A SEA CHANGE The ocean pro­vided de­sign in­spi­ra­tion for this week­end cot­tage on the Cal­i­for­nian coast

A de­sire to wel­come friends and fam­ily was key to the ren­o­va­tion of Noelle and John Micek’s coastal cot­tage

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture RACHEL LEED­HAM Pho­tog­ra­phy JAMES SALOMON

Aquaint coastal town on Cal­i­for­nia’s Mon­terey Penin­sula, Carmel-by-the-sea has al­ways held an im­por­tant place in Noelle Micek’s heart. ‘I came here as a child with my mum and dad, who in turn were brought here by their par­ents,’ she ex­plains.

Noelle, her hus­band John and their two young chil­dren, Char­lotte, six, and Jack, four, live in Di­ablo, just an hour and a half north of Carmel, so when they be­gan think­ing about a week­end re­treat, they knew ex­actly where to hone their search. And af­ter view­ing around a dozen prop­er­ties, they fi­nally vis­ited this cot­tage, which was built in 1914. ‘I loved all the orig­i­nal fea­tures, such as the board and bat­ten pan­elling, the beams and the fire­place made from lo­cal stone,’ says Noelle. The lo­ca­tion was also ex­actly right for them. ‘The ocean is just three blocks away and the town cen­tre is four blocks in the other di­rec­tion, so when we ar­rive here, we park the car and we don’t touch it un­til we leave.’

The pri­or­ity for Noelle and John was to be able to share their re­treat with fam­ily and friends, so they de­cided to make some changes to make it more com­fort­able for guests. ‘ We sac­ri­ficed the fam­ily room on the ground floor to cre­ate a guest bed­room,’ she ex­plains. ‘ We also turned a garage into an ex­tra guest suite.’

Noelle, who orig­i­nally worked in finance, set up her own in­te­rior de­sign prac­tice in 2008, so she was well equipped to deal with the works. Prac­ti­cal­ity is fun­da­men­tal to her de­sign and fit­ted stor­age has been in­cor­po­rated through­out this home – benches flank the fire­place, pro­vid­ing ex­tra seat­ing and pull-out draw­ers for toys, while in the guest rooms, bay win­dows have been utilised to cre­ate invit­ing win­dow seats with cup­boards un­der­neath.

Hav­ing cho­sen a neu­tral back­drop, Noelle in­tro­duced var­i­ous shades of sooth­ing blues. ‘The colours aren’t ex­act matches but if you look at them to­gether, they are com­ple­men­tary,’ she says. Tex­ture is an­other must, and wo­ven pieces fea­ture through­out, with Lloyd Loom-style chairs, sea­grass bas­kets and ex­quis­ite state­ment lights, such as the din­ing room’s rope-and-beaded chan­de­lier.

The in­te­ri­ors segue with the ter­race, which is where the fam­ily and their friends will be found most evenings, play­ing cards and lis­ten­ing to the ocean waves. ‘This is the per­fect place to en­joy qual­ity time with peo­ple we care about,’ says Noelle.

SIT­TING ROOM The brickwork fire­place and pan­elled walls are two of the orig­i­nal fea­tures that drew Noelle to the cot­tage. Poste cof­fee ta­ble, £275, and sum­mer Days rug, £125, both Loaf, have a sim­i­lar look. Cres­cent wo­ven bas­ket, £30, Cox & Cox, is a close match

MAS­TER BED­ROOM A rest­ful, sym­met­ri­cal set­ting was cre­ated be­neath the eaves. Mo­saic mir­ror, £ 464, ser­ena & Lily. the Dormy house makes sim­i­lar shaped head­boards, from £ 495

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