• On March 5, 2016 ·

Some of the most sought-after real estate in the Monterey Peninsula can be found in peaceful, quaint Carmel, CA. It is a beautiful and unique community within walking distance of Monterey Bay beaches, and the fine dining and high-end shopping of Carmel-by-the-Sea. This lovely community is tucked within the shade of towering oak, cypress and eucalyptus trees, with ocean views playing peek-a-boo around every corner. Adding to the fairytale-like quality of this town is the fact that homes to not have numbered addresses…but instead are known by creative names such as “7th Heaven,” “ZZZZ by the Sea,” “Whales Tail,” “Wind Song” and “Whitecaps.” However whimsical a cottage setting may be, many of these homes are in need of repair and renovation.

Taking Inventory…What Stays, What Goes?

A homeowner should begin by really taking inventory of what they love about their home, and want to keep on their preservation list…and then identifying those things they want to change or upgrade. A true home renovation involves more than just a kitchen remodel…it considers the nuances of the entire space. Taking a big picture approach, the first thing to look at is floor plan—does the layout of the home work well? Was a past addition made that does not flow well with the rest of the home? Moving or rearranging spaces can make a tremendous impact on functionality, and can be as major as removing or adding walls, or as small as turning a closet into a laundry room.

The second thing to consider in preserving the feel of the original home, is whether there are original items that still add value and character to the home, which can be incorporated into the renovation, such as fine woodworking on a staircase, original rustic hardwood floors, open beam ceilings, or original doors and windows which can be refinished, and kept in the home. On the other hand, there is a lot to be said for identifying areas of inefficiency within an older cottage home, and modernizing without losing character. An old baseboard heating system can be replaced with hydronic radiant heat throughout the home, to greatly increase warmth and efficiency, yet still be placed under rustic, distressed engineered hardwood or natural stone flooring. Or, an old, leaky shake roof can be replaced with beautiful new cedar shake, and trimmed out with gorgeous copper gutters and downspouts—and in a few months will age and patina to a lovely, antiqued effect.

Bringing in Modern Touches

When renovating a Carmel Cottage, it will be critical for a homeowner to work with an experienced, licensed contractor who can help them truly bring their design visions to reality. Homes like these provide beautiful opportunities for blending the old with the new. An outdated 80s or 90s-themed kitchen can be replaced with a gorgeous, high-efficiency, modern kitchen that includes high-end imported appliances, luxurious solid-surface countertops and custom cabinets, while framed in the home’s existing rounded doorjambs, and lit by a beautiful old, original garden window. A master bathroom can be renovated with the most high-tech features, such as radiant heat, smart toilets and custom vanities, with a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind claw-footed tub to add an antiquated touch.

We invite you to use the help of a Design/Build contractor to help you think through the endless possibilities of combining the old with the new to create the Carmel Cottage of your dreams. Thinking about renovating your Cottage? Call Bakker Construction today, your local specialists in Carmel, and all of the Monterey Peninsula, at 831-998-7113.