Cocktail queen, disaster relief expert, author, TV producer... Bethenny Frankel wears many hats (and that doesn’t even include mom and The Real Housewives of New York City cast member!). But in recent years the self-made businesswoman has also been focusing on real estate, specifically flipping homes.
Bethenny employs smart design choices when she’s renovating, opting for clean, neutral palettes and furnishings and avoiding trends (no Lucite!) to make the home accessible to buyers. While we’ve gotten peeks of her projects on Bethenny & Fredrick and RHONY — including her gorgeous Bridgehampton investment property! — we rarely get design tips from the maven herself… until now.
Bethenny recently chatted with Kansas City Star ahead of her headlining appearance at the Greater Kansas City Home Show next week, addressing her favorite ways to make a home both modern and cozy. See her rules below, and be sure to tune into RHONY on Wednesdays at 9/8c!
1. Stick to Neutrals… With Flair
As we’ve seen in her home spaces, Bethenny loves a neutral-hued color palette with lots of beiges and grays. Choose items “you’re not going to get sick of,” she advised, adding that she loves marble with gray and white zebra-like stripes, because “it’s got edge, but it’s still neutral." Bethenny also recommends “tailored and classic” furniture pieces to anchor a room, while implementing pillows, throw blankets, decorative objects, and coffee table books because they “add flair.”
2. But Embrace Pops of Color
A SkinnyGirl for life, Bethenny does not shy away from the occasional pop of red. Case in point: Her Hamptons manse, where she mixes a red front door and a beautiful green chest amidst cozy neutral-hued couches and an all-white kitchen.
“I did allow for more color, more whimsy, and more fun because it is a Hamptons country home,” she said. “It’s where I go with my daughter to have fun, build snowmen, go sledding.”
As for her new home in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, “I’m using jewel tones, but they’re functioning as a neutral,” Bethenny said. “Navy, greens, a little bit of leopard — but it feels classic.”
3. Comfort Is King
While her homes are picture perfect — literally, you’ll remember her Soho apartment was featured in Architectural Digest! — Bethenny insists on the spaces being livable, too. Her Soho apartment, for example, is ultra-modern, but Bethenny said, “I wanted it to feel warm and approachable. The couches are low to the ground, the carpets are comfortable. It has the energy where you want to experience every inch of the apartment.”
4. Less Is More
Not surprisingly, Bethenny is something of a neat freak. But don’t label her a Marie Kondo devotee. The KonMari Method, she said, “is organizing things and placing things in different piles. I’m more focused on really purging and being really lean.”
5. Stick to Your Gut… and Always Choose Marble
When it comes to both fashion and design, Bethenny ignores the trends and instead follows her intuition. She likes mixing metals, for example, like brass, rose gold, pewter and chrome, and she “loves marble.” Don’t we all!
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