Why Bethenny Frankel Is Obsessed with T.J. Maxx (and Other Decorating Tips)
The reality star reveals how she furnished her new farmhouse in non Housewives fashion
She’s a multi-millionaire with an empire of her own, but when it comes to decorating, Bethenny Frankel has a low cost and decidedly non – glam approach. “I don’t over think it, I just go with it,” she says of furnishing her new Bridgehampton, N.Y. home, showcased in this week’s PEOPLE.
“Half of this house is from T.J. Maxx,” says The Real Housewives of New York City star and Skinnygirl mogul. “I’m in the T.J. Maxx witness protection program. I’m embarrassed by how much I go there. I literally don’t want them to see me in there. I have to hide.”
“Most people here would never tell someone they bought something from T.J. Maxx,” she says of the Hamptons scene, “but I’m not going to pretend I’m somebody I’m not.”
When decorating the five bedroom room house (two of the bedrooms have since been converted) she used some of her old decor, such as leftover wallpaper from her Tribeca apartment, and the dlrs 99 Ikea mirror that, she says, “has been in very place with me since my studio apartment,” as well as some furnishings left there from the home’s prior owner, including a “crappy wood bench” that she spray-painted her signature red and which now greets her visitors on her front lawn.
“I go for what feels good rather than what’s forced,” she says of her finds from West Elm and CB2. “Just like the way I dress, I don’t look for labels.”
“She doesn’t want to worry about the furniture,” says decorator Aaron Kirsten who gave Frankel some tips when putting the house together. “We curated what she had,” says Kirsten. “She’s not a waster. When I show her something, she will say ‘Find me a cheap version of that.'”
“I’m really happy that nothing was expensive,” says Frankel. “I just want it to be happy and fun and not pretentious.”