A drop ceiling, linoleum as far as the eye can see, and wall-to-wall carpeting – these are all common sights in old houses. You may never know what lies beneath, but these rooms in old houses are full of mystery. They also have interesting names, such as keeping rooms, trunk rooms, and sleeping porches. Surely, each one of those things must have meant something in the past.
Many old houses are equipped with lofts that can be used as storage or as a playroom. These rooms are typically too small to be used as bedrooms, and are usually accessed by ladder or trapdoor. Essentially, these are attic apartments, but they sound more appealing. A spare bedroom, as the name suggests, is a room that is not used often, except for when there are guests visiting. The entryway can be used for other purposes, such as for reading or studying.
Men and women in old houses were often divided by gender, with each having their own separate rooms. A woman had an apartment and a boudoir. Her boudoir was a private area, while men were given a drawing room for entertaining and relaxing. This division of space allowed the men to keep their power relations separate and make sure their wives were not exposed to any of their frustrations. The result was a more modern and more stylish home.
Hearth rooms are another common feature in old houses. They were built to avoid crowding in the kitchen. Back then, cooking was usually done outdoors over an open fire, so people would wait for the cook in a separate building. In later years, keeping rooms became a single room and were often used for sleeping. Nowadays, however, they have become more of a social space where the cook can entertain guests. This trend is still prevalent in old houses in the South.