For Molly and Rich English, calling their home an “English cottage” makes perfect sense, even though it’s located in Carmel, California. Built in 1925 by renowned Bay Area builder Gustav Laumeister, their tranquil abode is a magical retreat filled with early-20th-century furniture, artwork, and accessories.
“The place had been rental property for 20 years when we bought it,” says Molly, “and was in dire need of being restored. Rich and I brought it all back, inside and out, which included updating the plumbing and electrical work, building a new kitchen, and restoring the original hardwood floors.” They also installed vintage-inspired fixtures and octagonal and subway tiles in the bathrooms to ensure their efforts were appropriate to the home’s original period.
The couple totally overhauled the surrounding landscaping as well. “The yard was a mess, and our gardener removed truckloads of debris and long-dead plants to reshape and ready the grounds for dozens of different flowers that bloom throughout the year,” Molly adds. To enhance their front French doors, the couple planted roses that bud continuously, except in winter, thanks to Carmel’s mild seaside climate.
With everything intact, Molly describes the ambience of their cottage as “intelligently comfortable, with a design focus on art and interior between 1920 and 1940.” Accompanied by their yellow Lab, Emma, and Lab mix, Lilly, they now regard this once-forlorn rental as “home.” Whether it’s English or American is merely an unimportant technicality.
Molly’s shop, Camps and Cottages.