Instagram airplane leaving Japan

So it rained pretty much the entire time of our last week in Japan and the weather on the day we left was a good indicator of my feelings. Since we’ve been home I’ve had no time to post or even lie low and sulk in the whirl of doctor’s appointments and quick visits to long-missed friends. I’m definitely in a state of denial – it doesn’t feel like I have left Japan forever – as we always spend the summer back in the US. And I know I’ll be back as I already have work visits planned for next year, but that is somehow different. For now, a chapter in our life story has finished and we are on to the next adventure, but I am continuing to feel a bit ambivalent about it all. I’ve said ja mata (see you later) but not sayonara (goodbye)!

Here at the beach things are mostly looking good. The boardwalk has not yet been entirely rebuilt since super storm Sandy, but our town was hit much more gently than some other shore villages. Although I lost a few things in the garden which is expected, the hydrangea report is excellent – to compare with the last two years, click here. I’ve still got the crazy variegated thing going on which causes people to stop and ask me how I did it, but honestly, I’m not sure.

hydrangea 2013

I’ve got lots of projects up my sleeve, one including this amazing vintage sari trim. And get this, after all that crazy work on the bathroom last year, the shower has a leak. If we can’t just re-grout and re-seal, I may end up having to rip out the tile after all.

Instagram vintage sari trim

Managed to hit up a few of our antiquing spots and picked up a steal on a pair of chairs with fabulous lines for my Chicago friend and client. These are going in her living room

Kathleens chairs

…reupholstered in John Robshaw’s Lanka Oyster.

lanka oyster Robshaw

On the new horizons front, it looks like we have found a house in Doha. From my very first visit there I preferred one “compound” (think housing development) to all the others, both because I liked the architectural integrity and middle eastern lines of the houses and the very white (not beige) palette of the interior and exterior, but also because there seemed to be a sense of community centered around the pool and restaurant inside the gates. Of course everybody else likes this development too, so it was full, but my sweet husband went every week to see the managing agent to remind him of our existence on the waiting list. As luck would have it, one has become available and they are renovating as I type, which you can see by the load of construction materials out front. It’s as different from my Tokyo house as it could be.


I am an absolute sucker for all the lovely arches – door, openings and windows in the downstairs rooms. Ignore somebody’s old crib!


And the row of tiny ones in the master bedroom is divine too.  The interior shell is very pure, especially when compared to some of the other places we saw.


Less exciting are the protruding can lights (how to fix those is still unresolved in my mind) and tile floor, but tiled floors seem to be de rigueur there.  At least these are quite white and not brown/tan based.

I’ve had numerous inspiration photos filed away for a while, but none so apropos as Sarah Davison‘s lovely Tamarama apartment. The windows are incredibly similar, although obviously my floor can’t compete with her unglazed Moroccan terracotta tiles.

Sarah Davison

Her apartment in Sydney is in a 1920s Spanish Mission-style building, so in many ways, not that dissimilar. The living room boasts a few pieces quite like those I will be working with – Japanese screen, bamboo, and big glass bottles.

Sarah Davison screeen bamboo chair

Along with the green, some lavender will be sneaking its way in there, much like the pillows on her sofa.

Sarah Davison LR

I have plans for a long-stored amazing piece of Chinese embroidery, an antique bed valence…

instagram Chinese embroidered bed valence

…as well as a piece of vintage silk ikat gifted to me by friend and designer Maja Lithander Smith. For more on Sarah Davison and her beautiful home, take a look at her website or the Design Sponge Sneak Peak.

Bittersweet to move on, but I am trying to roll with the excitement change can bring. And if anyone has a solution idea for those can lights, please let me know!!!!!

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