Frances Schultz named her East Hampton home "Bee Cottage" simply because bees are drawn to beauty.
When it comes to design and decorating, Frances Schultz knows what she likes. Photo credit: Taylor Hooper.
Frances Schultz didn't limit her work to the interior; she transformed the exterior and gardens of Bee Cottage as well.
More on Frances
Journalist, tastemaker, television personality, world traveler, hostess, cook, Southerner, Sunday painter, fledgling gardener and outdoors lover, Frances Schultz is an enthusiast on a variety of topics–decoration and design, food and entertaining, culture and style. She is author and co-author of several books, including A House in the South, and was for six years on-air host of the award-winning cable television show Southern Living Presents. A contributing editor to House Beautiful magazine and former editor-at-large for Veranda, she contributes also to the prestigious travel website Indagare and has written for numerous others, including Town & Country and the New York Social Diary. Frances has appeared on such programs as The Today Show, CNN’s Open House, The Christopher Lowell Show, The Nate Berkus Show and Turner South’s Home Plate.
Behind the Scenes of 'Bee Cottage'
Design expert Frances Schultz shares the story of renovating her summer home.
- by Trisha McBride Ferguson
Nearly everyone agrees that when you watch a decorating show on television, the best part is at the end when they show the 'before' and 'after' shots. Sure, there's lots of work that has to take place beforehand, but what stirs our imagination most are the photos of drastically improved spaces.
When Frances Schultz purchased her home in East Hampton, it was with great vision. She saw the potential and worked for years to make it a reality. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the incredible transformation of the lovely Bee Cottage (named such because bees are drawn to beauty).
Bee Cottage today
In Frances' Own Words
"Bee Cottage is my house in East Hampton," explains Schultz. "I bought it in 2008 and spent two years renovating and decorating. It isn't finished or perfect, but what is? And who would want to live there?"
When asked about the structure, Schultz describes it as a modest stucco cottage built in the early 20th century. "But for a porch made into a kitchen and the garage into a room way before I got here, the floor plan is virtually unchanged," she says. "I did add a large porch on the back, with considerable landscaping and a garden, but the house is very much as it was."
Room by Room Inspiration
Here's a look at the evolution of this space, from plain to magazine-worthy.
Living Room Before
Living Room After
Dining Room Before
Dining Room After
The Point of a House
"Some houses just are what they are, and you go with that," says Schultz. "With tremendous help from designer Tom Samet, I decorated accordingly with a traditional, cottage-y feel, part Cotswolds-part Provence. A glorified garden shed is sort of how I think of it. Keeps the house (and me) from getting uptight. The point of a house, after all, is to shelter body and soul, right?"