Keeping Room


We moved into our home 2+ years ago, and our keeping room has been the center of our daily activities, but it’s the least favorite spot for most of our family of five. It adjoins our kitchen and breakfast area and should be the center of our daily routine, but it’s not “homey” and needs some immediate attention. I LOVE everything Ballard Designs, so when I recently noticed the “decorating dilemmas” section on your web site, I knew immediately this was the direction for assistance. Please let me know what you think will work best for our home.

Thank you so much,


Dear Amy,

Thank you for your Decorating Dilemma questions. The fact that you feel your keeping room does not feel homey is a real issue. What good is a room if no one wants to be there. We think the reason is that it appears quite formal for a place for the family to relax. Not to worry, we are going to suggest some ideas on how to make the space less intimidating.

We love the drapery panels, but we feel the festoon top treatments make them a bit too formal. Try removing just the tops for a more relaxed look. Is there anyway the oriental rug can be moved to another part of the house?  Again, it is a bit formal for the room. We are suggesting our Saint Martin Bordered Indoor/Outdoor Rug. It would look great with a black or brass border.

From your photos, it looks like you want to slipcover or upholster the existing furniture. We love the idea of our Baldwin Sofa slipcovered in our small black check. The beauty of the Baldwin sofa is that you can order additional slips made exclusively for the Baldwin. It is a very comfortable sofa because of the down blend cushions and the small black check is sophisticated and yet relaxed and inviting. We think replacing the striped chairs with two Stratford Chairs covered in Marcella Dijon Easy Care Fabric would really update the look of the chairs with more of a club chair effect. Keep the ottoman and continue to use it as a coffee table. Add some pillows in Black Fleur De Lis and some in Marcella Dijon for a dramatic and balanced look.

We noticed that there are no lamps or side tables, so it is difficult to read or place a drink down. To the left of the sofa (facing it) we would like to see a Morgan End Table in Rubbed Black with Storage Baskets. On top of the end table the Cesson Table Lamp will look great! We think you need an additional table between the two chairs and the Olivia Side Table in antique black will do the trick. On the outside wall in the far left corner, the Canterbury Cabinet with the Cote d’Ivoire Lamp in Antique Ebony should make that corner come alive. Please remember that these are just suggestions to get you started. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with. And please snap a few photos so we can post them on Style Studio.

The Style Studio Team

1. Saint Martin Bordered Indoor/Outdoor Rug 2.Baldwin Sofa 3. Stratford Chairs 4. Morgan End Table 5. Cesson Table Lamp 6. Olivia side Table 7. Canterbury Cabinet 8. Cote d’Ivoire Lamp

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply


    January 24, 2022

    I have a smaller keeping room than before. I already own peacock pictures. Trying to find 3 chairs to match.

    • Reply

      Mallory Thomas

      January 27, 2022

      Hi Michelle,

      You can browse all of our chairs here. It’s tough making design suggestions without seeing your space; however, our free design services consultants would love to help you out!

      Happy Decorating,