If you are thinking about renovating your living room, you don’t have to go the traditional “four walls and a flat floor” route. Using different levels within the same space can give your living space a whole different dimension, and can give a feeling of coziness – especially when creating seating areas. It is particularly useful if you have a living space with dual purpose, or an open plan home, to define different areas. So how can you create this in your own home? Try making a conversation pit. Here’s what you need to know before renovating.
The sunken conversation pit
Back in 1959, the first conversation pit appeared in Homes and Garden Magazine, in the home of J.Irwin and Xenia Miller – celebrated patrons of modern design and interiors. The pit was designed by the architects Alexander Girard and Eero Saarinen, and was 2.5 foot deep, covering a 15 foot squared section of their living room. Each side of the conversation pit was lined with sofas and cushions. This unique idea created an intimate and cozy space to spend time with friends and family, focusing on each other. The same design was then used in New York’s JFK Airport in the TWA terminal.
Building a conversation pit
Due to the construction logistics, building a conversation pit is not a simple procedure – it involves digging a hole into the foundations in order to create a space large enough for your seating arrangement. It will be a financial investment in your home. The process is very similar to installing an indoor swimming pool. It is certainly advisable to get a professional to deal with the construction. You will need to keep track of the measurements though so that you can install sofas and cushions that fit perfectly in the space.
A retro comeback
Conversation pits are making a comeback in home design. Maybe we are getting tired of staring at computers and televisions all evening. It is certainly a refreshingly sociable living room feature, celebrating the importance of spending time with family and friends. The women’s club, The Wing, based in Dumbo, Brooklyn has recently installed a conversation pit, looking strikingly modern – a great space for intimate conversations. And architect Craig Steely installed a beautiful purple sofa pit in one of his home designs that took Instagram by storm.
The conversation pit is back on the interior design map. Rather than looking like a 1960s gimmick, it is a modern way to move the focus of your home to the people that live there.
This isn’t the type of post I enjoy writing. Especially because one of the products I’m disappointed with from a brand that champions cruelty-free beauty. But I felt compelled to share my experiences with these two products – particularly because one of them has already received rave reviews.
The products I’m talking about are: Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops (in Light) and Superdrug’s Calm Skin Hydrating 2in1 Serum and Moisturiser.
Isle of Paradise’s Self-Tanning Drops
When I saw this luminious liquid on the shelves on the cusp of summer I was so excited. Not only was it £10 cheaper than my usual facial tanning oil but there was a shiny new range too – all of which is cruelty free and vegan! Absolute touch.
I tried these drops for a whole month and applied them as recommended by mixing them in with my usual facial moisturiser. I added 3-4 tiny drops and gently rubbed them in to my face. I was pleased with how quickly my face “tanned”. What I didn’t enjoy was the weird, wishy-washy, almost wood stain effect that kept congregating around my hairline and my eyebrows. Despite me ensuring an even spread of the drops, I would always end up with a patch of brown around any hair follicles. It meant I had to literally scrub at these patches to get rid of them, but even with pressure, these stains weren’t budging.
I was so disappointed that Isle of Paradise didn’t work out for me, especially because the brand is so fresh and utilises organic ingredients. I have got on well with the gradual tan body moisturiser which I use for my hands and feet when I’ve done a full-body tan. So in a way, we’re kind of on OK terms.
I ended up going back to my favourite facial tanning oil which is Vita Liberata, an anti age serum. This is more expensive but doesn’t give me the weird wood stain effect. I love it because there’s no animal derivatives, no parabens and no weird fragrance that you always get with self-tan products.
Superdrug Calm Skin Hydrating 2in1 Serum & Moisturiser
It pains me the most to write negatively about this beauty product.
I always switch up my daily facial moisturiser because I tend to use the more robust and targeted products at night. So when I saw this new 2in1 moisturiser serum from Superdrug at a very purse-friendly price I was super excited.
I can’t applaud Superdrug enough for it’s cruelty-free stance and product range. If I’m ever in doubt about any make-up or skincare you can guarantee that own brand superdrug hasn’t been tested on any bunnies. So it’s a safe choice.
Anyway, I gave this face cream a go for a whole month but it took me a while to work out where these strange white blobs kept appearing from across my face and on my hands. It turns out that every time I was rubbing my face this moisturiser was coming off from the top dermis of my skin and congealing into small blobs which meant that it wasn’t actually penetrating my skin at all. So this meant the ingredients probably weren’t working either. What a shame!
Have you used any of these products? How did you get on?
I’m going to write a post soon about products that I have loved this summer!
I’ve previously written about my favourite cruelty-free products for Autumn which will soon be upon us (bye summer).