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October 13, 2011 / Linda Hartong


Congratulations, you have a fairytale cottage in Carmel-by-the Sea and sooner or later you will think about giving that cottage a name. Finding the name is no easy task, especially when the choices are endless. Who should make the final call?

Apparently the owners of one of my favorite Carmel Cottages are having that problem. Perhaps we can help them!   

I am strolling down the street when this little yellow cottage catches my eye.

Hmm. I love the huge oak tree in the front yard.

I cross the street to get the whole view and am hopelessly in love.

I can not begin to tell you how many times I have photographed this house.

Today I am methodically trying to capture every interesting detail. The curve of the side gate,

the arched garage door,

the way a post is used to prop up one of the tree branches.

I glance over the garden gate and I WANT this window with its window box, shutters, vining frame and lace curtins

And I especially want those star fish on the wall. I am so taken with them that for lack of a name, I file my photos of the cottage under “STAR FISH COTTAGE”.

Today I am resolved to ring the bell and find out the name. The plantings along the stone path are charming.

I note a small light on the side of the garage. Ho! They are really following the Carmel Rules For Outdoor Lighting.  This is the correct wattage .

I stand at the rusty-red colored door

and ring the door bells.

While I wait , I notice the porch light,

the arched window to the right of the door,

the moss on the shingles,

and that wonderful oak that dominates the property


No one answers.

Perhaps just a few more shots before I give up. I love the bench in the front.

Oh look, the feet of the bench are stone squirrels.

The owner uses the bench to display her pots. The topiary bunny needs a trim. Too bad I don’t have my Joyce Chen scissors. I have always been gifted with scissors.

I leave my calling card and turn to go back .

Then I see yet another window made magical by the owners skill.

I have run out of reasons to linger and make my way back up the path,

past my favorite window,

the starfish,

the lantern,

out the gate

and with one last glance,

up the hill toward home.


If you have a name you think fits this cottage, please tell me in the comments.

That will be fun.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I suspect the owner is perfectly content to call it ‘HOME’ – the sweetest name of all.



Leave a Comment
  1. Robin / Oct 13 2011 11:54 pm

    What a cute cottage! I love the yellow color on the exterior. So charming!

  2. janet bishop- magina / Oct 14 2011 12:04 am

    HOW i WISH i HAD AMBLED BY THIS COTTAGE ON MY RECENT VISIT…VERY CHARMING INDEED. Sorry for the “caplock”…didn’t mean to shout with enthusiasm.

  3. kathysue / Oct 14 2011 12:23 am

    Oh Linda I am with you, I love this cottage and I think the twisted oak cottage is the perfect name!!! So fun to see all the details. I especially love the way the vine grows out of the window boxes and twines above the window. I am going to try something like this in my backyard cobalt blue window box!! thanks for the inspiration. Kathysue

  4. Carolyn / Oct 14 2011 2:32 am

    How about ‘Buttercup’?

  5. beth / Oct 14 2011 9:02 pm

    It makes me think of sunshine. If it was mine i would name it “Sunshine Cottage”.

  6. el jefe / Oct 14 2011 11:51 pm

    hi Linda – Found your excellent photos by a Google alert I have set up. I’d also have to go with Twisted Oak Cottage, but I am a bit prejudiced… have fun!

  7. Gretta Faun / Oct 15 2011 7:45 pm

    The Hanuman cottage or The Monkey Tail cottage.

  8. Annie Westlake / Oct 15 2011 11:00 pm

    I think Starfish Cottage is appropriate, as you have suggested. For my own cottage, it will be called “Biggleswade Cottage” after the quaint English town my great-grandparents came from. I have been saving this name for a long time waiting for the lotto leprechauns and the cottage fairies to converge and send a windfall my way.

  9. kjm / Oct 22 2011 2:10 pm

    Seashine Cottage is my nomination, but most of all, I’d like to call it My Cottage!

  10. Nita@ModVintageLife / Oct 23 2011 9:49 am

    What a lovely cottage. I have been wanting to name my own cottage. Recently I came up with a name for it but am wondering if I should or not. If it will seem silly. But I think its a wonderful tradition. I love it if everyone in my neighborhood would do this. Perhaps I could get people started with the idea here.

  11. Lilian / Jan 8 2012 8:54 pm

    Beautiful!!!! If it was mine i would name it “Yellow Stone Cottage”.

  12. carmelcottage / Jan 13 2018 6:45 am

    My partner says Ham ‘n’ Mustard or Hansel and Gretel (but that is the name of one of Lamplighter Inn’s rooms). It reminds him of Hansel and Gretel. I love Starfish Cottage.

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