100 years old · 1916 · addition · basement · changes · Dallas · family · foundations · framing · Highland Park · historic home · home · home restoration · kitchen · neighborhood · old house · pantry · preservation · renovation · restoration · staircase · Texas · treasures · Uncategorized · windows

Uncovering a Secret Staircase.

Staircase time lapse. On the left is Evie on the front stairs May 2016. On the right is Evie on the newly opened back staircase March 2017. A dream come true.

One of the most enchanting and intriguing features of our home is the front entry staircase area. It is not a central hall home, which allows for a more uniquely organic winding flow from room to room. Upon entering the front door you are greeted with cheerful bright light filtered through 100 year old windows and a welcoming staircase. These pictures bellow were taken Mayish.

Below you can see the staircase as you go up the first flight and then again as you come back down. These pictures were taken, January 28th. It is nine steps from the first floor to the landing. At the top of this landing, you can either go right and up a few more steps to reach the second floor. Or…

…you can open a curious little door (it actually is rather short). Well, when we first purchased the home this curious little door was locked. We thought it was most likely a little coat closet. Clever location for a coat closet to be honest. Picture taken Mayish.


Well, we finally opened the door, and what a magical secret passageway we revealed! Pictures below are from January 28th.


Okay, so no, we did not uncover the magical passageway to some enchanted kingdom, but it honestly felt that way! It turns out that we uncovered the back staircase that leads directly into the kitchen. At some point this staircase was locked and re-purposed into a kitchen pantry with added shelves and all. They basically just added a big wooden box on top of the stairs and then shelving on the walls to store flour, cereal, soup, and other pantry goods. img_6382

Here you can see into the old kitchen through the open door below. img_6383

Below you can see the old (but not original, at least not original as far as the finishes are concerned) kitchen. The pantry (aka back staircase) is the tall cabinet in the far left of this picture. (Mayish)


And here is the pantry with doors removed. January 28th.


And here is the view from the bottom of the pantry up towards the staircase landing. January 28th.img_4532

I immediately knew these stairs needed to be cleaned up and opened back up. These stairs connect the front of the house to the back, formal to casual, old to new.

Let’s watch the pantry turn back into our back staircase.

January 3rd. This is the old kitchen with all of the cabinets, cork flooring, and appliances removed. Also removed is the wall between the kitchen and the breakfast nook. This whole area will become our new family room den. In the back left corner you can see our back staircase.


As a quick refresher this is our old kitchen and our old breakfast nook.


Below is March 4th. Breakfast nook and kitchen are removed and are now the family room. The dining room entry is to the left. The front entry is straight through the entry ahead. Our staircase is still enclosed in the box on the right.


March 6th. Here you can see our staircase, still tucked away. You can also see underneath the floors and directly into the basement. We needed to level the floors by adding extra beam support to the existing joists.


March 10th. Staircase still enclosed.

March 23rd. My favorite picture with my favorite little 2 year old. The staircase is officially open and my precious baby is looking up towards the front entry sunlight!


Here you can see the opened staircase comfortably at home in our new family room. IMG_8891

I cannot wait to watch my precious babies walk down these stairs in their ruffled nightgowns ready for waffles and snuggles. I cannot wait to watch them snuggle up on the reading nook tucked below the windows and between the fireplace hearth and the staircase pony wall. A dream come true indeed. IMG_8892

Walking back up the back staircase to the landing.


Love and hugs,



5 thoughts on “Uncovering a Secret Staircase.

  1. Suzie,
    Life is full of wonderful conincidences. Playing golf this last week with your mom was sure one of them. Now I am back in touch with you and best of all have seen pictures of you two precious daughters! They are adorable and I am so happy for you!
    Your house is really coming along. Even before I read what you wrote, I loved the light coming in the front door. And what a great story about the hidden staircase. I plan to follow your blog and read about your your girls and your house. I would love to drive by and see it on Maplewood.
    Can’t wait to tell our friends from the docent class that I have news of you. Seven of the 12 are still active. They will be excited to hear about you.
    Take care, and hope to see you soon.


    1. Neall!
      I adore you and I love that you connected with my sweet mom and then onto my blog! Once things are a bit more stable, I would love for all of y’all to come and see the house! I also love that our original DMA group is still active. At some point, after our house is complete and after my babies area a bit older, I will be back to lead tours and learn! Love and hugs, Suzie


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