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Bethenny Frankel is coming to the Greater KC Home Show — here’s her best design advice

Reality TV star and Skinnygirl CEO Bethenny Frankel will headline the Greater Kansas City Home Show March 22-24 at Bartle Hall.
Reality TV star and Skinnygirl CEO Bethenny Frankel will headline the Greater Kansas City Home Show March 22-24 at Bartle Hall.

Heads up, “Real Housewives” fans — Bethenny Frankel is coming to Kansas City.

Frankel, the founder and CEO of Skinnygirl and star of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York City,” will headline the Greater Kansas City Home Show March 22-24 at Bartle Hall.

At the show, Frankel will talk about her career, philanthropy work and lifestyle. Fans who purchase $35 VIP tickets will get reserved seating and the opportunity to meet Frankel, who has a passion for real estate and renovation.

Last week, we spoke with Frankel about all things home, from the design trends she loves (and hates) and her new residence in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.

Here are six steps to achieving the outspoken entrepreneur’s signature style.

1. Stay neutral. The best way to maximize resale value is to stick to a neutral color palette, Frankel says, adding that neutrals don’t have to be boring.

When it comes to selecting materials such as tile or stone, avoid trends in favor of “what you’re not going to get sick of,” Frankel says. She loves marble with gray and white zebra-like stripes.

“It’s got edge, but it’s still neutral,” she says. Frankel recommends “tailored and classic” furniture to anchor a room.

“The accessories add flair,” she says. Those could be pillows, throw blankets, candles, decorative objects or coffee table books that can be swapped out when you want to switch up your style.

2. Use location as inspiration. Frankel’s SoHo loft is an urban retreat decorated with sleek furniture and a stylish color palette of cool grays. Her Hamptons home has a slightly kitschier vibe, with pops of red.

“I did allow for more color, more whimsy and more fun because it is a Hamptons country home,” she says. “It’s where I go with my daughter to have fun, build snowmen, go sledding.”

“There’s a girly room, an art room, a sunroom and a second structure that’s a bar,” Frankel says. “It’s constantly evolving.”

Frankel is currently renovating a brownstone in Boston’s Back Bay. She says she’s inspired by the posh, traditional feel of the architecture and the neighborhood.

“I’m using jewel tones, but they’re functioning as a neutral,” she says. “Navy, greens, a little bit of leopard — but it feels classic.”

3. Get comfortable. Frankel’s SoHo loft has an ultra-modern feel, with gray and white everywhere. Frankel added softness in the form of velvet pillows, thick carpets and comfy couches.

“I wanted it to feel warm and approachable,” she says. “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. Avoid trends. Frankel says she doesn’t keep up with trends in decor or fashion. She likes what she likes — and isn’t afraid to say what she doesn’t like.

“I’m over furry everything,” she says, “and I’m getting over lucite.”

But there are some current trends that line up with Frankel’s classic style. She likes mixing metals such as brass, rose gold, pewter and chrome and loves “marble everywhere.”

“I also love black,” she says. “People were afraid to use black for awhile.”

5. Less is more. Frankel’s approach to clutter: Less is more. She likes the “tidying up” trend sparked by Japanese organization expert Marie Kondo — but takes it a step further in her own life.

The KonMari Method “is organizing things and placing things in different piles,” Frankel says. “I’m more focused on really purging and being really lean.”

If Frankel doesn’t love it, you won’t find it in her home. Her minimalist philosophy extends to her buying habits.

Frankel describes herself as “frugal and economical” when it comes to spending money on her homes.

“Just like in clothing and handbags, the more expensive piece is not necessarily the better one,” she says.

With that said, “if I love it and can’t live without it, I’ll spend the money,” Frankel adds.

Her advice: Invest in items you’ll take with you if and when you move. Frankel loves dining tables with marble tops and statement-making light fixtures.

“You want things that are built to last,” she says.

6. Know when to stop. Frankel says she used to be addicted to flipping properties. At one point, she was renovating her SoHo loft, her office and her Hamptons home — all at the same time.

“I got in a little too deep with full renovations,” Frankel says.

Last year, she finally got her SoHo loft the way she wanted it. Frankel says she’s so happy with the results that she hasn’t changed a single thing since the loft was featured in Architectural Digest.

“I was just saying to my boyfriend, ‘I love this house so much,’” Frankel says. “It’s like a good relationship — I love it more than the day I moved in.”

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