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July 21, 2014 / Linda Hartong

THE WINTER OF DISCONTENT

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It is the winter of 2013

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Christmas has come and gone.

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Deep snow covers my Kansas City garden.

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I have sustained some injuries and am to use a walker for 6 more weeks. I have worn a groove in the floor between the bed and the recliner.

I NEED a project to cheer me up. I have always loved leafing  through gardening books this time of year and gathering ideas for my garden. I decide that this year will be no exception. I have wanted to redesign my Carmel garden for some time now.  Many of my “go to” plants for Kansas fail miserably in temperate Carmel.

We have friends in Marina who recommend  Kathleen Coss  (www.kathleencosslandscapedesign.com/)

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so I give her a call and we chat. We are kindred spirits and start exchanging e-mails, questionnaires, plant likes and dislikes 

and finally plans.

cos arbor and fence

cos Plan 1

I “cut and paste” like crazy  

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 trying to visualize the garden and we make more changes.

Color Palatte in the Garden

Possible new look from curb

By April we are ready to start and I am well enough to make a trip out.

We already have a gardener and handy man that we love and he submits a bid along with others. We take his bid and are on our way with Luis Cardenas and Kathleen Coss.

We mark the plants that can stay.

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Then Luis and his crew start the “heavy lifting”.

Plants come down revealing the front of our cottage for the first time in many years.

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YIKES!

The patio beds empty out.

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And debris is hauled away by the truckload.

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Soil improvement comes next. 

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My front yard resembles a sandbox.

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The City grants permission for a new fence and arbor.

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Kathleen and I go shopping! We both love Griggs Nursery ( www.griggsnursery.com/ ) where they bend over backward to help us. The choices are staggering.

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Then we visit the Drought Resistant Nursery in Carmel Valley.  

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We buy a Gopher cage for every plant we plant. Yes, every plant! Now I know why all my flowers died before. The gophers eat the roots of the plants in Carmel.

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Plants start arriving.

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And being placed.

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Patio

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May 13th we make giant strides. The stones are placed for the path and some plants have temporary homes. But I am so exposed to view now. I wave at passersby while I eat my breakfast. 

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front

Then my hedging plants arrive.  We are using Pittosporum tenuifolium which Luis will tightly shear.

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front (1)

Kathleen is conducting the arrival and placement. She is a small package of dynamite energy.

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The post goes up for my bird house.

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It is looking good. 

This corner is my feng shui power spot. From here I survey both my front and patio gardens and both gates. With the new changes, I don’t have a backdrop to cozy into. Maybe later.

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The last touch is a gate between our garage and house to hide meters and gadgets.

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Next week, I will show you some of the plants we chose.

 

July 13, 2014 / Linda Hartong

BEACH MUSIC’S COTTAGE GARDEN

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Over the past 20 years we have made many changes to our little bungalow but none have pleased me more than the changes made in the garden.

This is the front before. The fence and gate were rickety even then but ivy covered it and we lived with it until May 2013.

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What an improvement

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and I adore my new arbor and gate.

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Our front porch improved a bit at at time.

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We planted along the straight concrete walk.

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Now the path curves around a planting bed and is made of boxwood lined stones.

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I like sitting in the rocker in the evening and listening to the ocean murmur.

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The sellers sodded the front yard to clean it up and I tried to maintain grass over the years. It was a losing battle.

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I prefer my current look of a stone path winding through shrubs, flowers and ground cover.

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I have only this one photo looking toward the gate. Not much to see.

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Wow!

The back gate leads to this patio which was cracked concrete for many years.

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Now pavers replace the concrete and form a raised planting bed

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filled with colorful blooms.

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The front NE corner of the garden went from this

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to this. SIGH!

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My privacy problem solved by lowering a patio and adding a raised planter. From here I survey both front and side gardens.

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This is the sad little spot between our house and garage.

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Now all that is hidden by a handsome gate and plantings.

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This is the view toward the garage.

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We redesigned the space over the years adding a fountain with its inviting sounds. The birds are constantly bathing here.

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Planting beds on both sides of the walk way are filled with color.

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The front of the cottage is now visible and tidy.

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How did this all this come together?

It was with the help of Kathleen Coss Landscape Design – I have come to think of her as my gardening fairy godmother.

http://www.kathleencosslandscapedesign.com/

And the meticulous work of Luis Cardenas- Landscaping.

Next week I will show you all the hard work that went into this transformation.

March 17, 2014 / Linda Hartong

THE STORY OF “TALES FROM CARMEL”

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I started writing “Tales From Carmel” in January  2011.  I wanted to know the history and stories of this place I have come to love. 

I wrote of  Carmel’s curious customs,

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its unique courtyards, 

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shops 

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and restaurants. 

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I wrote about its stunning cottage gardens,

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architecture

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and exquisite setting. 

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But what I loved the most was that I had an excuse to engage Carmelites in conversation. They were enormously generous with stories and tours of what they had created and held dear .

