The concept of a sunken seating area (also known as a conversation pit) within your home, somewhere dedicated to casual entertaining, has been used in interior design since the 1920s. It reached the peak of its popularity from the 1950s to the 1970s, and made a small comeback in the 1990s. Now, sunken seating is once again back on trend.
Such a seating arrangement can produce an interesting multi-level effect within a room, and can be a stunning focal point. If you’re interested in creating an intimate entertaining area, or a secret hideaway for rest and relaxation, then these 12 superb examples of sunken seating should help inspire you!
1. This example is very reminiscent of late sixties designs, with its central fireplace, minimalistic style, and monochromatic colour scheme. It’s perfect for cocktails and conversation – a stylish addition to any modern home.
2. Sunken seating can be used to dramatic effect outside the home, too, as this space within a swimming pool proves. Shaded, and with lots of comfortable cushions, this is a great place to relax after a morning dip.
3. This distinctive Mediterranean-style area makes a fantastic outdoor dining room, and creates an open sense of flow from the house into the garden – perfect for family events or an intimate dinner for two.
4. Another seating area within a pool, this is a stunning piece of garden design. The beautiful shift of colour from green to blue to bright white is breath-taking, and will amaze any guests lucky enough to be invited over.
5. If you haven’t the room inside your home for sunken seating, or you’re worried about changing around your home’s foundation, it can instead be a centrepiece of your garden. This one is bright and fun, perfect for a garden barbecue.
6. The sleek curved lines and white surroundings are clearly derived from the space age styles of the late 60s, making this pit look faintly reminiscent of something from sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. This area has been designed with the full multi-media experience in mind, boasting large projector screens for film nights and surround sound for an immersive night of entertainment.
7. If you’re hankering for somewhere you can go to relax and daydream, then this grotto is for you. Warm, cosy, and eye-catching, stepping into it will feel like stepping into a fantasy world.
8. This is a very modernist look, with its stark minimalist colour scheme and glass walls to blur the line between outside and inside. The orange and red cushions make sure the space doesn’t look clinical, though, adding an enticing warmth for family and guests.
9. These are designed to blend with the sky and the sea. While away the hours, and feel as if you’re floating away – just another cloud in an endless blue sky.
10. Sunken seating areas can still exude that classic or traditional feel, as this example demonstrates. The brown leather upholstery and modest fireplace give the room a simplicity, making it somewhere you could happily spend hours and hours.
11. If you’ve got a green thumb and love your garden, this is a simple and chic way to create a comfortable area to relax in!
12. This is an amazing flow-through of outdoor and indoor dining; creating a bright and open space that can be used for everyday dining or the backdrop to a party.