56: Life, Love & Decor: My Interview with Frances Schultz
Monday August 24, 2015

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“The house, whether cottage or castle, stands for who we are, how we live, and how we love ourselves and others.” –Frances Schultz, author of The Bee Cottage Story

The Simple Sophisticate, episode #56

The entire interview with author and blogger Frances Schultz is available exclusively on audio this week, so do be sure to tune in as we discuss happiness, meditation, the gift of truly getting to know yourself and how that translates into decorating your sanctuary. Below is a peek into and around the grounds of Bee Cottage which is located in East Hampton. To see the entire home, including before and after images and detailed description and details from Frances, I highly recommend the book as it is a rich and inspiring resource.

A 1920 stucco house, Frances purchased it in 2008 and restored it to its full grandeur. Her journey initially was the focus of a 9-part monthly column in House Beautiful beginning in 2009 and eventually became the inspiration for the book The Bee Cottage which is the primary focus of our conversation. While her expertise and original intent was to share decor tips and inspiration, the book is part memoir and part decor manual making it all the more worthy of setting aside a morning or afternoon to devour.

bc2 ~The Bee Cottage, approximately 2300 sq feet, built in 1920~


~one of Frances’ decor suggestions if you have a small kitchen and need to conserve space, hang baskets and/or pots~


~the French daybed mentioned during the episode which is situated in the study/guest room~


~the paint colors of the shutters, but also many other walls and cupboards are shared within the book~


~In 2012 Frances was kind enough to write a guest post for TSLL on how to welcome house guests in style (here is the link). Taking that topic, she expands upon it in her book with even more pictures~

To purchase The Bee Cottage Story: How I Made a Muddle of Things and Decorated My Way Back to Happiness by Frances Schultz, view the three options:

~for a signed copy, visit www.francesschultz.com

~most local bookstores have her book in stock, so be sure to ask or check out the new release shelves

~Purchase on Amazon here.

~Books mentioned during our conversation:

Petit Plaisir

Decor tips and inspiration from the pages of Frances Schultz’s The Bee Cottage Story:


  1. first, decide how you will live in the house. list your day-to-day habits; how do you move through the rooms? How are you going to use them? Keep a log of your activities to make sure you are aware of them. Plan to organize your space around what you really do.
  2. crown molding and wainscoting enhance a room’s dimension
  3. turn a random object into a light fixture (a bird cage perhaps?)
  4. rooms shouldn’t be static. One of the ways to keep them lively is to change the art and objects displayed in them, however simple or modest
  5. keep a collection that is sentimental to you (Frances has a collection of clear jars full of sand from her travels)
  6. allow baskets and pots to hang as decor in kitchens or pantries to provide texture and warmth. Simply hang them from a medal rod  used for curtains with an “S” hook. This also frees up cabinet space if you have a small kitchen.
  7. install pull-out shelves in your lower cabinets. In Frances’ own words, “It will be life-changing.”
  8. have hand soap and hand cream by the sink in the kitchen. Frances recommends L’Occitane products for quality and packaging.
  9. rooms can be puzzles. If you have a lot of pieces that don’t “fit”, just let them float around in there and don’t think about it for awhile. Sometimes you’ll return and see a piece that fits, and it all comes together.
  10. design your house in a way that supports and validates who you are and what you do

For more specific decor tips, inspiration and a bevy of before and after images, be sure to pick up The Bee Cottage Story



~Authenticity: Finding the Courage to Be Yourself (podcast)

~6 Ways to Create a Chic Sanctuary (podcast)

~Why Not . . . Meditate?

~Why Not . . . Spring Forward? (Dan Harris’ book 10% Happier is discussed in detail)


Images via Frances Schultz, Trevor Tondro and House Beautiful

Frances11 | The Simply Luxurious Life, Www.thesimplyluxuriouslife.com
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