Unusual Features of Old Homes

You may have grown up in a vintage older home that had special features not found in more modern homes. Here are some examples, see if you or your parents or other relatives had such touches in their homes.

In the early decades of the 20th century, a special new feature was to have a telephone. But built into the home then was a Telephone Nook, a special location just for the phone and a telephone book built into a wall, which also hid the extra wires. Some even had a seat built-in that could flip down to sit while on the phone.

An item found in homes and apartments was a Breakfast Nook or Alcove. A special area separate from the kitchen and any other dining area, recessed with a couple of chairs or bench seating and a small table.

Used with apartments or individual houses, milk was delivered to a home. So a Milk Door was added to a residence. For an apartment, it was a small separate door in the hallway that the milkman could deliver the bottles of milk. Same for a house, a separate small door from the outside that the milkman could open and place that day’s milk order.

A built-in closet with a fold-down ironing board was built into many homes years ago. Always handy, easy to bring down, do your ironing and then close up with the closet door.

With refrigeration of the 1940s and 1950s, tiny cold closets were built into a home. A small mini refrigerator made it easier to get a glass of milk or last night’s leftovers.

Once all homes had beautiful hardware with their door handles, especially the outside door handles. Around the door handle was a metal plate with scroll designs a great home feature.

Having built-in drawers was a great space-saving. These drawers were near the bathroom, in hallways, in a bedroom or dressing rooms.

Without air-conditioning and then in warm summer weather, homes had Sleeping Porches. These porches were usually on the 2nd or 3rd floor of a home with either screening or glass windows. It was a good place to have a breeze to sleep at night.

In a kitchen, some homes had a large cutting board built into a kitchen wall so the board could be brought down for cutting vegetables, meats or kneading dough when making bread.

Photo: A 1920s Breakfast Nook – Alcove.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

1920’s Designs from Colonial Times

Log Cabins

A Star on a House

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