Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We Are Family - Part One

Where does your family hang out? My family is small. Just me and Alberto and our dog Cholo. Our house is small too. And our Living Room is small. But the decor is huge ha ha.

Maybe you have a Family Room. Or maybe a Keeping Room, a term used in the olden days, but back in fashion these days. Or a Great Room, a term that gained popularity in the 1980's when middle class housing started to take on proportions of castles and mansions. Wonder why they aren't called McCastles, instead of McMansions...
Anyway, what do you call the room where your family hangs out in?

Colonial Keeping Room

The multi-purpose aspect of a Keeping Room today is similar to its function in Colonial days.
Keeping Rooms date back to Colonial times when families would sleep in that area when the rest of the house was cold.

Although people don't regularly sleep in Keeping Rooms now and there were certainly no televisions in Colonial times, children still play there and families gather there to read, talk and often keep warm by the fire. In warmer climates a fireplace is not usually a part of a Keeping Room, but in many regions a fireplace may be ornamental rather than heat-producing.

My kitchen (image above and below) has a fireplace,
and I have used soft furnishings there from time to time,
but I wouldn't call it a Keeping Room
(even if Alberto and Cholo sleep in the wing chair from time to time).

A Keeping Room is an area just off the kitchen of a home.

The image above shows the modern Keeping Room configuration

Since the area could be heated by the kitchen stove, it often provided the only heated place in the house. Today, a Keeping Room is called by many different names, depending on one's geographical location, such as a Family Room, a Great Room and a Hearth Room.

A fireplace is the focal point in many Keeping Rooms today. Many people also have a television in this room and families gather in here daily. The whole idea of a Keeping Room is to have a family gathering place that is near the kitchen. The open space concept of the room is popular with modern design trends. Keeping Rooms help to sell a home as they are usually very popular, well-used rooms. Homeowners working in the kitchen area are able to see and hear their children playing or watching television in the Keeping Room.

When entertaining, they can also talk to guests easily from the kitchen. A Keeping Room can be small or large, but it is always next to the kitchen.

A Family Room is an informal, all-purpose room in a house similar to a Living Room and a Keeping Room.

The Family Room is designed to be a place where family and guests gather for group recreation like talking, reading, watching TV, and other family activities.

Are you confused yet? Well, what about the Living Room?

From our dear friend Wiki Pedia:

A living room, also known as sitting room, lounge room or lounge (in the United Kingdom and Australia), is a room for entertaining guests, reading, watching TV or other activities. The term front room can also be used to describe a living room, because in many homes the living room is at the very front. In modern homes and apartments, the living room has replaced the old-fashioned front parlour.

A Lounge in The UK

In the 19th century, the front parlour was the room in the house used for formal social events, including where the recently deceased were laid out before their funeral. The term marks the twentieth-century effort of architects and builders to strip the parlour of its burial and mourning associations. This room was relabeled with the more affirmative term "living room" in the 20th century.

A typical western living room will be furnished with a sofa, chairs, occasional tables, a television or stereo equipment, and bookshelves, as well as other pieces of furniture. Traditionally, a sitting room in the United Kingdom would have a fireplace. In Japan, people traditionally sat on tatami instead of chairs, but Western-style decor is also common these days.

In the United States, sometimes the living room is reserved for more formal and quiet entertaining while a separate recreation room or family room is used for more casual activities and drinking.

In recent years, the term "great room" has come to be used to denote the family room, especially if it is open to the kitchen, and may feature a vaulted ceiling.

The Great Room

My great room (above), our one an only room used as a Living Room
where our small family gathers and keeps each other warm and cozy -
Our other great room is used for a dance parlour where we teach tango lessons-
more on parlours later ha ha


La Maison Fou said...

Love these contrasts & comparisons....... we hang out in the kitchen, our family room & the adjoining keeping room on the other side of the kitchen.
Thanks for the pics.....interesting how the family hangout has evolved. I grew up hanging out in the "den" .....

laurelstreet said...

The big kitchen and breakfast room was the saving grace of Laurel Street. I'm loving the keeping room concept - I'd love to ditch my breakfast table and turn it into another living space! Maybe a bay window.... hmmm.

