The living room is important and one of the most prominent rooms in the house. Whatever purpose it serves for you — something like a bonding area for the family, watching TV, playing games, or even entertaining guests — the sunken living room tends to be the center of the home.
This part of the house is what you often see first as you enter the house and welcome your guests. This being said is where you would want to give it a stylish and unique architectural design, display your classical pieces, most expensive and beautiful art, and furniture.
According to Realtor.com and Houzz traced the origin of the sunken living room; it is Kansasborn architect Bruce Goff who in 1927 designed a house for his teacher, Adah Robinson. This home was built in the Art Deco Style and had the never seen before sunken conversation pit. Many of Goff’s designs featured the conversation pit and later inspired other architects.
Eero Saarinen worked with interior designer Alexander Girard was inspired and included the sunken conversation pit in one of their design for Indiana’s Miller House – it was large that seemed liked the entire room had been sunken into the floor. Eero Saarinen also designed the TWA terminal at New York’s JFK airport in 1962 with a sunken seating area.
Make Sunken Living Room Safety
A sunken seating home design gives height definition and creates a cozy and intimate feeling in an opened-space area. Though this aesthetic home design seems impressive, it became unpopular because of safety as the main concern. This design poses some dangers mainly because of the different floor levels, and that is why it is crucial when using this home design. But how do we enjoy the beauty and vibe of a sunken living room without getting compromised?
1. Stairways Fall Prevention
In addition to the usual set up of a living room, you will find a few stair-steps in a sunken living room design. Because of this, there are some factors that you need to consider when installing and designing the stairs. Some of these are the following:
- Dimension – Each stair-step should be uniformed and based on the standard dimension. You would also want to consider the angle and adjust the steepness of the staircase to make it comfortable and exert lesser effort when climbing.
- Surface – There are ways to reduce the risk of slipping on stairs. You can use non-slippery mats on the whole steps or at least on the edges. There are also others that are rubbermade or painted with slip-resistant paint surfaces. These types of surface create greater resistance.
- Handrails – Installation of handrails gives support while going up and down the stairs. Therefore, it must be easily, quickly, and firmly graspable once you lost your balance. There are different handrails that you can choose from and if you want to go for a unique and innovative style, please make sure it still serves the purpose.
- Visibility – Enhanced visibility on the stairs will also reduce the risk of tripping due to misjudging the distance. A lighting effect such as LED lights or illumination, adding more color contrast is recommended. It is also advisable to avoid using patterned floorings which may visibly hide differences in height.
- Good housekeeping – Nonetheless, good housekeeping on the stairs is also vital. Make sure to clean up the spills, wet spots, or remove any debris immediately. If you have installed lighting, make sure it is always working properly and all wirings are hidden safely. It is best to always maintain the good condition of the stairs.
2. Overall Choice of Colors and Patterns
Given that the idea of a sunken living room is to create a sense of area and separation without having visible walls, choosing colors and patterns for the design is also important. To distinguish the sunken living area from the elevated space, you can choose a different color and style for the flooring but keep in mind to minimize or not to use patterns at all for the stairs as mentioned earlier. You can also use vibrant colors for the sofa or pillows. These will visually increase the appearance and depth of the sunken area.
I realized that in general, despite of the architectural design of a house, safety should be the priority.