A conversation pit by a fireplace was the center of this spectacular 2-story living room

A conversation pit by a fireplace was the center of this two-story living room
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Here’s a gorgeous home from 1959 — one example of the kind of luxurious vintage midcentury modern home that’s still admired all these decades later.

It checked the boxed for so many of the high-end features popular in the 50s and 60s: super high ceilings, lots of glass, wide vistas, wooden plank paneling, sunken seating area, a unique fireplace, and stone walls. 

This custom-designed small house sat on a wooded, sloping site in Mill Valley, California. The home itself was a simple box shape, but it opened up and seems to soar among the trees.

The secret was that two of its borders were audacious, full glass walls, two stories high. One of them opened completely — with 16-foot ceiling-height glass doors — onto a terrace and out to a view glimpsed through ancient trees.

Vintage fireplace and conversation pit from the 1950s (2)

Indoors in the main open room, this recessed area accommodated a generous built-in sofa. From there, one could get a simultaneous sense of shelter — from the fireplace and the massive stone wall around it — and of openness.

The sunken conversation pit by a fireplace in the two-story living room neatly separated the space into two areas without an intervening wall.

The near-floor-level viewpoint from this midcentury modern house diminished the foreground, and accentuated the sky and the trees. The terrace and deck merged with the indoor area, and the glass side wall was made private by luxuriant native forest on a steep downward slope.

The master bedroom occupied a mezzanine above the stone fireplace wall. It, too, opened to the view on two sides, but was private from the living area below.

ALSO SEE: The mid century conversation pit: A photo timeline of that fascinating 60s and 70s living room trend

A conversation pit by a fireplace was the center of this two-story living room
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