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March 15, 2011 / Linda Hartong


I have been grubbing through boxes of old  pre digital era photos to find our 1997 photos of “The Last Good Deal in Carmel”.   Is this really what we fell in love with?


A cracked concrete sidewalk led the way to the front steps which sagged off the porch foundation.


The house was completely visible from the street and I would not refer to the design “Carmel Cute”.









The side yard had a broken concrete patio and a small flower bed awkwardly edged with stones to keep the dirt from washing away.








But there was a garage ( we tried to overlook the yellow door).  This was an almost unheard of waste of space in a town that has to make the most of every square foot.

The owner ,now deceased, had rented -out  the house for years. One renter ran a small newspaper business from the garage.  The children who inherited this ugly duckling had thrown some grass down over the bare earth, spray painted the entire inside (even the door hinges) with white paint and put it on the market. No doubt expecting someone to buy it for the land and tear the house down.

Whatever did this sorrowful little spot have going for it.

1. We could afford it!

2. We love projects!

3. It was similar to the homes both of us grew up in.

4. It had 2 bathrooms, hard to come by in water-stingy Carmel.


5. It was 3 blocks from Ocean Ave. and 5 blocks from the beach!!!


Although it already had an offer pending, we put in a back up offer and in the end it was our very own “fixer-upper “project.  We could hardly wait to get started.

Now come on in with me and I will show you the inside.


The living room has a fireplace  and lots of windows          


The tiny kitchen is bright and has a door that opens to the patio .










There is even room for a washer and dryer.  Most of the homes we saw put them in the detached garage, which sometimes meant running in and out of the rain while doing the laundry.

The two bedrooms are of equal size but had nice closets and good light. We chose this one as an office for my husband.


At some point, the previous owner had plopped a second bath on the back of the house. As it opened directly into one of the bedrooms, it became the Master Bedroom and Bath!











I can not show you a shot of the other bath because there is no where I can stand back far enough to take a shot.




We stared with paint

hardwood floors

and elbow grease.




“Only a very exceptionally gifted mind could cope single with all the problems which present themselves in the perfecting of a home.”

~ Arnold Bennett







Leave a Comment
  1. jeanette sclar / Mar 15 2011 1:40 am

    OMG! The BEFORE shots are such an eye-opener! And you were visionaries to recognize the possibilities!

  2. Nita@ModVintageLife / Mar 15 2011 3:20 am

    Can’t wait to see how it turned out.

  3. Miss Bloomers / Mar 15 2011 2:35 pm

    I love before and afters..I think your home is adorable even in the befores, love the picket fence, the fireplace and it’s good bones! I love Carmel and would be happy with even the tiniest space there! We purchased a fixer-upper here as I have a vivid imagination for what we could do..but we got a great deal..but don’t know if we will ever be “done”. Hardwood floors are my favorite!! Will look forward to your next post to see the progress!

  4. Little Creek Veterinary Clinic / Mar 15 2011 9:44 pm

    I agree with Miss Bloomers – the home had plenty of potential from the start. Lucky thing you grabbed it! I’m on pins and needle for the “after” photos.

    • Linda Hartong / Mar 15 2011 9:59 pm

      You all are funny! I will not keep you in suspense too long. Thanks for all the interest.

  5. Garry / Jan 8 2013 6:40 pm

    Hi are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m
    trying to get started and create my own. Do you need any coding expertise
    to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!


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