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July 13, 2012 / Linda Hartong


I am browsing through the Pine Cone real estate section when I see a photo of a Carmel cottage with smoke curling invitingly from its chimney.

Its name is By-the Way and I remember seeing it on our walks out on Carmel Point.

It is surrounded by a grape stake fence and has many windows. A small stone wall with a blue door slides down one side of the cottage. 

As I read the listing ,I find it has been remodeled to keep the original character but has modern comforts and conveniences.

At 92 year old, it wears its age well.

It was built by M. J.Murphy in the 1920‘s. M.J. Murphy was 16 when he came to Carmel from Utah. He had been trained as a builder and house painter and at age 17, he built his first house, an 899 sq. ft. Cottage, around the tent in which his family was living.

It was during the 1920’s that the bright young architect designed and sold  Carmel houses for about $100, lot included. Some 80 years later, Murphy’s inimitabel houses are still collectible – and this is one I wish I could add to a collection.

The realty company includes a floor plan so with the help of the plan and the photos, let tour the property.

Today the blue door is open

and as we walk through we see that many rooms of this home open to a large brick patio

simply landscaped with potted boxwood and climbing vines. 

A dear little play house sits at the back.

Lets enter through the french door with its sidelights

The entry is bright and the hardwood floors stretch out forever. 

We enter a vaulted living-dining area.

The bay window surrounded by bookshelves looks like a great place to curl up with a book .

We go down a step into the family room with its handsome fireplace – one of five fireplaces in the cottage. 

Notice all clever storage built into the wall.

We turn into a spacious wet bar

And butler’s pantry that separate the family room from the 


I would have to say that this is my dream kitchen. Much of the hardware and lighting is original.

The cook has a great view out the corner window 

And can sit in the wing chairs and toast her feet while she waits for the bread to rise.

The long table doubles as a work space and dining area

I am totally in love with the Cornue stove with its hood and tiled niche , double ovens and multiple burners.

There is even a dutch door that opens to the patio.

This floor also boasts a laundry room- a real luxury.

There are two bedrooms

And two baths on this level.

Climbing the stairs, we reach the master suite with it beamed ceiling and interesting eves

A small gas stove provide extra warmth.

The master bath is a series of rooms

Claw-footed tub

And double vanity all wrapped up in delicate blue and white wallpaper – even on the ceilings.

Back down the stars, lets step out the kitchen door to the patio

And check out the view of Point Lobos, the Pacific and Carmel River Beach

With its graceful curve.

The two-story, 3 bedroom, 5 bath home is 3,196 sq.ft.- quite large in Carmel.

The listing price of this legacy property is $3,890,000  – WOW, slightly over $1,000.00 per sq. ft.

But one can not really put a price on location , view and charm and this cottage has all three.



Leave a Comment
  1. Carolyn / Jul 13 2012 1:45 am

    This place is idyllic in every way. I agree with you about the dream kitchen. And that La Cornu range! I might even be induced to cook (my husband has the honors now). The butler’s pantry is a dream, too. Did you notice the other Dutch door in the laundry room? Too charming! What is the exterior cladding? It’s not the traditional board and batten except in the gable ends. I love the blue and white floral wallpaper (Ralph Lauren?) that looks like that Asiatic Pheasant transferware pattern. At least I have a pedestal sink just like the one shown in the guest bath, as my house dates from the same time period. I can’t believe the beach view and access. Is that picture taken from the patio? Simply amazing.

    • Rita Keith / Mar 20 2018 11:37 pm

      WE had our builder replicate the original redwood and board and bat…the wall paper is Ralph Lauren Asiatic Pheasant..picture is taken from the kitchen window above the sink, and the entry walkway

  2. Gretta Faun / Jul 13 2012 2:22 am


  3. Bella Remy Photography / Jul 13 2012 7:20 pm

    What an absolutely stunning cottage ! I’ve always dreamed to have a butler’s pantry and see how useful it can be. Also..a fireplace in the kitchen?! Just fabulous !!

    Thank you so much for sharing a dream home with us.

  4. tammy j / Jul 15 2012 9:39 pm

    the perfect blend of spaciousness and coziness… done with bits of color and honey colored wood…
    offset with lots of clean white. how perfect is it all! i love the spareness of it.
    and then when you stepped outside and showed us the view of the water and the beach… well…
    maybe my landlocked heart stopped a little!
    thank you for this exquisite tour.
    tammy j

  5. Debbie Addie / Jul 17 2012 2:58 pm

    My dream is to live in Carmel, and by far your blog helps me dream. This house is by far my favorite in every way.

  6. Inspired and pretty / Jul 20 2012 2:34 am

    A wonderful home and Oh how I love the master bedroom with it’s beautiful blue and white wallpaper, it’s lovely ! And the view is absolutely stunning !

  7. Ann armstrong / Oct 22 2012 12:42 am

    Love your blog! I feel a connection in many ways! My daughter lives in Kansas City ( we are in Tulsa). And my mother grew up in Carmel and Pacific Grove. My brothers and I are traveling to Carmel next month and will be staying in the Cypress House on Carmel Point. So I was thrilled to see this blog about By Te Way, which is next door.
    If someone happens to see you walking and calls your name, it just might be me, because I will be looking at all walking photographers while on our walks!
    Thanks for the wonderful pictures and reminiscences of our many trips to Carmel, PG and Pebble Beach, where our grandparents moved after my mothers marriage.

  8. Suzanne de Cornelia / Jun 17 2013 5:58 am

    Thank you. I walk by here often and was there today…my usual route. The curtains are all pulled down now so I guess it’s a second home. It appeared and like new curtains. Going to share a few pix on my site with a link back. Thanks much!!

  9. lifeisjustduckie / Dec 13 2014 9:01 pm

    This house is beautiful!

  10. Clem7 / Feb 22 2015 7:14 pm

    I love cottages . This one is absolutely wonderful ! It is so beautiful , it doesn’t look real !

  11. Carla Washington-martin / Jun 26 2016 6:31 pm

    When I saw this I fell in love with it but I literally cried when I saw the playhouse. I saw my whole life there like I dreamed it, deja vu…family, grandkids and all visiting. I could never afford this but I would love to vacation some place like this


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