As always, a bittersweet moment as we depart one home for another. This post is really for me, to remind myself that while I didn’t do anywhere near as much work on the house as I’d planned, I did get some things accomplished in addition to finishing the bathroom (almost). And as I head back to Tokyo, I know I’ll need little reminders of our beach house goodness for sustenance.

First up, the Sonoma bookcase all filled up (mostly). I have never been as happy with a mass retailer/catalog item as I have been with this one from Ballard Designs. And I am not the only one liking it as yet again I have spotted a pair of them in a high-end design, this time the Nate Berkus designed brownstone for Katie Lee. They really are versatile and great value for the money.

My girls scoured the attic for my gardening books and we added a few other vintage wooden delivery boxes gleaned here and there. And I still cannot believe the way the television fits – as if it was custom made for it.

Ballard Designs Sonoma bookcase

The bottom section has been filled out since my post on hiding all the cords and the electronic components are basically unnoticeable. I need a few more good coffee table size books which I may have to steal from my shelves in Tokyo this winter.

The top is filled with pretties, gardening books and good reads.

Added some special Japanese details to the downstairs bath, including fishing floats…

…and a big collection of kashigata that look like coral patterns on the ledge above the built-ins.

Didn’t hang any of my lovely Japanese hanga (modern woodblock prints) above the sideboard, but the longer they stayed leaning there, the more I liked them just like that. And I had planned to have the big wire basket full of dried hydrangeas by now, but no matter what I did, I failed on that front. If anyone out there knows the trick to drying them, please let me in on the secret!

I tried early in the summer and filled it with blooms, but they just shriveled and rotted – no drying! So sad, because they were so pretty!

Close-up you can see my $2.50 William Yeoward-esque decanter – garage sales were very very good to me this summer.

You’ll notice you never heard anything about the kitchen. The truth is that with kids and constant house guests the DIYs are hard to get to.  But my palette of cream and white, with texture and mixed metals remains unchanged. Tried the water technique for drying hydrangeas too, but it didn’t work much better.

I always find the stained glass door in the dining room ironic, because I had already picked the color palette based in some part on my Aesthetic Movement transferware even before seeing it, and it could not have been more perfect. Most of the stained glass in houses around town is combinations of bright red, blue and yellow. Obviously this was my destiny house.

A few gifts and trips to the Ladies Auxiliary book sale filled out this little bookshelf at the top of the stairs. The larger artwork is a 19th century Japanese land contract that I bought for the equivalent of a dollar at the Tomioka Hachiman shrine sale and framed. Sharp eyes will recognize a few other Tokyo treasures.

Little girls grow up so fast…

…the bigger girls too. So luckily both of their rooms are close to complete.

The search for master bedroom night tables continues. I had seen some cute scalloped ones here and here, so I picked up this pair for $50, thinking I would paint them. But they are still too low and very blocky and square - the lamp on the stacked books looks cute for styling, but is actually like that for night time reading practicality. The only real decorating mistake of the summer.

More etched mirrors made their way to the wall…

…the Louis XVI-style oval from the bathroom has a great new spot, better suited than its old one, mimicking a favorite Charlotte Moss dresser and mirror combo. As for the lack of lampshades here and in other photos, still waiting on my custom ones after a year, but that is its own story. Just try to imagining one on this lamp made with green marbelized paper, meant to look like malachite…

…and the French chaise found its perfect fabric – a European style ikat from Lee Jofa called Lambelet Stripe, picked up here for a song.

Nothing big changed in the guest room, just a sweet little chair…

…and some sweet little welcoming details, like these vintage wooden shoe lasts and child’s slate.

And someone wrote to ask about the upstairs hall bath which I never mention, because it came to me pretty spot on. Just a coat or two of Farrow & Ball Chinese Blue and it was good to go! Maybe some artwork needed?

Well goodbye New Jersey summer! Hello Tokyo! I can hear the shrine sales beckoning…