P.S. Great seeing you today! xoxo

La Petite Gallery said...

You have done it!

I have a napkin and I am wiping my mouth.
The Best yet!!!!
I LOVE the top one with big windows, fire place and slate floors..

Yvonne from Maine

Linda in AZ * said...

* Sometimes a particular blog comes along & "POW"~~~ it has "your" name (in this case, MINE!) written allll over it... Most of the pics you've shared here have so many of "THE" elements for this ol' gal!!!

MY particular dreamhome exudes old world/western warmth & "natural charm", w/ STONE (& lots OF it!), endless streams of "ollld, naturally distressed wood"/plank flooring, LOTS of glass (butted in corners, of course, so there's NO BREAK in the views!), wide open spaces w/ beamed/cathedral-type ceilings, fireplaces "everywhere" (one being a "walk-in"...of course, NOT for walking INTO~ ha!~ but just cuz I love the look of casual grandness about it!)~~~~~~ And while not much of a "REAL" cook anymore, a unique, big, wonderful Chambers stove in the big, open kitchen...

Soft goods are clean & uncomplicated, rather "loft chic" & leaning on the more contemporary side (but just because of the lack of clutter & the fact that so much is all white!). There's a variety of LOTS OF different WHITES in the soft goods, & LOTS of FABULOUS textures (suedes, wools, some leathers, natural linen & cotton, even a touch of chenille...) beautifully worn old pine pieces & a just a spattering here n' there of special accent pieces of glorious, dark wood...

The resulting look is "simple & UNpretentious luxury, in a very casual way", w/ sunlight streaming in thru the huge windows to welcome us and our family & friends ... we add some family pieces of silver w/ that "special" patina that only years of loving & polishing can attain, built-in bookcases everywhere (no "formal" DR... the open area designated "library" IS the DR...

Mix together with husband, dawg and "yours truly", adding loving family & long-time, faithful & fun friends, as the "icing on the cake", and VOILA!!! You have "ONE HAPPY CAMPER" here!!! (And that's only the INteriors... oh, now the EXTERIORS are ANOTHER "mini book", Val!!!)

Hmmm.... alllll this "INSTANT DREAMING" came to mind just by enjoying your fantastic pics, Val!!!...

...SOOO, thanks, girlfriend~ I had a ball!~~~~~~~We'll be happy to greet you out at the pool or at the fire w/ DH & Cholo!

Linda in AZ *

Linda in AZ * said...

P.S. Sorry, I see I got quite "carried away" there VERBALLY, kiddo! But since I DID, may I add when we DO greet the three of you (w/ a bottle of Dom in hand, of course & a nice bone for Cholo from Belle), I'll be wearing my fave Acubra (Australian Cowboy hat), silk shirt, size 6 skinny jeans w/ fave silver n' turquoise belt & J.B. Hill boots.......( HEY, this IS all a DREAM ANYWAY, RIGHT????? SOOOO, I'll just "GO FOR IT!"!!)~~~
Big smiles n' XO, Linda *

Simply Mel said...

My sweet little fam likes to hang out on the sofa or gather every. single. pillow in the house and pretend we live in Morocco while lounging on a puff of feathers! All this happens in our living room because when you live in less than 1000 sq. ft., pretty much the entire house is your cozy hangout!

And seriously, is that your house in the last photo? If so, LOVE the decor!

Gwen Driscoll said...

We hang in Keeping Room, Sunroom and our Library. All are cozy spaces which I love most. Hope all is well. Great post.

Ragland Hill Social

kanishk said...

pretty much the entire house is your cozy hangout!

Work from home India

Jan said...

Very informative.
That's a lovely fireplace you have in your kitchen.
Yes in the UK some do say lounge - for living room - but I always think that sounds pretentious.
You'd think so too if you saw some of them.
I hang out at my computer :)

Kris said...

im definitely drooling over these pictures.... and they aren't of food WOW!

Renee Finberg said...

no kidding
your is the best!
merry xmas my love

NYCLQ said...

I LOVE the pop of TURQ!!