Old Home Features That Are Now Completely Useless

Settle In

A lot has changed in recent years, especially when it comes to homes and buildings. Long gone are the days of landline phones, hidden stairwells and tiny trap doors.

Settle in as we explore some of the most popular home features that have aged poorly over the last few years thanks to relaxed etiquette and brand new technologies. Let's jump right into it!

Shoe Scraper

In modern times it's common for people to take their dirty shoes off before stepping inside. But in the past, it was considered improper to take your shoes off. So how did they deal with dirty shoes?

Most people had metal shoe scrapers right outside their front doors. These would usually be placed next to railings for people to balance themselves with. But in the end, it was too much of a hassle and shoe scrapers became a lot less common. 

Beehive Honey Reserve

Back in the day, it was a lot less convenient to go to a store than it is today. How did some homeowners ensure they always had honey at hand? By sticking a beehive between the walls of their homes, of course. 

They called it 'Wall Keeping' and this was a trend that dates back to 60 AD.

Floor Buttons

You most certainly haven't seen these in modern homes. These were common in very old homes. They were used to call servants to a room.

Often referred to as 'butler buttons', they were popular in the late 19th century. Now covered by rugs or paint, these objects were placed on the floor in order to be more convenient.

Milk Door

Milk doors were small cabinets that were very common inside of homes. They had two doors, one that opened on the inside of the wall and the other on the outside. 

Milk men used to use these small cabinets to safely deliver all kinds of dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter and eggs to homes. Today, these cabinets are extremely rare.

Phone Jacks

Since landlines are no longer a common household necessity, phone jacks have become increasingly rare as a home feature. 

It's normal to see these in old homes, but they are no longer necessary in modern homes. Thanks to technology, these features are completely outdated.

Summer Kitchens

Have you ever seen an old house with a tiny stone house in its backyard? These are called 'summer kitchens'.

Summer kitchens were equipped with fireplaces and stone ovens. Enslaved individuals would use them to prepare large quantities of food to feed everyone on the property. These are rare, but some houses still have them from back then.

Kitchen Desk

Did you know that kitchens didn't have built-in countertops and cupboards? Freestanding kitchen cabinets and desks were used as countertops and cupboards.

They were called Hoosier cabinets or Hoosier cupboards and they became popular in the 1890's. These cabinets are now commonly seen in the garage.

Tiny Basement Doors

In order to heat homes, homeowners would have to use coal to heat their homes in the cold, winter months. They would store this coal in their basement. These tiny basement doors were used for delivery men to drop coal into people's basements with ease.

Homeowners would shovel this coal into their furnace and it would heat their entire home!

Light Buttons 

'Light buttons' sounds strange compared to 'light switch', but back in the 90th century, they were a trend.

The light switches we use today were created in 1917, so you know a house is really old when it has these on its walls. These are completely useless now.

Medicine Cabinet Slits

Almost all homes have a medicine cabinet in the bathroom behind the mirror. It’s a feature that has remained firmly in style. However, have you ever noticed that some medicine cabinets have a little slit in the wall? 

This was a built-in razor blade hold when shaving took a lot more skill.

Laundry Chutes 

Laundry chutes still exist in some hospitality establishments today, but if you see a tiny door in the wall of your house, you can rest assured that your house is a real G. 

Believed to have been invented in the 1890s, these small chutes were installed in 2-or-more story houses to save the hassle of physically bringing the laundry basket down to the room. Instead, you just tossed it in the chute - we’re not too sure why this one got canceled. 

Need an Icebox?

Before refrigerators were invented, these standing cabinets acted as coolers. Known as an Icebox or a cold closet, this 20th-century device was used to store ice. 

Ice used to be delivered to houses and placed in these cabinets outside so as they didn’t need to go inside. They were rendered completely useless when the freezer appeared. 

Secret Staircases And Hidden Rooms

To this day, there are still stories of people finding hidden stairwells and rooms in old mansions. These hidden features belonged to the 17th and 18th centuries and usually led to a small basement or attic.

They were created to discreetly house servants that lived in the same home as their masters. Needless to say, this one is long gone. 

Windows Above Doors

Ever wonder why some houses have small windows above their doors? This was made popular back in the day when electricity wasn’t as easy to come across. 

These small windows acted as a much-needed source of light to brighten the dull-lit hallways. These transom windows are still popular today and are one of the only features that haven’t lost their function over the years.