We’re bringing you six sunken lounges from the est archives that marry comfort and conversation.

Sunken lounges or ‘conversation pits’ embody the very essence of the living room: to relax and bring people together. First appearing in homes in the 1950s and becoming a symbol of modernity and social interaction through the 60s and 70s, we’re celebrating the sunken lounge resurgence with these six standout designs. 

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Photography by Barbara Corsico

01. ‘The Schoolhouse’

Location: Galway City, Ireland

Design: Kingston Lafferty Design

Dublin-based studio Kingston Lafferty Design (KLD) converted a three-storey Georgian-style home in Galway City into a spirited family home. The project features a statement sunken lounge, which KLD co-director Roisin Lafferty says is one of her favourite features in the home. The moss-green velvet cushions are the only element of colour within the space, strategically chosen to juxtapose with the grey stone floors while complementing the surrounding greenery.

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Photography by Barbara Corsico

02. ‘Casa Figueira’

Location: Gadigal Country / Sydney, Australia

Design: Luigi Rosselli Architects & Atelier Alwill

Featured in est magazine issue 49, Casa Figueira saw Sydney-based Luigi Rosselli Architects and Atelier Alwill craft a warm, sophisticated home on the harbour. Atelier Alwill’s approach to the interiors was to layer earthy, organic materials with moments of refinement. The custom leather-upholstered sunken lounge, which ties in with the surrounding palette of rich wood tones, is symptomatic of this approach.  

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Photography by Prue Ruscoe

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Photography by Prue Ruscoe

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Photography by Timothy Kaye

03. ‘Bungalow N’

Location: Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Country / Melbourne, Australia

Design: CJH Studio and Matt Goodman Architecture Office (MGAO)

Melbourne-based interior design studio CJH and architects MGAO transformed the interiors of a Caulfield North Californian bungalow into a rich amalgamation of materials and design details. The custom sunken lounge – featuring an opulent palette of rust tones and Calacatta Viola marble – marks a focal moment in the project, responding to the clients’ love of entertaining and tactile materials.

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Photography by Timothy Kaye

04. ‘M House’

Location: Gadigal Country / Sydney, Australia

Design: Rama Architects

Sydney-based Rama Architects envisioned a tranquil, nature-infused sanctuary on the shoreline of Clareville Beach. The home’s sunken lounge, with its deep blue hues mirroring the ocean, is situated so the family can enjoy social gatherings while soaking up the spectacular views.

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Photography by Anson Smart

est living m house rama architects 16

Photography by Anson Smart

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Photography by Prue Ruscoe

05. ‘Soft Serve’

Location: Gadigal Country / Sydney, Australia

Design: YSG Studio

Sydney-based interior design studio YSG reimagined a former corner shop in Rozelle by injecting it with colour, character and individuality. Due to the elevation of the kitchen, the design team incorporated a sunken lounge into the project, employing Marmorino plaster to mould the custom built-in seating.

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Photography by Prue Ruscoe

06. ‘Brooke House’

Location: Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Country / Melbourne, Australia

Design: Doherty Design Studio

In Melbourne’s Hawthorn, Studio Doherty revitalised a red-brick Californian bungalow by bridging the gap between indoors and outdoors. At the centre of the project is a conversation pit dressed in soft blue tones, creating the sensation of fully immersing in the home’s lush surroundings. 

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Photography by Dave Kulesza

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Photography by Dave Kulesza

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