The Case of the Closet Mystery colonial farmhouse
colonial farmhouse

The Case of the Closet Mystery

Old houses are full of mysteries and today’s post is about the Case of the Closet Mystery.

Mysteries are not to be confused with surprises.

Surprises are unpleasant discoveries that, without fail, pop up every time there is a project or home repair. Surprises inevitably result in any combination of the following: more time spent on a project, more money spent on a project, more Tylenol taken to get through a project, more trips to Home Depot, more grey hair.

Mysteries are just things around the house that make you wonder why something looks or operates a certain way.

One of the things I’ve wondered about frequently is the closet by our front door.

The closet door (the one on the right in the below picture) is elevated off the ground.

The Case of the Closet Mystery colonial farmhouse

Why in the world would they do that? 

If you want to step in there, you need to step over that threshold.

That’s not normal closet design. 

It does make a convenient spot for an outlet though. I’ll grant you that. Since this house has a distinct lack of outlets I am not complaining.

But why? I could not think of a good reason why that closet door was elevated off the ground.

The Case of the Closet Mystery colonial farmhouse

This is where I tell you that my imagination was not big enough.

The original house was a two-story, two-room house. Behind that door was a wooden, spiral staircase to the second floor.

When the staircase was removed over 100 years ago, they just cut the stairs off and left that itty bitty piece of tread and the door.

At least, I’m assuming the door was always there and they just left it to make a closet even though it looks weird.

Can you see now that that little strip of wood at the bottom of the closet door used to be a stair tread?

Makes so much sense, doesn’t it?

My daughter’s room is directly above this space and there is a change in the wood flooring that is the exact size of this closet. This indicates to me that the floor was patched.

In the below photo, everything to the right of that vertical strip of hardwood is patched. The pink striped wallpaper is covering the chimney wall. Removing that wallpaper was a recent project and is saved on my Instagram stories under the tag kid spaces. There was definitely a colorful surprise hiding under that wallpaper!

The Case of the Closet Mystery colonial farmhouse

I’m so happy The Case of the Closet Mystery is solved! Just call me Nancy Drew.

Seriously though, I feel so much better.

How about you?

Does your home have any mysteries? I’d love to hear about them! If not, here are some other posts you might enjoy. 

What a Broken Pitcher Taught Me About Empathy

How to Make a Closet Out of a BathTub Without Damaging the Tub

Marbled Faux Easter Eggs



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