Storybook Living

Storybook living is available in real life – you don’t have

to reach for your children’s bookshelves to find examples of it.

10 Whimsical Cottages the Wolf Can’t Blow Down


“The Three Little Pigs have nothing on these digs,” writes

Kelly Taylor in her article for Environmental Graffiti, 10

Amazing Buildings Made of Dirt and Straw. The 10 houses shown are examples

of whimsical yet practical creativity. In locations as diverse as British

Columbia, Baja Mexico, and South Africa, Taylor says these are “clean, green,

natural buildings smoothed from dirt, straw, clay, and loads of ingenuity. No

Big Bad Wolf will blow these down.”

The “Hansel” and Other Storybook Cottages by the Carmel Sea

Hansel cottage carmel
“Once upon a time in a land at the edge of the world, where

tall pine trees swayed with ocean breezes and a white sand beach smiled broadly

at a big blue ocean, there lived…” So begins a story about the famous storybook

cottages in California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea. These cottages, one of which is

named “The Hansel,” were designed by Hugh Comstock beginning in 1924. Comstock

was neither an architect nor a home builder when he launched his storybook

building projects.
A feature in the now

defunct Cottage Living Magazine still

appears online to delight and entice travelers to visit these unique

cottages. Readers discover that “despite Comstock’s inexperience and lack of

formal training (he rarely used a carpenter’s level), the house did not

collapse and the storybook appeal caught on. Soon the old facades of

storefronts came down and the town’s small Craftsman and Victorian architecture

gave way to the celebration of whimsy and fantasy that defines Carmel to this


500 Cottages to Make You Smile


another indication of the universal appeal of storybook living: Bookmark Inc. –

Books for the Construction Professional offers a book called 500 Cottages.

500 Cottages, by Doug Keister, features 500 of Keister’s photographs organized by style, including English, storybook, bungalettes,

Victorian, and Spanish-influenced casitas. The author/photographer says, “The

appeal of a cottage has never been stronger than in the hurried and harried

twenty-first century. In an era of McMansions, celebrity palaces, and country

castles that may make us gasp in awe and scratch our heads in amazement, there

is something wonderfully enticing about a modest little home that simply makes

us smile.”

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Gnomes in Your Garden: Corny or Cute?

Gnomes in Your Garden: Corny or Cute?

Gnomes are mythical creatures who began appearing as garden decorations in… Read Gnomes in Your Garden: Corny or Cute? »