Weekend–Down at the Jersey Shore

If you have never been to the New Jersey shore and think the towns along the entire shoreline are like what you see on the MTV show with Snookie – THINK AGAIN! That show gives New Jersey a tarnished image, when in reality only a small percentage of the towns are like what you see on that show.

Let me take you to the southern end of the state known as Cape May County. It has a whole lineup of beautiful, classy, family oriented seaside towns starting with Ocean City all the way down to the tip – Cape May.  If you like seeing beautiful home exteriors –I took lots of photos and you will find them at the end of this post.

Southern-new-jersey shore

Ed and I were invited  to spend the weekend with our friends in their brand new house in Stone Harbor, NJ.  The weather and their hospitality made for a wonderful weekend getaway. From the Philadelphia area driving “down the shore” only takes about 2  hours depending on the traffic. Sometimes at peak times like Friday night and Saturday mornings the Garden State Parkway southbound is more  like the Garden State Parking lot which can get a little stressful, but once you arrive – any traffic stress simply vanishes.



Stone Harbor and Avalon are joined together  – to get to most of the towns along the coast on the southern end you have to cross over bridges as most of the towns are islands off the mainland.


You enter the town of Stone Harbor right into the shopping district.  Hoy’s 5 and 10 is a popular place.


Lots of shops and restaurants line the street and are popular strolling places.


Bayside at dusk.


and lots of gorgeous homes with lots of white trim and fabulous lighting.

Bayside view of a home –

and the street side.


Classic architectural details everywhere


Clean wide beaches



And beautiful seaside flowers all over town.



Our friends just built this beautiful home. Let me take you on a quick tour.  Ed and I had the entire 1st guest floor to ourselves. Our friends have lots of family and nieces and nephews and wanted a place where the family can gather together, but have plenty of room to spread out. The big window on the second floor is in the kitchen. The sink is right under it. As you stand there you can see the bay.


My designing visual mind was on overdrive – so many great looking details to catalog in my brain.


You walk up these steps


and through the front door to be greeted


into a bright cheery foyer on the 1st floor.


Love all the transoms.


The first floor is for guests. It has a screened porch, living area, laundry room, 2 baths, and three bedrooms.


The hallway to the bedrooms.


We stayed in this room.


Black and tan room


A room for when the nieces and nephews come to visit.


Guest room bath and hall bath. Each bathroom had a walk in shower.


Laundry Room


Then it is back to the foyer to go upstairs.


On the second floor there is a screened porch,  great room, kitchen, butler’s pantry, desk area, master bedroom and two baths.  The ceilings on this floor are cathedral style and covered with bead board and molding.  Most of the furnishings are from Ethan Allen. The color on the walls is: Benjamin Moore Shaker Beige at 75% tint.



This is the only shot that came out of the kitchen – the wall to the right is the huge bay window that is counter height to ceiling. It is beautiful.  :(  no photo.  The kitchen is in a U shape that wraps around the center island.


The Master Bedroom




2nd floor hallway bath. Paint color:  Sherwin Williams Rainwashed


Looking down at the staircase.


Outside the perfect spot for relaxing. We stayed out here after being on the beach all afternoon. We were hot and sandy and this spot is breezy and shady.  A great place to cool off and enjoy a refreshing drink and each other’s company.


I went for a bike ride each morning and took photos of some of the houses I saw along the way. I love seeing houses that look old, but are new.

My favorite one was right down the street from our friends’ house.

Front View


Front Door – love the beveled glass door and the stone walkway.


Side View. I couldn’t get the back view as I would have had to been on a boat.


On a long lot . Love the little  shed. Hydrangeas are everywhere – they thrive at the shore.








It was a very enjoyable weekend. Thank you Tony and Annette for inviting us to spend the weekend with you.

Now I am back and will be showing you my progress in my bathroom and a few other little projects once I come back to reality.

If you would like to take a tour of my favorite beach town in Cape May County – you can find it –  here.

Pretty homes in Stone Harbor New Jersey

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  1. Vicki Crawford says:

    Hi Diane,

    In your 2011 article, “Weekend–Down at the Jersey Shore”; would you be able to find out from your friends who own the beautiful home featured, the outside color of their shingles in the pictures?

    Thank you so so much!

  2. Christina says:

    My husband and I just purchased a home in OCNJ. He has spent every summer of his life there and I joined him 20 years ago. Our 3 young daughters also love it there and are learning to surf and sail during our summers at the Jersey Shore. I adore your pictures and can’t wait to start incorporating some of these ideas into our new summer home. Thanks for sharing!

  3. ….and also the paint color in the 2nd floor bathroom?? Thank you!

    1. Hi Janice –
      Here are the colors: the living room is Ben Moore HC -45 Shaker Beige at 75% tint. The hall bath is Sherwin Williams 6211 Rainwashed. Best of luck with your house.

  4. Love this home! Would you be able to tell me the wall/trim paint colors they used on the first floor? Just closed on a home on the Jersey Shore n LBI and need a good neutral. Thanks!!!

  5. Your photography is beautiful! Thank you so much for representing The Garden State with all the respect it deserves. Those of us who grew up in NJ at the beach wish our country could see this depiction of the State on TV. How sad that people with class in NJ never get to have a tv show.

    1. Hi Gretchen-

      I am very happy to write about the real New Jersey – as you know it is not at all like what is portrayed on TV. It is one beautiful state with the best beaches and lots of farms and open space.That is why it is called the Garden State after all – Right!

  6. Hello, My wife and I have stayed in Stone Harbor. We just bought a property in MD on the water and really want to build something similar to this style. Any idea what this type of style is actually called so we can research it a little more? Thanks!

