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Sunken Living Rooms Making a Comeback


Luxury living room with tile floors, coffered ceilings, and plants.

You know that saying, "what goes out of style always comes back"? Well, it holds true for the conversation pit, a super cool design idea where sunken seating areas create cozy spots for hanging out. This trend has actually been around for ages, popping up in different cultures from ancient China to medieval Spain. Imagine lounging with your friends on comfy cushions and rugs in these sunken living spaces - sounds awesome, right?

Back in the 1950s and 60s, this concept really took off, thanks to creative minds like Eero Saarinen, Paul Rudolph, and Alexander Girard, who were the modern rockstars of design back then. They started adding conversation pits and sunken rooms in homes and even in public places. The Miller House in Columbus, Indiana, designed by Saarinen and Girard, is like the superstar of this trend. It had this short staircase leading down to a sunken living room, all outlined with a sleek continuous sofa. This place was a hit, and suddenly sunken living rooms were popping up all over the place.

But, as the years went on, the conversation pit started losing its shine. Some families found it impractical, especially those with kids, while others just thought it looked outdated. So, this cool design idea took a backseat for a while.

Fast forward to today, and guess what? Architects are giving the conversation pit a fresh makeover! They're playing around with modern materials, fun colors, and even taking these pits outside to breathe new life into them. It's like a blast from the past with a modern twist. So, the conversation pit might have had its ups and downs, but it's making a comeback in style. Whether you're chilling in a vintage one or enjoying a new and improved version, these sunken lounges are here to stay - and to give you a comfy spot to chat and relax with your pals.

So before you reject a home that has a couple step downs - keep in mind that you would be embracing a reemerging trend!


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