For House Beautiful’s 125th anniversary this year, we’re digging into some of our favorite spaces from our archive—including, so far, decorator Sister Parish’s New York Apartment and the West Hollywood home and studio of designer extraordinaire Tony Duquette, dubbed “the house of a magician.” Here, we revisit the New York bedroom of iconic fashion designer Paloma Picasso, first published in our March 1992 issue.
When Paloma Picasso (yes, Pablo’s daughter!) designed a collection of bed linens for Martex in the ’90s, she used her own New York bedroom as inspiration. Elements of her work as an iconic jewelry designer for Tiffany, along with her personal style—like donning red lipstick when pale lips were in—influenced the line, too.
In our latest archive dive, we take a look back inside Picasso’s bedroom and bath. The lush interior is filled with treasures, including a 19-century French swing bed, a sterling silver tray found in Paris, and tapestry pillows from another era. And make no mistake: Everything in her home was well-loved. Picasso didn’t collect items only to let them collect dust. Oh, and there’s plenty of insight into her relationship with her father—including the story behind a sculpture he made that she kept in her bedroom as well.
Explore the original story below.
The Prolific Paloma
Hailed for her bold jewelry, leather handbags and, of course, her red lipstick, Paloma Picasso presents a new collection based on the linens in her New York bedroom.
“I was truly a tomboy,” says Paloma Picasso, “and, I must admit, always the strongest one in the class.” At home—in Paris, Cannes or Vallauris—she played with toy cars and puppets as well as paper dolls made by her artist father Pablo Picasso, created dolls’ wigs from her own hair, and dreamed of being a hairdresser. She also painted and drew, and considered becoming an architect. But instead, Picasso’s daughter chose to design handbags, jewelry and teapots, one fragrance and one red lipstick—whose success amuses her because when she began wearing lipstick, pale lips were in fashion and the only red she could find was a rancid offering at a Paris flea market. Today, of course, Mon Rouge is on everyone’s lips, including her own. “My only way to shock people,” she laughs, “is to not wear red lipstick.”
Now Picasso has a collection of bed linens for Martex mixing autobiographical ingredients. Mon Rouge was inspired by her own bed with its 19th-century red satin coverlet highlighted by white appliquéd cotton and its toile de Jouy bedcover. Le Grand Damask has, as she says, “a very classical decorative element, the little band with chain of balls that you can find over and over in every century.” And 18 Karat Gold is based on a chain necklace of her own design.
Words by Ellen Stern
Produced by Carolyn Englefield
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