Sunken Rooms: Design Challenge or Buried Treasure?

Sunken rooms – wherein a living space is some steps beneath the relaxation of the home – can be traced again to the Nineteen Twenties. Still, the style didn’t absolutely hit the mainstream until the swinging ‘60s. It was then that sunken rooms, or “verbal exchange pits,” were the envy of absolutely everyone on the block. Created as a manner to introduce a feeling of intimacy to houses, these sunken dwelling regions driven households and visitors into one small and cozy space.

While sunken rooms aren’t as popular these days, there has been a resurgence of the fashion. You might have inherited a sunken room whilst you acquire your own home. Or you’re seeking out a completely unique layout feature on your new place. Either manner, it is probably time to start deliberating sunken rooms otherwise. With the proper layout and decor, your sunken room might just become your favored spot in your house.

Sunken room pros

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Living room with conversation pit

Sunken rooms can create conversation. Image: sirtravelalot/Shutterstock

There’s a motive sunken residing rooms have been so wildly popular inside the ‘60s and ‘70s. In an era wherein social occasions took place inside the home, sunken rooms had been the right manner to make a domestic feel more intimate. Even in case you’re no longer planning on throwing a celebration at your location, sunken areas surely have their advantages.

  • They outline the gap. Sunken spaces are splendid for massive, open concept homes. When partitions are few, having rooms on a decrease stage genuinely delineates the distance with out destroying any sight lines. The feeling of openness is preserved without dropping any definition between, say, the dwelling room and the kitchen.
  • They create intimacy. Cozy sunken rooms which can be outfitted with comfortable seating and pillows are a exquisite way to introduce a more intimate area in your property. Whether you operate it for verbal exchange or board games, it pushes the members of your own family right into a smaller space for a cozier vibe.
  • They introduce individual. Sunken spaces provide homes extra man or woman whilst compared to a flat, field-like floorplan. Some houses even feature round sunken areas and thrilling woodwork to name interest to the element.
  • They can make a room feel extra spacious. Sunken rooms growth the space between the floor and ceiling, that may make the gap experience pretty open. The added area among floor and ceiling makes a room appearance bigger. Installing a skylight or thrilling lights fixture above the sunken room can also draw the eye up.

Sunken room cons

Sunken room living room

Sunken rooms can create verbal exchange. Image: sirtravelalot/Shutterstock

Okay, so it’s now not all peace, love and sunken areas. There are a few drawbacks to think about, particularly in case you’re thinking about designing a sunken room in your private home.

  • They can motive accidents. If you requested maximum humans what they disliked approximately their sunken rooms, possibilities are that the biggest grievance might clearly be that they’re bulky. If you’re now not looking ahead to more than one stairs leading right into a room, there’s a danger of tripping and falling. It may look like no huge deal, however if you’re living with a person who has accessibility issues, sunken rooms can be risky.
  • They don’t provide an awful lot flexibility. Let’s face it: if you have a sunken room, there’s no longer loads you could do with it. Sure, you can repurpose a room for lounging or swap it out for a playroom, however you’re limited to running with a now and again abnormal area for layouts. Even in case you get creative with how you use the space, it usually stays in the same place and also you’re constantly confined by using the scale and form.
  • They aren’t open idea. If you’re yearning an open idea home, sunken rooms can disrupt the ones dreams. Because they define spaces so decisively, sunken rooms aren’t genuinely taken into consideration factors in an open idea layout.

Working with sunken rooms

Split level living room

Use shade to indicate indoor stairs. Image: pics721/Shutterstock

Already have a domestic that features a sunken room? There are absolutely methods to make it go with the flow with the relaxation of your layout. Try these recommendations to make certain your sunken room is as secure as it's miles fashionable.

  • Take precautions. Remember that traffic gained’t be as used to the sunken space as someone who lives in your own home. Install handrails or use materials to ensure the stairs are without a doubt marked. You can use exceptional flooring for the steps, for example. Or you may paint the stairs so that they’re smooth to see and don’t combination in with the relaxation of the floor.
  • Use the right fixtures. Make sunken areas look extra practical and less awkward by means of filling them with fixtures. Using the proper scale for couches, tables and pillows gives the sunken space a clean cause: lounging. Filling it with toy garage and activity facilities makes it clear that it’s supposed for youngsters. No depend how you use your sunken space, filling it with pieces gets rid of awkward angles.
  • Use coloration and mild. Sunken rooms – specifically the ones in older homes – can once in a while seem dark and unwelcoming. Utilize mild and shade to make the gap greater inviting. Incorporate the same colorings inside the sunken room as you do inside the rest of your own home. Match upholstery and furnishings so the room is a cohesive part of your house design. And don’t forget about lots of mild: an thrilling overhead fixture and masses of accessory lights make sure your sunken room doesn’t experience darkish and dank.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, sunken rooms will probably constantly be a part of American structure and home design. Whether your house came with a sunken room otherwise you’re planning one as part of a brand new domestic, they can in reality be interesting and chic design functions. With the proper eye and a bit love, a sunken room can honestly become your very very own buried treasure.


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