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July 21, 2011 / Linda Hartong


There is something so friendly and small-town about a half-open dutch door . I covet one in our little house and admire them all over town.

They were first used in the early 1700’s in the Netherlands as a clever way to let in fresh air and light, while keeping the livestock out of your living room.

The 1950’s saw a surge in popularity again as neighbors whose homes were only a few feet apart enjoyed chatting with each other over the open top door.

I put them right up there with “the front porch” as sure-fire ways to say “Welcome”.

The dutch door is not very practical in my native state of Kansas. There are maybe 20 days a year temperate enough to leave my door open. On those days I use the screen door. But what if there were almost NO BUGS.  Wow-  I could have a dutch door like these in Carmel.

And when I am walking around town, I am far more likely to enter a restaurant or shop with its open door than one  closed up tight. I decide to take a walk around town and show you some doors.

The Little Swiss Cafe has its door open.

Tantalizing smells waft out and I can hear conversation and the friendly clank of silverware.

Aw Shucks is one of our favorite places to sit at the bar and have seafood and a drink. These patrons grin when I tell them to ” smile, you are being blogged”.

This door at the Cottage is closed today.

Inside , a small table sits in the doorway and is always occupied when the top half  is open to the little pot garden.

I stroll by The Pilgrim’s Way bookstore. Incense and new age music drift out.

The open doors of the many art galleries always tempt me in to get a better look at a painting or sculpture.

B and G Jewelers  is open. I think their door is one of the handsomest.

Not all door are open today. Porta Bella ,

The Tea Rose Collection

 and A Great Place  are not open yet.

Hugh Comstock ,of fairytale cottage fame, designed its door.

Even when I scoot down one of Carmel’s secret passageways, dutch doors are open.

The realtors of Ocean Avenue Realty duck down when I take a shot, but rally when I tell them I am going to blog about them.

They are posing  – all business for the shot. Then they put their feet back up on the desks, lean back in their chairs and grin.

One last shot into a clothing store

and then I am back in my residential neighborhood.

Darn.  Maison Rustique ‘s dutch door is closed today.

I love it when it is open.

I leave you with this irreverent quote about my favorite door.

” Ken: The Double door was invented by the Dutch. Its purpose was to first open the top half to see if it was safe to open the bottom half. This was to prevent the inrush of water in case Hans Brinker had taken his finger out and gone home for the night.”


Leave a Comment
  1. marie arden pink living blog / Jul 21 2011 12:58 pm

    Such a fun post. I love them also. Just a peek inside or a quick hello as you pass an open one. Good to have Dutch doors when it is Halloween too easy to give out candy and stay warm inside!

  2. Annie Westlake / Jul 21 2011 9:59 pm

    I have always loved Carmel since my first visit at 21, but seeing it through your eyes, I see more than the sights and sounds I have been used to ….I see the heart and soul of this timeless village and I thank you so much for sharing.

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