The Reason Some Houses Have Small Shelves Built Into Hallways

If you live in an old home, or really any home built during the early to mid-1900s, there may be a little shelf built into the wall in your kitchen or hallway. You may have thought nothing of this, or you may have wondered what this was put there for. And yes – it was put there for a reason!


That little shelf is called a phone niche. Before cellphones, people used landlines to communicate. Doesn’t that just seem like so long ago now? Many homes were built with one phone niche which would house the telephone. Many even had a tiny ledge or drawer above or below the phone to hold address books or phone books. Even the concept of an address book seems so ancient now!

Nowadays, most people have done away with their landlines and only use cellphones. But if your home has one of these phone niches, you can use it in different ways! You could buy an old-school phone to place there for decoration (or actually use it, if you so desire). You could stack books or other decor objects in there. Or you could even arrange a bunch of little potted plants in the niche. The options are endless and totally up to you!

Although I love the convenience of new builds, I love the little hints of character that exist in old homes. We live in a very old home, but it’s so old that the concept of a phone niche was many years in the future. Does your home have a phone niche? If so, I’m quite jealous!

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