what the heck is a "keeping"

I am browsing floorplans for big houses and some of the big ones have rooms labeled “keeping”. It seems to have something to do with the kitchen and or formal entertaining?? I have no idea.

What the heck is a keeping? what is its purpose? Initially i thought it meant a “housekeeping” room…but it doesn’t look like it…

rrrg…snobby rich people have to have names for rooms we poor folk don’t even know about…

A keeping room has a couple of variations. In most uses, particularly when looking at large houses as you are, it is a sitting room, or parlour. It’s an older term that isn’t used very often anymore. In the U.S., we generally have living rooms and family rooms. A keeping room would probably be less formal than a living room (used more for entertaining guests), and more formal than a family room.

Another use of keeping room is from colonial days when houses basically had one main room that was used as kitchen, dinning room, living room, and bedroom. I doubt that’s the type of room on the floorplans you’re looking at.

A friend of mine inherited a mansion (and a lot of money) when we were youngsters. The mansion had a keeping room, and they actually called it that. It was a relatively small room, just off the entry, where the maid or butler would sit callers who weren’t family or friends. Untill they were ‘announced’, that is.
Sound’s kinda snobby, but it was intended as an alternative to leaving visitors on the porch. Cool :cool: huh?
So JeffB is right on.

Here’s a description from doing a Google:

I think the modern conception comes from the fact that no matter what you do when you have a large crowd, a large number of people want to congregate around the kitchen.