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In Carmel-by-the-Sea, a Quietly Elegant Cottage with Vintage Appeal

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In Carmel-by-the-Sea, a Quietly Elegant Cottage with Vintage Appeal

January 19, 2018

Currently admiring: a modest cottage in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, that looks as though it has always been there. With artful details such as softly tinted built-ins, lofty peaked ceilings, and small arched doorways, it looks perhaps like the sort of place a 1940s movie star would’ve gone to escape the bright lights for a few days. But, surprisingly, it’s a new build by Merritt Amanti Palminteri of Monterey-based MAP Architect, whose clients (they’ve asked not to be named) discovered a small, run-down clapboard shack in the wooded community of small cottages and decided to start from scratch. “Aesthetically, we wanted to speak to Carmel’s rustic bohemian history,” Palminteri says. “Scale-wise, we wanted the house to look like a cottage from the street, but then surprise you with how ample and elegant it was when you entered. We wanted it to feel like it had always been there and to treat you with little touches that you wouldn’t expect.” Take a peek inside.

Photography by Suzanna Scott, courtesy of MAP Architect.

the new house is actually three small cottages: a main house, measuring \2,368  17
Above: The new house is actually three small cottages: a main house, measuring 2,368 square feet; a small guest house, up a stairway, which is just 250 square feet; and a small separate garage. Palminteri wanted to ensure her clients had ample privacy in an area where houses are generally very close together so, working with landscape architect Oona Johnsen, she oriented the main house and guest house around a central courtyard, giving it the feel of a tiny compound. The blue front door leads to the main house, and is painted in Sherwin-Williams Rainstorm; all of the exteriors are Sherwin-Williams Westhighland White.
around the corner, where a turf block and grass &#8\2\20;lawn&#8\2\2\1; 18
Above: Around the corner, where a turf-block and grass “lawn” is tucked between buildings. Thin windows add character; they’re the Heritage series from Kolbe Windows & Doors.
inside, the house seems to expand: with soaring ceilings and a clever room layo 19
Above: Inside, the house seems to expand: with soaring ceilings and a clever room layout, it feels far larger inside than it seems from the outside. Here, the entryway leads directly into the kitchen. Note the custom-built cabinet that conceals the fridge and adds to the vintage feel.

Palminteri painted the walls throughout in Sherwin-Williams White Flour in eggshell (“my favorite white for walls,” she says) with Sherwin-Williams Cotton White on the trim, also in eggshell. The floors throughout are engineered wide-plank French oak that Palminteri had sealed but not stained. The ceilings are clad in Douglas fir boards with a subtle white-translucent stain.

for the bright kitchen, palminteri opted for leathered perla venata quarzi 20
Above: For the bright kitchen, Palminteri opted for leathered Perla Venata quarzite for both the backsplash and counters. “I love it because it’s really textured so you don’t fret about scratches,” she says. The sink is the Kohler Bakersfield Undermount Single-Bowl Kitchen Sink in enameled cast iron, and the appliances are Thermador. The house has notes of brass throughout; here, the drawer pulls are the Greenwood Pulls from Schoolhouse Electric.
much of the cottage&#8\2\17;s charm (and expansiveness) comes from its buil 21
Above: Much of the cottage’s charm (and expansiveness) comes from its built-in storage. “Casework brings a richness and depth to a room and means you can worry less about soft finishes to make a room feel complete,” Palminteri says. “We thought it would be so lovely to have a wall full of shelves that runs the length of the dining room and living room, and secret flush doors and drawers throughout. We could keep the decoration really spare and let books and treasures adorn the rooms.” The built-ins are painted in Sherwin-Williams Opaline, the palest of greens.

The brass wall light by the window is the Hardwired Wallace Lamp from Onefortythree. The cottage is outfitted with midcentury finds.

elsewhere, built ins are fitted with leather drawer pulls that palminteri sourc 22
Above: Elsewhere, built-ins are fitted with leather drawer pulls that Palminteri sourced on Etsy. (To DIY the look, see How to Make a $20 Cabinet Pull for $2.) Note the outlet cover, also in brass.
through a petite rounded door and down a stair is the &#8\2\20;theater,& 23
Above: Through a petite rounded door and down a stair is the “theater,” adding to the vintage California feel. Palminteri opted for carpeting to allow for easy movement of the furniture, “for slumber parties,” she says.
one of our favorite details: a built in vanity in the front powder room, p 24
Above: One of our favorite details: a built-in vanity in the front powder room, painted in Sherwin-Williams Mossy Gold. The vintage copper pitcher belongs to Palminteri’s mother; “I couldn’t resist putting it in one of the shots with flowers from the market,” she says. The subtle wallpaper is from Hygge & West.

the master bedroom is kept spare, with an ikea lohals natural fiber rug an 25
Above: The master bedroom is kept spare, with an Ikea Lohals natural-fiber rug and Pottery Barn fur throw. (See their Faux Fur Throw for something similar.) The door hiding behind the plant is clever concealed storage “for long dresses,” Palminteri says.
Note the brass switch plate and, elsewhere, matching outlet plates and hinges. The switch plates are the Traditional Toggle Switch Plates from House of Antique Hardware, and the door hardware throughout is from Emtek. “We tried to be strategic about where to focus our resources and went with a good number of attractive, affordable products so that we could splurge on casework and millwork,” Palminteri says; still, the attention to utilitarian detail adds a little extra glamour.

on the subtle palette throughout the house, palminteri says: &#8\2\20;i act 26
Above: On the subtle palette throughout the house, Palminteri says: “I actually wanted to go heavily jewel-toned throughout the bedroom wing but the client reined me in. So we hunted for tints that would complement the white walls and trim, the tans in the wood floors and ceilings, all the brass hardware, and the delicate whites in the stones and tiles.” The result: olive greens and the palest of blues and yellows, as seen in the cottage’s bathrooms.

The blue bathroom shown here is painted in Opaline (on the walls) and Silver Strand (on the vanity), both by Sherwin-Williams, and is fitted with Silestone counters and Silk Blanco floor tiles by Porcelanosa.

in another bathroom, the hexagonal floor tiles are from daltile and the counter 27
Above: In another bathroom, the hexagonal floor tiles are from Daltile and the countertops are Calacatta gold marble, so called for its gold-tinted gray veining. (See Remodeling 101: The Difference Between Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuary Marble for more on the main types of marble.) The vanity is painted in Sherwin-Williams Compatible Cream.
the walk in master closet, given the luxe treatment with a coat of sherwin will 28
Above: The walk-in master closet, given the luxe treatment with a coat of Sherwin-Williams Burlap.
the private back patio, with doors painted in sherwin williams greenblack, 29
Above: The private back patio, with doors painted in Sherwin-Williams Greenblack, for contrast.

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