Already in its sixth printing! Inspired by Frances’ House Beautiful column, what began as a decorating book evolved into a memoir with lots of beautiful photos and a compelling personal story.
Bee Cottage is my house in East Hampton. 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?
This is a modest stucco cottage built in the early 20th century.
But for a porch made into a kitchen and the garage into a room I don’t know when, the floor plan is virtually unchanged.
I did add a large porch on the back, with considerable landscaping and a garden, but the house is very much as it was.
Some houses just are what they are, and you go with that. 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.