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February 1, 2012 / Linda Hartong

THE CONDRY COTTAGE- BUILT BY M.J. MURPHY

“There is a certain air of mystery and romance about these glimpses of little redwood houses , with their gaily painted windows and doors which fascinates the passerby. Not the forbidding, stand-offish reserve of the character whose dignity you must not forget, but a sort of quietly mischevious,chuckling spirit of hide -and-go-seekishness. There is moreover something subtly friendly and hospitable about them”.

Taken from “Carmel at Work and Play” by Daisy Bostick

Many years ago, I glimpse such a cottage and snap a photo.  This cottage is of the “hide- and -go seekishness” variety Daisy describes. In vain I search for it, only to see its “gaily painted windows and doors” on the pages of “Cottage” magazine. It is now owned by Bob and Mary Condry.

I drive past the house, ready to leave my card ,and meet Mary leaving for an errand. When I ask if I might come back and photograph her home, the reply is “I would be honored. Come tomorrow”. 

I am thrilled to be invited to this M.J. Murphy cottage. Michael J. Murphy to come to Carmel to build homes. He built his first house in 1902 around the tent in which his family was living.  He was only 16 at the time.

He built the Condry cottage in 1937 for Mrs. Helen Coolidge. It was 23 ft by 25 ft., 485 square feet of charm. It cost $1500.00 and was completed in 60 working days. 

Bob meets me at the door and invites me into the cozy, sun dappled living room.

We make our way past the stairs,

through the dining room ( added later),

and out the dutch door with its lace curtains.

I am greeted by this glorious ocean view looking clear to Point Lobos.

Mary is just finishing lunch and invites me to sit on this rocking bench.

Their dog jumps into my lap and Bob reads the paper while Mary fills me in on local politics. She is very much involved in the upcoming local election.

She asks if I would like a tour.  Of Course!!

I admire her potting bench

as we go in and she says it was built by one of the homes previous owners, who also crafted these tiles.

When I comment on the stairs,

up we go to a cozy little den at the top of the house. It looks over the tree tops 

and down into the living room. Chairs cluster around the fireplace. 

bookshelves overflow with books and photos of grandchildren back in Chicago.

By this time, my little dog pal is in his bed under the dining room table and still shivering. 

Mary invites him up into the window seat of the bedroom, where he promptly burrows into a warm blanket and disappears from view.

The tour of the house continues. In the bath is yet another creative touch by a former owner.

Mary leads me outside to the garden. Two doors open to this patio space.  The front door

And the kitchen door

with its charming homemade stone bench.

When the phone rings, I leave Mary inside and excuse myself to tour. I step off the front patio

admiring this vignette she has created. Surely I need a broom like this one.

The back garden tumbles down the hill. A stellar Jay getting a drink allows me to snap a shot.

The bench will soon be covered with flowers.

The upper garden with its angels

And the Madonna

Is completely under the canopy of a huge oak tree.

I retrieve Mary’s “lost” reading glasses from the bench and

and admire the view from this angle.

Mary walks me back to the gate.

Relaxed and informal, both cottage and owners make me feel like an old friend. 

9 Comments

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  1. Carolyn / Feb 1 2012 11:04 pm

    What a treat to get the whole tour! I’ve seen this house in books/magazines, but not since the current homeowner bought it. Too adorable. Cute dog, too.

    • Linda Hartong / Feb 2 2012 2:44 am

      Thanks so much for your loyal comments

      Sent from my iPad

  2. Jacqui / Feb 2 2012 1:15 am

    Loved this post, wonderful tour as usual!!

  3. Cyndia / Feb 2 2012 1:51 am

    What a charming cottage! Your words and pictures bring everything to life and really make me miss Carmel!

  4. Inspired and pretty / Feb 3 2012 3:19 pm

    How beautiful this house under the tree is ! This cottage is so inviting and they have such a nice garden. I love the bookshelves under the stairs and the soft pink color on the walls.
    Your photos are beautiful and I loved the stellar jay !

  5. tammy j / Feb 4 2012 1:13 pm

    so nice to know that the couple who own this lilttle gem are as delightful as the cottage itself!
    and you…
    well you are a little carmel treasure. i hope carmel appreciates you!
    cheers,
    tammy j

  6. Sonia / Feb 11 2012 10:16 pm

    How wonderful that you got a private tour…what a precious cottage. We just returned from our trip there…shopped along Ocean Ave and visited my favorite stores! Love to see your posts ….makes me want to come back already!!
    Miss Bloomers

  7. Elaine / Jan 29 2014 3:12 am

    Carmel by the Sea is one of my favorite spots in the U.S! Love all the quaint homes and charming cottages.

  8. JoAnn Brown / Oct 19 2016 9:53 pm

    I absolutely felt the same way you did.It is magical, I would do anything to have an enchanted cottage like that. When I was looking at the pictures they gave me such a nice calming feeling.I love flowers so it really made me appreciate it.Thank you for sharing, it was nice while it lasted. God bless you.

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