125 years hb

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.

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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.

paloma picasso
“Some people expect the house to be red and black,” says Paloma Picasso, here in her pale yellow boudoir reclining on a 19th-century French swing bed covered in purple velvet moiré. “That’s crazy! It’s fine for a nightclub.”
Shiela Metzner

“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.”

paloma picassos red and black apartment
Shiela Metzner

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.

A Ratean daybed in gold and silver leaf with olive-tree motif is dressed in the Mon Rouge bedding Paloma Picasso recently designed for Martex plus tapestry pillows from another era. Of the bronze sculpture by Pablo Picasso, called Little Girl Jumping Rope, Paloma Picasso says, “He did it when I was two years old and made me look five or six. It was a projection of me.” Did she ever actually jump rope? “Eventually.”
Shiela Metzner
silverware in picasso's home
“I don’t understand people who collect things and don’t use them,” says Paloma Picasso, who found the sterling-silver tray years ago in Paris. On it: sterling-silver teapot, creamer, sugar bowl and silverware, all by Paloma Picasso for Villeroy & Boch.
Shiela Metzner
picasso’s yves saint laurent satin ankle boots, along with a few of her own designs—book, bags, shawl, belt, scarf
Picasso’s Yves Saint Laurent satin ankle boots, along with a few of her own designs—book, bags, shawl, belt, scarf.
Shiela Metzner
a peek into her bathroom reveals curtains made of 19 century french cotton appliqué and embroidery on black tulle
A peek into her bathroom reveals curtains made of 19-century French cotton appliqué and embroidery on black tulle.
Shiela Metzner

Words by Ellen Stern

Produced by Carolyn Englefield

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