Do you use your Hearth/Keeping Room?

BuildingSoon1November 7, 2012

My husband and I are looking at a plan that includes a hearth/keeping room next to the kitchen. Does anyone who has one of these in their homes actually use it or do you think it's a waste of space?

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I do not have one, but our dear friends do and they use theirs all of the time. It seems that everyone congregates in the kitchen and then they retire in the hearth room. It is rare that we ever go into their living room.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 8:00PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Our kitchen is open to the family room with bkfst nook and we have the woodstove and tv here....we use this space all the time....the library and dining room get used really only for formal entertaining...otherwise, this is the room we're, pm and everything in between. So I guess it's a hearth room, in a sense....

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Hearth for casual entertaining, everyday living and family time.

"Living" room for more formal entertaining.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:21PM
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we have one and i wish we'd made it a little bigger because i think we would use it constantly. as it is it's barely going to fit a couch and chair (i know, i know, we should have furniture planned, but architect assured us it'd be plenty big).

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:55PM
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Our kitchen opens into the hearth room and it is used continually. Kids homework, tv, reading by the fireplace, etc.

It is rarely not being used.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:35AM
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Threeapples- Don't feel bad. I saw the same thing on a Bob Vila show...and the homeowner WAS an architect!

We don't have a hearth room, but I wish we did. It's so cozy to have a seating area off the kitchen :)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 11:55AM
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Beth Parsons

When deciding on a house plan we only considered those with a hearth/family room in addition to the main living/great room. Our family room is on the small size, about 16 x 15 but it is right off the kitchen and breakfast room and the only stairs in the house open here as well. We intend to spend most of our family time in this area and don't plan on putting a TV in the great room, keeping it for guest use and a quiet reading area.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 1:47PM
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I don't exactly understand a hearth disrespect & I'm not trying to sound "crazy." I thought a hearth room was like a little extension of the kitchen to gather before/during/after meals. It seems that Hearth rooms are actually becoming larger & used like a family room and usually there is another more formal living room used for guest, formal times. Explain this to me, I love exploring plans and how people live in their floor plans/homes. I had thought so many people were getting away from a great room/family room and that of an extra, formal living room. It seems the hearth room might be replacing the family room and it is popular again to have a formal living room that is used less often? Again, not putting a hearth room down, just trying to see how we live!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 9:27PM
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Beth Parsons

Speaking for myself, I like the old-fashioned idea of a den. Not one from the 70's with a naugahyde couch and shag carpeting, but one where the family can gather and relax in privacy away from the front of the house and out of sight from unexpected visitors knocking on the door and peering thru the windows. :)

I am personally not that great of a housekeeper so my foyer, dining room and great room are my 'pretty rooms' and I'll be able to receive guests here at any time. We still intend to use these areas but they will be a bit more formal and there won't be a TV in the great room.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 10:42PM
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The only complaint I have ever heard about one is that it was too small. If you have one, it seems to be the default congregating area.

We eliminated ours and are glad we did because it would have put our screened porch even further away (right now it is behind our breakfast table and we use it CONSTANTLY).

Our den is open to our kitchen though (wide cased opening) so it seemed redundant to have 3 sitting areas connected to the kitchen. Between the porch and the den we are covered.

I think they are particularly useful when you have a kitchen that is not open to the family room. . .

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Watch out for marketing labels. A hearth room is just a family area off with a close relationship to the kitchen, presumably regaining some of the coziness the "family room" used to have before it ballooned in size and developed walls covered with 14' tall windows, etc.

So, do you want a small, cozy family room? Or one big enough to hold all your parties in? What would you do with whatever other spaces that plan offers? What label would YOU apply to the function(s) of another, larger room?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 6:25PM
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