Inspirational Cottages in Carmel, California

I love this book, Cottages by the Sea by Linda Leigh Paul, and this Hansel & Gretel cottage - just a sample of the fairy tale cottages that make Carmel-by-the-Sea such an unbelievably special place. This book was a gift from a former employee and I love looking through it. My grandparents lived in Carmel and I spent many vacations there and have the fondest of memories of this incredible coastal city and spending time with my grandparents. They would take us to Big Sur in the summer for picnics, outdoor concerts, Pacific Grove for auctions and art galleries in town (my grandmother, Esther Rose, was an artist). My twin sister Cathy and I would explore the beaches and high sand ridges at the foot of Ocean Avenue, and play around the Monterey pine trees. We went swimming in the pool at the high school, found short cuts to downtown where we would visit the tucked away shops hunting for souvenir spoons. Our grandpa made Cathy and I wooden spoon racks and each time we visited we would select a new spoon to treasure and add to our collections. Come to think of it, that was the first thing I ever collected. I hadn't thought of that until now.

I was fascinated by the cottages and whimsical buildings and homes in Carmel, still am. There's no where else quite like it on earth.

Even a mailbox can be the most whimsical appealing structure; like I said, nothing like it.

Even though my grandparents are sadly long gone, Bob and I visit Carmel every year and love walking along the beach, strolling Ocean Avenue and browsing the shops, going over to the Misison Inn for dinner - it's a very romantic place to visit. Carmel is a town I will never get tired of.

How quaint is this???

The photo below is such a contradiction. It seems so starkly instrusive for the street signs in the forefront to mar the perfection of the home behind. Oh well, this is our reality, isn't it. At least we all can escape to the comforts of our home, the coziness and serenity that awaits us inside.

This is a wonderful shop in Carmel that I love to visit, Off the Wall. It is a haven for rescued and salvaged items. It's full of chandeliers, columns, carvings, chimney pieces, Victorian millwork, porch posts, railings and doors. There are door knobs, doorbells and other hardware, fireplace mantels, overmantels, mirrors, leaded and stained glass, old style tubs, sinks, sink fixtures, stoves, statuary, a stairway or two, assorted marble - you name it, they've got just about everything when it comes to old fixtures for your home.

Do Hansel & Gretel live here???

This is an example of the Carmel-by-the-Sea version of a thatched roof cottage.

Life is what we make it,
always has been,
always will be.

~ Grandma Moses


Suzann said...

Those photos are so beautiful they don't even look like they could be real cottages. How amazing. I will have to put this place on my visit wish list. Thanks for sharing.

Cordelia said...

Yes, you definitely will have to visit Carmel and experience the magic yourself. You'll be glad you did.
Thanks for visiting my blog.
~ Cordelia

Amongst The Oaks said...

Hi Cordelia,
I have that book and love, love, love it. I tried to use some of the cottages for inspiration when we remodeled our home.
We too have connections to the area via a family artist, and try to visit often. It is just so beautiful and peaceful there.

Cordelia of Cottage Antiques said...

I'm glad someone else has been inspired by that book. Carmel is a place that can get under your skin, no doubt about that.
Thanks for visiting my blog!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

I just sighed with happiness through this entire post of beautiful homes. Ahhh...

Thanks for the link. I love your site! -Julia :-)

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Oops. I had glanced at the comment right above this before writing and called you Laura after seeing her name. Sorry, Cordelia! :-)

Kathy said...

I loved looking at the pictures of Carmel. It's definitely one of my all time favorite places to go. I think everytime I got pregnant, that was the first place I wanted to go.The air is so clean there.