Interior Design Trend: Sunken Living Rooms

26 April 2021

See how this contemporary trend can work within your space.

The trend of sunken rooms originally became popular in the 1950’s, where it was predominantly seen in outdoor living areas. Now, with design-driven homes becoming increasingly popular, the trend is being seen within the living areas of contemporary homes.

Photo: Darren Bradley

Sunken living rooms are characterised by the drop in floor level, most commonly accessed by a few steps which are often designed to subtly blend in with the seating area. The trend has evolved as time has gone on, with interior designers utilising the structure in bespoke or unusual shapes, such as a circular sunken lounge area.

Photo: ShiXiang WanHe

This adaptable trend looks great in both big and small spaces, with the ability to add depth and levels to a space if done correctly. Central fire solutions can be specified to sit within the sunken level, creating a cosy space that acts as a stunning design feature. The range of indoor fire solutions from Urban Outdoors can be specified with full glass edges, creating a stunning effect from every angle of the sunken space.

Photo: Naho Kubota

Contemporary homes usually feature large elevations of frameless or slim framed glazing, flooding the interior spaces with light and granting uninterrupted views for the occupants looking out. Where floor to ceiling glass is specified, blind systems should be considered. Concealed blinds from Grants Blinds are designed to offer the most minimal design, to allow sunken living rooms to function as a cinema space and eliminate the risk of solar glare.

Photo: James Stokes/Living Inside

If the sunken living room was used as a cinema space, smart home technology can be incorporated for an effortless experience. A complete smart home system from IndigoZest is tailored to suit each project's individual needs, with smart lighting and integrated speakers offering cinema spaces an immersive experience. Blind systems can be integrated within the smart home system, to ensure everything is seamlessly controlled from one central remote (or smartphone).

Photo: Fernando Alda

The furniture choices are often what dictates the design of a sunken living room, with some homeowners preferring to keep things neutral and others going for a bold coloured sofa. Whatever your preference, luxury furniture makers IQ Furniture are on hand to help with any bespoke furniture needs, working with interior designers to enhance your space with hand-crafted pieces.

Photo: Derek Swalwell

If step-free access is required, you can specify a home lift system to travel between levels. There is a range of lift solutions from Morgan Ellis Lifts that can be incorporated within a sunken living room, maintaining minimal and sleek design schemes. When specifying a home lift, materials and colours can be chosen to enhance the surroundings, whether blending in with the existing décor or creating a contrast.


To speak to one of the experts about incorporating this ultra-modern trend within your space, email We can assist with design advice, specification, and finding the right brands for you to work with.

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