CREATE YOUR OWN 1970s INTERIORS – ON A BUDGET!

Carpeted Pits & Platforms

Both types of built-in seating, the conversation pit and the seating platform serve the same social purpose; the difference is simply structural. Seating platforms (above) are constructed on top of the floor, while conversation pits (below) are built in advance, beneath the surface. Consisting of carpeted areas in multiple horizontal levels, these pits and platforms are most often found in living rooms and are designed to seat a large number of people.
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Serving as couches, endtables, and room dividers, pits and platforms are the only “furniture” really needed in a room. Look how the platforms in the above image are used to break up the space of a large room, and create multiple seating areas.
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In addition to living rooms, bedrooms can also be suitable candidates for pits and platforms. However, pits and platforms are usually used for more social areas. Along with a bed, this pink conversation pit even includes a sink:
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Though pits and platforms are essentially steps (steps that you sit on), they rarely contain actual staircases. The below ski resort is ingenious. Building staircases into your platforms also allows you to continue the same platform onto multiple floors of your home:

Here’s another view of the seating platform with the arrow supergraphic from a previous post:

Modifications

The below seating platform includes drywall which allows for a two-toned color scheme. It doesn’t look quite as comfortable, but it melts into the wall and ceiling nicely. Additionally, check out the bed and couch that have fabric/cushions which camouflage into the color of the carpet:

The five rectangular prisms at the top of the next seating platform are really cushions upholstered in black fabric. They are lightweight and easy to move, making the levels of your platform itself modular:

If you look closely, you can tell that the next living room’s seating is actually half carpeted platforms, half-upholstered couches. If the yellow rug in the center was also red-orange, it would barely be distinguishable from some of the seating platforms at the beginning of this post:

Not a true platform or pit, the below image is simply wooden furniture upholstered in carpet on a flat floor:

This room’s platform does not fulfill the same seating-role as most platforms; instead it exists as an open play area:

Construction

Conversation pits are not exactly a do-it-yourself project unless you are a professional. Platforms are much easier (and cheaper) to build as they require no alterations to the existing floor. A good compromise between the two is to build a raised platform with a hollow in it, as pictured below. Whatever you choose, you need to be aware of your local building codes and general safety.

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Citations by Section

In order of appearance, the images in the first section under “Carpet Pits & Platforms” are from: Living for Today (1972), unknown, The House Book (1974), unknown, and Ugly House Photos (1974). The images in “Modifications” are from: The House Book (1974), unknown, Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book (1975), unknown, and Sunset Children’s Rooms & Play Yards (1980). The first image and the text blocks in “Construction” are from The House Book (1974) and the remaining images are from this website (2005)- look at the link under “Riser Construction.”

Additionally check out this amazing post on pits and platforms by Ouno Design.

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