An Afternoon at Bee Cottage

Frances Schultz shares her personal journey of self-discovery through the restoration of her East Hampton cottage. In this excerpt Schultz reflects on a favorite room that perennially retains its gardeny flair with ever-changing furniture and fabric

It’s not every day one is allowed a glimpse of perfection, but that was exactly my experience when invited into author/designer/die-hard Southerner Frances Schultz’s bee-themed bungalow in East Hampton, New York. Schultz lovingly restored and decorated a quaint cottage located on a shady side street, just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of glamorous downtown East Hampton. I had driven past the little gem since my prep school days visiting friends just down the road, and had always longed to see beyond the garden gate. After an inspiring afternoon of touring, photographing, and chatting with the charming mistress of the house, may I just say, Bee Cottage was worth the wait.

By the way, I also highly recommend diving into Schultz’s recent book, The Bee Cottage Story (Skyhorse, 2015). Her insightful and humorous chronicles of the house’s restoration—and her life that happened along the way—has had the design world all abuzz.

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A watercolor of Bee Cottage painted by Frances Schultz, a prolific and gifted artist

The Bee Cottage garden gate
Company’s coming and Schultz turns on the water feature.
The border beyond the pool is filled with hydrangea, hollyhock, and of course, bee balm.
A thatch-covered patio and armillary sphere add interest and focus to the side yard.
Schultz loves to cut from her garden for casual arrangements. Here she’s used a few dahlias.
Even the garden hose lives in a bee keep–shaped caddy.
Bee-emblazoned plates reiterate the theme in Frances’s garden room where I fell in love with the Carleton V trellis wallpaper, a clever outdoor reference.
The living room, though furnished with antiques, maintains a casual, seaside vibe with a pastel palette, sea grass rug, and hydrangeas from the garden in a green milk-glass vase.
More bee motifs in the bedroom
Frances Schultz

By Margot Shaw