238 posts later, I find myself with little to add that is of significance. I am ready to take on a new challenge, one discovered by my experiences while writing this blog and while growing older. 

We are all aware, to some degree, that our lives are a story, parts of which we wish we could put in writing to live on after we die. As we experience the dying process of someone we love, we may hear stories that we have not heard before. We see sides of them we have not seen before. Their stories become a precious gift.

As Gail Lumet Buckley says “Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future.”

Hospice helped both my Mother and Father die in the way they wished. I have looked for something I can give back and finally found something. 

Crossroads Hospice in Kansas City 

life journalshttp://www.crossroadshospice.com/default.aspx#

has started using volunteers to help patients create life journals to leave as legacies for family members . The Journals focus on heritage, special memories and  life treasures. They contain family photos, favorite recipes, memories , bits of advice and a place for the family to write their own memories. 

I have just started on this project, but you know how  I like to tell a story.

Thanks for reading and commenting on the blog. It has really been a joy.  

If you are new to the blog please take a look at the post of which I am most proud

Hugh Comstock’s Fairytale Cottages By The Sea

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http://talesfromcarmel.com/2011/04/06/hugh-comstocks-fairytale-cottages-by-the-sea/

Carmel’s First Courtyard- The Court of the Golden Bough

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http://talesfromcarmel.com/2011/06/12/carmels-first-courtyard-the-court-of-the-golden-bough/

What The Heck Is a Fairytale Cottage, Anyway?

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http://talesfromcarmel.com/2011/07/06/what-the-heck-is-a-fairytale-cottage-anyway/

I  Am Invited To Tour Biddlestone Cottage and Garden

http://talesfromcarmel.com/2011/09/09/i-am-invited-to-tour-biddlestone-cottage-and-garden/

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Maintaining The Essence Of Carmel

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http://talesfromcarmel.com/2012/06/30/maintaining-the-essence-of-carmel/

Carmel-By-the Sea’s Best-Kept Secret

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http://talesfromcarmel.com/2012/07/26/carmel-by-the-seas-best-kept-secret%e2%80%a8/

Carmel’s Golden Hour

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http://talesfromcarmel.com/2013/01/04/carmels-golden-hour/

“On Little Cat Feet”

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http://talesfromcarmel.com/2013/08/07/on-little-cat-feet/

HOW DOES CARMEL MEASURE ON THE “LIVABILITY 

SCALE”?

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http://talesfromcarmel.com/2014/01/14/how-does-carmel-measure-on-the-livability-scale/

I will not be posting every week as I have been but will post from time to time as I find things I want to share. Until then, be well, be happy.

March 12, 2014 / Linda Hartong

THE JORDAN CENTER – ANOTHER OF CARMEL’S HIDDEN COURTYARDS.

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The Jordan Center is located on the corner of 6th ave and Mission near Devendorf Park.

It is currently home to Grasings Restaurant, Cayen Jewelry and Forget Me Nots.

I stand across the street and catch a photo of one of the entrances. Then pan down to Grasing’s Restaurant.

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Grasing’s Coastal Cuisine Restaurant

At Grasing’s, chefs Kurt Grasing 

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and Narsai David offer creative coastal cuisine paired with Central Coast wines. The Carmel restaurant won a 2003 Wine Spectator Award for Excellence.

This is always a busy place but I am here mid afternoon and it is quiet enough to take photos without interrupting diners. 

The bar is very welcoming and has a huge “Happy Hour” crowd but at this hour is empty. 

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The staff are decorating for Christmas.

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I like the way the dining spaces are divided. Three spaces but on different levels to create a feeling of intimacy .

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These photos from their website show how beautifully the food is presented.

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Bill and I celebrated New Year’s Eve here and it was delightful.

There is also an area for outside dining.

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Next up is Forget Me Nots and Forget Me Nots Too.

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I have blogged about this delightful shop before.

 http://talesfromcarmel.com/2011/11/17/forget-me-nots-a-unique-shop-in-carmel-by-the-sea/

Owner Shirley Jensen  provides design services, incorporating antique and new linens, rugs, paintings, furniture and other items from her ample collection. I tour once again snapping a few shots. Tres elegant. 

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On down the lane is the Cayen Collection   

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Designer jewelry salon. Showcasing the works of over 20 artists and one of the best gemstone collections in California.

Products Showcased: Diamonds, Gemstones, Designer Jewelry, Custom Jewelry Design & Re-Design. 

I peer in the window

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and then through the dutch door.

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They are just opening.

I visit their website where I see exquisite jewelry.

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This courtyard is just one block north of Ocean Ave. and well worth exploration

March 6, 2014 / Linda Hartong

THE FRIVOLOUS FROG

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Bill and I have watched the owners of this home settle in and lavish it with attention and personal details. It is obviously loved. 

Paul Hollingsworth of Coldwell Banker Realty sends me a “heads up” that it is for sale. 

The listing sheet information is courtesy of Peter Butler at Carmel Reality Company.

So lets tour The Frivolous Frog.

