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July 23, 2011 / Linda Hartong







I have posted before on this cottage at 0 Carmelo 2 NE of 8th St. It is the landscaping that always catches my eye,






overwhelming when taken in its entirety,



it is still composed of charming vignettes.





As a former garden designer,

I see it as an example of a landscaping “don’t”.


Several months later, I see it listed “For Sale” and go to the website to view the interior photos. Like the outside, this is a collector’s cottage, full of mementos of a wonderful life. I think  that this will be a difficult home to sell . With all the personal touches, it is hard to imagine living here.                                                                                                                      

Soon it is off the market.                                                                                                                        

Then it is back on and this time it is identified as Comstock Cottage built in 1940 and remodeled in 1953. Hugh Comstock died in 1950,so some other builder has done the remodeling. It still retains its character, but someone has “staged” the house.  There is no longer any doubt in my mind that a home for sale benefits from being “staged”.                                                                                                                                                   

And I have the photos to prove it.

The landscaping is essentially the same


only now  the “less is more” approach allows me to really see that wonderful brick walkway lined with Carmel stone.                                                                           


The cottage sports a brand new shake roof and gorgeous copper gutters.                                           



The owners’ life-long collections are moved and/or sold ( how I wish I could have been at that estate sale), the walls freshly painted, window treatments removed and simple furnishing brought in to show how livable this home is.




The hardwood floors are still there, only freshened.

Still the wonderful stone fireplace,

beamed ceiling


And scrolled iron banister


Still the wonderful faux painted features and designer tile in the kitchen





and bath



The bedrooms have received the same treatment. Cleaned out, painted and sparsely furnished.




For the first time I get to see the back yard.



There is even a darling little guest cottage with its own stone fireplace.


The faux dovecote still adorns the back wall – one of the hallmarks of the storybook style.



The “heart” theme still charms us. The asking price has not changed from before. The cottage lists for $1,850,000. Ocean views from both floors , 2 blocks to the beach and 2 blocks to Ocean Ave with all its shops and restaurants. What a wonderful transformation.




Leave a Comment
  1. jeanette sclar / Jul 24 2011 3:00 pm

    Staging! Yes!!! I need a stager ASAP!

  2. Shelley / Apr 19 2012 8:36 pm

    I am the artist who worked with this client for over 10 years making the house a home she loved…

  3. carmelcottage / Apr 4 2013 1:08 am

    I have been looking for the article with these garden statues for almost a year and I found it – thank you! I love the little boy watering the garden over the buxus hedging and want to find him for my own garden. Brilliant, I found it!

  4. Julie / Sep 12 2013 1:31 am

    your photos are BEAUTIFUL!! What a stunning property!
    Thanks for sharing!

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