cottage

 Happy Monday and Happy Mother’s Day to all of you! We hope you had an amazing day and got to celebrate with family and friends! I had the privilege last week of attending the Women for Women Power of the Purse Luncheon and hearing the lovely and talented Frances Schultz speak.

living-room

 You probably know her from her chic and charming Hamptons “Bee Cottage.” We have long been obsessed with her blog, and I live so close to Greenville (where the luncheon was held) that I couldn’t miss the opportunity to meet Frances in person.

living-room

 And, let me tell you, she is just as fabulous in person as she is on the web — funny and poised and a completely captivating speaker. Her message was as charming (and memorable) as her living room.

paint

 I had no idea until Wednesday that Bee Cottage was about more than just polishing a diamond in the rough; it was also about remodeling Frances’ life, getting to her core and rebuilding her life from the ground up. She said that doing what you love will get you to your truth, which, in her case, meant making some very uncomfortable life changes. Yup, even more uncomfortable than demolition, new roofs and picking paint colors.

dining

 As she put it, with that ever quick wit that we all love about her so much: “The truth will set you free. But, honey, it will wring you out first!”

kitchen

 We have to tell you, if you had seen the before pictures of this kitchen, you would know that the truth wasn’t the only thing wringing Frances out during this renovation! As beautiful and appealing as it is now… Shew! It was not so before.

office

 And you must track down the before pictures of this amazing office and butler pantry space. It was dark and crowded with a couple of ancient appliances crammed in the corners. We think we have pretty good vision, but even we were stunned by this transformation!

bedroom-ideas

 It was so sweet to see how Frances worked her mother’s collection of Staffordshire dogs into her decor — and her bedroom ideas. Good memories and a sense of history are definitely themes in Bee Cottage. We love the idea of making the figurines into lamps.

bedroom-ideas

 She said all of the furniture in this teeny, tiny room had to be put on those magic sliders to even fit in here and be shifted and moved around. Funny how, even though that’s the case, it looks so bright and spacious. It’s just right for weekend guests!

office

We’ve showcased this fabulous office on the blog before. We were glad to hear that Frances hired a professional to hang these pictures. (That’s probably why she has such a happy marriage!) And these lacquered walls were a reminder that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. She decided to embrace the imperfections in the plaster and bring them out, not try to hide them away. This is what character is all about!

bedroom

 The canopy in this bedroom was such an ingenious way to make the roof slant disappear — although, you know we think it’s just adorable either way!

bedroom-ideas

 And this nook is so perfect for getting ready or even getting a little work done. This mirror adds so much brightness and cheer!

gardens

 These gardens were another area that you just can’t imagine from looking at the before pictures… and this pool is complete with the most amazing water feature that Frances says makes her feel like she’s at the Bellagio every time she turns it on! (She really is hilarious, y’all!)

gardens

And, though Hurricane Sandy, took its toll, Bee Cottage is better than ever. All those tiny imperfections and sudden surprises in a renovation are what give older homes that personality that you can’t put a price tag on. As Frances’ husband says, “No history, no fun!” We couldn’t agree any more, really.

Thanks, Frances, for sharing your beautiful bee cottage, your incredible, visionary renovation, and, most of all, your sage wisdom. It’s clear to us that you — and bee cottage — just keep getting better!

Frances has a new book coming out next Spring, and, we don’t know about you, but we are so excited to read it! It’s a memoir of sorts, but, of course, a decorative one. We’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready for pre-order!

Thanks for visiting us today!

Trevor Tondro Photography

House Beautiful

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