Many times, I’ve seen less-than-informed sources report that if your home has built-ins, such as built-in ironing boards and breakfast nooks and telephone niches, it’s probably a kit home.
This is not true.
Built-ins were practical space-saving ideas that became very popular in the early 1900s, which was also the years when Sears kit homes became popular. And, built-ins were big sellers in hardware catalogs, too. In other words, you could add them to your house in later years.
Both Sears and Montgomery Ward offered these built-ins in their mail-order catalogs.
Pictured below are examples of the built-ins offered in the Sears Honor-Bilt Hardware catalog.
1933 Sears Building Materials catalog. Note the Sears Mitchell on this catalog's cover. Note, these aren't just building materials, but HONOR BILT building materials!
For $5, you could purchase this dandy ironing board that was designed to fit within the studs.
For an extra $2.25, you could upgrade to an oak telephone cabinet. The phone shown here is a 1910s/20s candlestick phone. The vented panel on the lower portion held the "ringer." Old phones did not have individual ringers, but used a central bell located somewhere in the house.
For a mere $14.95 you could have this adorable "Colonial Breakfast Alcove" in your bungalow's kitchen.
To read more about breakfast nooks, click here.
To read about Sears Homes, click here.
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