These Mysterious Home Features Used To Serve A Purpose Centuries Ago

From the mysterious to the weird, old homes feature unusual details that you’d never find in new buildings. These features used to serve a purpose, but with the rise of refrigerators and electricity, they have faded into obscurity. If you’re lucky, you can still find some of these quirks in old houses.

Some of the features are hidden away, like a small slit inside a medicine cabinet. Others, like a lone toilet in the basement, are glaring and strange. Read on to learn about these antique house features and whether you can repurpose them.

A Phone Niche On The Wall

Remember when every house had a landline? Since rotary phones were bulky and wide, some architects build phone niches into the wall. Keep in mind that these phones had cords, so people had to stand around to talk. Hence, phone niches often appeared in hallways, kitchens, and bedrooms.

An antique phone niche sits on a yellow wall.
Pinterest/Angela Martin
Pinterest/Angela Martin

Many homes still have phone niches tucked into the wall. If you have a landline, you can store it there as the developer intended. Others use their phone niches to hold mail or display decorative plants.