Vintage Family Cottage

Inheriting the cottage of a beloved uncle visited from childhood on, the homeowners were passionate about honoring his love of nature and staying true to the cottage feel while updating the 1920s-era home. The remodel transformed the interior from dark to light tones, adding and enlarging windows to welcome in the warming sun. The 768-square-foot cottage was expanded modestly to 1,166 square feet by enlarging bedrooms and adding a bathroom. Air sealed and well insulated, the home is an energy-efficient, inviting space with high, beamed ceilings and all natural materials throughout—including limestone counters and a recycled glass backsplash in the kitchen, limestone flooring and countertops in the bathrooms and richly-hued wood cabinets and doors. While the hardwood oak flooring in the main living areas is new, it was designed to match the original. Carmel stone was selected for the fireplace and exterior walkways. Blinds crafted of natural grasses also work to connect the home with the natural surroundings. A built-in dining area provides ample seating in the now open kitchen and living room area. Vertical paneling was added to the front of the spacious deck, where the family often gathers, to create privacy. The backyard was opened up, working around an aged tree, and seating was built into the retaining wall. The freshly painted exterior is complemented by a prominent flower box over the garage to add a splash of color.

Vintage Family Cottage
Building Design:
Carmel Building & Design
Rick Pharaoh

Rob Nicely

President & Partner

Rob studied art at the University of California, Davis and has been in the construction industry since 1980. His rare combination of technical expertise and artistic sensibility enables him to provide a unique and exceptional experience for clients. As president, Rob leads by example. He is dedicated to the highest standards of quality and customer service, and to using the latest techniques and technologies to create environmentally mindful homes.
Rob is a Certified Green Building Professional (Build It Green) and Certified Passive House Consultant (Passive House Institute). He has served on the Passive House California board of directors since January 2018. Over the years Rob has garnered several accreditations. He participates in a variety of advocacy efforts, all focused on improving the quality of homes that Carmel Building & Design produces and increasing the ecological sustainability of the building industry in general. In his leisure time, Rob enjoys sculpting and painting.