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ARCHIFYNOW > TIPS & IDEAS > Transport back to the 70s with the Sunken Living Room Trend

Transport back to the 70s with the Sunken Living Room Trend


Of all the architectural trends to come in and out of style, the sunken living room is one that shouldn't be easily dismissed or forgotten. Also known as conversation pits, this design feature hit its peak in the 70s as a way of inserting a cozy pocket in the home for reclining and connecting. The concept was originally introduced by architect, Bruce Goff, best known for his organic, eclectic and flamboyant house designs. 

Transport back to the 70s with the Sunken Living Room Trend
The Price House- Bruce Goff (Image credit: Horst P. Horst/Getty Images)

With no design quite the same, the trend has witnessed considerable changes over the decades. Whilst it was not the first sunken living room structure created, the space pictured above is a quintessential Goff design, sitting within the 'Price House'. Inspired by strong geometrical motifs, the sunken living area is shaped like a six-sided polygon- it is completely covered in carpet and does not feature any stairs. While it is not the most conventional or user-friendly design, the concept speaks to the era and is a focal point of the home.

Fast forward to today, the conversation pit can be applied to many different layouts and quite easily be made to be more user friendly through the addition of stairs and lessening the depth of the area. The trend goes beyond being a quirky architectural additive to a home and can largely benefit spaces that feel smaller or clients who want the illusion of higher ceilings. 

Incorporating a sunken living room into an open-plan space can also assist in dividing the different zones of a home. Without requiring a space to be extended, working downward with a slightly sunken area can help to make the home feel larger, working particularly well in builds located within inner-city suburbs that lack the room to grow.

While incorporating this trend into smaller homes can help to broaden the space, it also works well in creating intimacy and seclusion within larger spaces. If you are desiring to create division within a large open living area without blocking views, light or closing off the space, adding this feature in can effortlessly define each area while ensuring easy accessibility to each room.

Transport back to the 70s with the Sunken Living Room Trend

Perhaps the most important offering from this feature is the opportunity to create a cozy and elegant space that invites conversation and ambience. Within a digitally-driven era, it is important to offer a reminder to switch off any screens and connect with others. A sunken living room no matter the size welcomes relaxation and connection for residents and their guests.

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ArchifyNow is an online design media that focuses on bringing quality updates of architecture and interior design in Indonesia and Asia Pacific. ArchifyNow curates worthwhiles design stories that is expected to enrich the practice of design professionals while introducing applicable design tips and ideas to the public.
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