Originally built in 1924 and remodeled in 2007, this Cape Cod sits on 2 lots at the NE corner of Carmelo and 13th. I have often admired the name tiles and wonder how it got its name. This guy looks like he knows how to have a good time.

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The flag is always flying its welcoming banner on the front porch. 

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The owners have created multiple spots to enjoy the temperate Carmel climate. A stone patio on the corner,

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an intimate spot for two by the front door.

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You would be able to find me in the rocking chairs on the front porch.

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The living room is large enough to allow for two sitting areas.

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One in front of the fireplace and

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One that opens to a stone patio

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with a beautiful water feature.

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There is a formal dining room

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and kitchen with emerald-green quartzite slab countertops

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and another fireplace.

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The master bedroom ,

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walk in closet,

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sitting room

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and bath

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with steam shower 

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are also on the first floor.

Upstairs 

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is the family media room

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From the deck outside one can enjoy ocean views while sitting by a cozy fireplace.

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The guest wing is private with two en-suite bathrooms 

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and its own kitchenette. 

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The lower level boasts a wine cellar.

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The asking price for this luxurious home is $6,950,000.

Click the link below for the site.

http://www.carmeloand13th.com/

February 28, 2014 / Linda Hartong

ROBERTSON’S ANTIQUES

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It is a pleasure just to window-shop at Robertson’s, especially at night. Lighting is their specialty and night or day the shop glows from all 7 windows.

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It takes up most of the corner of Delores and 7th. 2,000 sq. ft. of treasures. They have been in business since 1972 under this striped awning. 

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The staff are friendly and laid back. They let me wander and photograph to my heart’s content.

Various levels help define the shop.

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I start at the front door  and admire this handsome desk.

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I weave between treasures

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and spot this Sextant from The National Physical Laboratory. 

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Then down an aisle. Cabinets of silver, china and jewelry sparkle on both sides. 

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I spot this Tiffany “Zodiac” Bronze Desk Set c.1910. Everything in the shop is meticulously identified and priced.

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There are nooks 

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and crannies deep in the back of the shop. 

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I begin to make my way back to the front.

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Nick Robertson loves lighting. These two gentlemen are a recent acquisition. Made of specter, a zinc alloy, and then painted bronze. The shades are leaded caramel flag glass. C.1920.

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Such unusual pieces as this Pierpont lamp with its reverse painted shade and candlestick base. C. 1926-1930. $2,750

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and this obverse painted glass shade with specter base C.1910. $2900

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This specter panel lamp C.1915 is my favorite.

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These outstanding Meissen Candelabra 39” tall have a fascinating story.

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They were in the Meissen collection of Gustav von Klemperer before the Nazis seized it from his descendants in 1936. 

Silver English tea kettles

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and  tea sets are polished to perfection. 

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I came into the shop looking for antique children’s books. But they have sold but other leather bound volumes wait for purchase.

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The shop also carries an impressive collection of walking sticks

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and

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swords such as this British Naval Sword Nursing Corps C. 1915.

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I am “antiqued out” and thank the salespeople for letting me take photos.

Mr. Robertson also does Estate liquidation and gives free appraisals.

February 22, 2014 / Linda Hartong

CARMEL’S GOLDEN RECTANGLE

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Perhaps you have read about Carmel’s Golden Rectangle and wondered “what the heck is that?”.

Courtney Jones of Carmel Realty informs us

“it is literally a rectangular area outlined by Ocean Avenue, Scenic Avenue along Carmel Beach, Santa Lucia and San Carlos Street.

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What you’ll find in this highly desirable area is typically a 1,600 sf, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home on a 4,000 sf lot. 

40-60% of these properties are vacation homes.  The average price per square foot runs about $1,100 these days, down from about $1,500 in the hey day.”

We bought in this area many years ago so that we could walk to all that Carmel offers. Real Estate values tended to be more predictable here than in other areas and we needed that as second home owners.

Our bungalow is 900 sq ft with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths.

Monte Verde 5 SW of 12th is a newer home in the Golden Rectangle. It was built in 2005.

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The landscaping and the stained glass window always catch my eye.

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Today a “For Sale” sign is up so I go to its website. It is listed by Mike Canning of Carmel Realty for $2,2500.00.

Courtesy of the web site, I slip in the gate and 

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admire the stone patio. 

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I love the open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, pecan floors and arched doorways.

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The patio is built around this tree because trees “trump”  floor plans in Carmel. I see many homes with this configuration.

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The fireplace is welcoming. Carmel’s temperate climate encourages the use of patios and decks every day.

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The kitchen has Viking appliances, granite counter tops, and a walk-in pantry.

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The master bedroom and bath are on the main level. 

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The master has a fireplace.

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Love that porthole window in the shower. That used to be a trademark sign of a Don McBride built home.

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and the sink configuration.

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There is one half- bath.

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Upstairs two bedrooms

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share a bath.

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Such a pretty home. It was a treat to tour courtesy of Carmel Realty.

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