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THE BEE COTTAGE STORY: How I Made a Muddle of Things and Decorated My Way Back to Happiness
Skyhorse * July 2015 * 160 pages with photos
Like other great memoirists—M.F.K. Fisher, Frances Mayes, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Karen Blixen come to mind—Frances has written a book that is more than just another memoir. THE BEE COTTAGE STORY is a #1 bestseller in Amazon’s House Plans category — ahead of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And check out these love-letter reviews & quotes:
"Lighthearted, self-indulgent, frivolous, and likable—a good beach read, especially in the Hamptons."—Publishers Weekly
“Frances Schultz . . . has built a career on her sense of beauty, her storytelling genius, and her warm Southern charm.” —Signature magazine
"Finally... a decorating book for people who aren't afraid of 'pretty.' Frances can make anything pretty, from a breakfast tray to a guest room to a garden. Bee Cottage is pure joy. Color, comfort, and Frances. It's the happiest house I know." —Stephen Drucker, journalist and former editor-in-chief House Beautiful Magazine
“A true delight. Every woman will love this witty, wise, and wonderful book. Absolutely charming from start to finish.” —Fannie Flagg, author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
"Through every page, the candor, wit, and soul of The Bee Cottage Story would have made me fall head-over-heels for Frances Schultz… if I hadn’t already done that many years ago!” —Alex Hitz, author of My Beverly Hills Kitchen
“A refreshing memoir that defines the art of living well, uniquely illustrates Frances Schultz’s passion for aesthetics, but at the same times she gives us a window into her character. She reveals that she is more than just a woman of style: She is a woman of substance.” —Annette Tapert, author of The Power of Style
"I have said for years that in my next life, I want to be funny. Today, after getting to know Frances Schultz, reading her thoughtful and laugh-out-loud blog, and reveling in her marvelous book The Bee Cottage Story, I can amend my comment and say, 'In my next life, I want to be funny—just like Frances Schultz.' Her humor is the down-home sort that I love, and resonates so because it is infused with grace, common sense, and humanity."—Carolyne Roehm, author of A Passion for Interiors and A Passion for Flowers
“An affecting and eminently readable memoir of love and loss, forgiveness and discovery, the healing power of decorating, and the self-knowledge gained by creating a home. I loved reliving the author’s journey—room by room, experience by experience. The design tips are swell; the life lessons even better. Schultz’s voice is at once insightful, funny, self-deprecating, wise. Reading this book is like having a revelatory chat with your smartest, dearest friend—in very cozy surroundings.” —Julia Reed, author of But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria; contributing editor at Garden & Gun
“Laced with laugh-out-loud dry humor as Frances Schultz peels back the onion of her mercurial journey through cancer diagnosis, recovery, and lost and regained love; whilst dispensing well-honed decorating advice. Her beloved Bee Cottage is the laboratory for re-shaping her life, both inside and out."—Nina Griscom, designer
"Author and interiors expert Frances Schultz is like the Julia Roberts of the design world. Or at least Roberts’ character in 'Eat Pray Love.' In Schultz’s case, a series of personal mishaps—from cancer to a failed engagement and a surprise new love—unfolded just as the magazine writer and blogger bought and renovated a cozy Hamptons hideaway. Ultimately, both Schultz and her beach home had happy endings. And the journey—wallpaper, wainscoting and all—has been lovingly chronicled in her new memoir.” —David Kaufman, NY Post
Inspired by Frances Schultz’s popular House Beautiful magazine series on the makeover of her East Hampton house, Bee Cottage, what began as a decorating book evolved into a memoir combining the best elements of both: beautiful photos and a compelling personal story.
Schultz taps into what she learned during her renovations of Bee Cottage—determining how each area in the house and garden would be used and furnished—to unravel the question of how a mature, intelligent, successful woman could have made such a mess of her personal life. As she figures out each room over a period of years, Frances finds a new path in life, also a continual process. She comes to learn that, like decorating a home, our lives must adapt to who we are and what we need at different points along the way.
THE BEE COTTAGE STORY is part memoir, part home decorating guide. Frances discusses the kinds of useful, commonsense design issues professionals take for granted and the rest of us just may not think of, prompting the reader to examine and discover her own “truth” in decorating—and in her life.
Frances Schultz’s popular blog at FrancesSchultz.com is a revealing window into her lively and sometimes laugh-out-loud writing as well as her inspiring style and taste. She is also author and coauthor of several books, including A House in the South, and for six years was 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, Frances has appeared on The Today Show, CNN’s Open House, The Nate Berkus Show, and numerous others.
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