  7. Beautiful photos. They really capture the essence of the true Jersey shore! We have a place in Cape May. Just found your blog. Looks like we are local to one another!

  8. Thank you for doing such a great post of the “real” shores of New Jersey! My husband and I grew up in South Jersey and we went down the shore to Ocean City (me) and Brigatine (him) all the time. Your photos show the REAL Jersey shore. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I agree with you that South Jersey is the real shore. I grew up vacationing at the south end of Ocean City every summer and even worked on the boardwalk there during the summer between my Freshman and Sophmore year of college. Many of my fondest memories of growing up happened in OC. It truly is one of my favorite places.

  9. Pat's Addition says:

    Oh…love the diy tuna can candle thing. Great for Christmas. BTW, my son from Philly will be down the shore (Ocean City) next week with the in laws.

  10. Pat's Addition says:

    Thanks for the good word re down the shore. I grew up in Monmouth Cty. on the beach. in houses that looked like those, but were old…1880’s. Such a great look, always says summer to me. “Course the ne version have lots going for them.

  11. Suzy @ Worthing Court says:

    We have friends from New Jersey who come to the beach here in North Carolina. They never told me the Jersey Shore is so beautiful!

  12. Griffith Family says:

    Truly beautiful! We drove from Dallas to Syracuse several years ago and visiting many beaches on the way up and back and the Jersey Shore was one of them. I agree that the mtv set has done nothing good to promote the image of NJ. But if more people see your post…. well, we’ll all be moving there. Love the architecture. The layout is unique of the home you stayed in but absolutely perfect for a getaway. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Ann-

      That must have been a fun trip. You got to see a lot of the country. I traveled across the country a few times and it truly opens your eyes to how different some states are from others. The house I stayed in has the living area upstairs as living by the water is all about the view. It was a truly lovely home.

  13. DREAM HOME FOR SURE! Wow, how lovely! You must have felt so welcomed by those large, clean, fresh rooms. It’s always been a dream of mine to live by the sea, and now I’m going to have to pin some of those photos onto my “beach house” Pinterest board.

  14. Nan @ Playful Decor says:

    Do you see me wiping the drool off? I’m saving this for reference. We want to do shakes on our house with white trim.

    What truly amazes me is that the architecture is keeping with a coastal community. Maybe they have strict zoning laws there? So often when people build houses, they are not keeping with the local theme.

    I also like in your friend’s house the dining area is more casual. CLean lines, elegant, but comfortable. Enjoy the week!

    1. Hi Nan – There are some zoning laws – no dwelling over two stories is the biggest. There are many types of house there, but this style is my favorite. Most of them are done by the same architect. Mark Asher – I went to high school with him. You can see his other work here – http://www.asherarchitects.com/asher-architects_01.html

  15. Oh…I love every little thing about your weekend! Friends, water and a beautiful house…what more could you ask for? I can see why your brain was on overload. Thanks for the beautiful photos. Please tell your friends they did a beautiful job on their house and congrats!

  16. Anita @ GoingalittleCoastal says:

    Your friend’s home is just gorgeous. How great you had the whole first floor! So many beautiful homes up there. I love all the stone work. And of course all the hydrangeas!

  17. Love everything about the shore. Your friends home is absolutely lovely. Can ya love a home??? I sure love all the little details they did. Beadboard on the ceiling and up the walls. So pretty….and I especially loved the landscaping. Hydrangeas abound and in many shades of colors. That was the icing on the cake for me. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Beautiful, beautiful homes. Thanks for sharing. :)

  19. What a beautiful home your friends have – thanks for the tour and for the other great pictures of beautiful real estate down the shore. I have good friends whose parents own a home in Stone Harbor, and I just love gazing at all of the beautiful home exteriors and perfectly landscaped grounds. I really love the staircase and all of the light fixtures your friends chose for their home – the light fixtures are amazing!

  20. Stephanie@cre8tive says:

    Oh my gosh! I want to live in one of those houses! They are so stunning. I love the architecture of them, just so homey and welcoming. Your friends house? Wow what a place. I think I most in love with the light fixtures, very fitting for the house and so unique. Lucky you, that is a place I am sure you didn’t want to leave.
    Oh my gosh, that other post you did on the Jersey Shore was the first post of yours that I read! I had never even seen the Jersey Shore and your pictures amazed me. Do you remember I asked you about the smell? LOL I only knew of what I had heard. So this means your birthday is coming up…

  21. Oh my goodness, we spent our summers there! I remember the Hoy’s 5 and 10 as if it were yesterday (and the bookstore that was right beside it!). There was a fudge store across the street that was to die for! And my parents let us (goodness we couldn’t have been more then 9 or 10) ride into town to the bookstore and Hoy’s by ourselves. Gosh, that was the late 80’s and VERY early 90s! I miss it! I last saw it in 97 and not much had changed in town (which was nice to see!) but a lot more had changed along the bayside. I need to go back and show my kids just where I use to vacation! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  22. There is so much to swoon over in your pictures. I was initially reeled in by the hydrangeas but the further down I scrolled, the more in love I fell. Thanks so much for sharing – your friends have wonderful style.

  23. Diane, thanks so much for taking us along and showing us these gorgeous homes with the beautiful yards. Love your friend’s house. How wonderful to have a home like that on the beach.

  24. Madigan at madiganmade says:

    Um, Diane, did you tell your friends I’ll be visiting this summer? LOL!
    That house is a-maz-ing. Love the details with all the beadboard/woodwork and subtle beachy touches. I’m in love with the dining room chandy, too (in fact, all the lighting choices are lovely). Just tell them I’ll take the black and tan room, thanks. ;)