting room. Mix and match your pillows and add throw blankets to the back of chairs. Not only will pillows and throws make things cozy, but they add so much texture and pattern to a space.

throw blanket on chair

Window Treatments

I love how the pinch pleat curtains in here soften the space and warm it up. Drapes have a way of tying a room together for me and make it feel more cozy. Since our barndominium rental is out back, I plan to add some blinds so we can pull them at night for added privacy.

sitting room with pinch pleat curtains
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Sitting Room Sources

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Frequently Asked Questions

It’s a small seating area off of the kitchen where family or guests can hang out to keep the person who is cooking company. 

Softer, more comfortable furniture, decor and maybe even a small table for eating from.

Keeping rooms are making a modern-day comeback.

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