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For House Beautiful’s 125th anniversary this year, we're digging into some of our favorite spaces from our archive—including 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 a bedroom inspired by Eloise at The Plaza Hotel from 1969, which was first published in our December issue that year.
One of The Plaza’s best-known residents is actually a character from a book series: Eloise, a six-year-old city girl dreamt up by author Kay Thompson and illustrator Hilary Knight. Published in 1955, Eloise took on a life of its own (initially, it wasn't even intended to be a children’s book!). In 1969, House Beautiful brought the fictional character's luxe New York City bedroom to life for visitors to admire IRL. Ahead, we revisit the mischievous kid's grand bedroom in all of its pink-and-white-patterned glory. The vibrant yellow accents and abundance of bows make it the perfect setting for an imaginative spirit.
Oh, and if you find yourself wanting to stay in this room after browsing, we've got good news: While this particular one is no longer around, there's currently a similar suite at the hotel dedicated to the character that you can book a stay in today.
A Very Special Little Girl’s Room
Editors: Richard Fitzgerald and Anna Wiglama
“I am Eloise, I am six. I am a city child. I live at The Plaza in my own room down at the end of the hall.”
The quotations are from Kay Thompson’s enchanting “Eloise,” a new edition of which has just been published by Simon & Schuster (Copyright 1955 by Kay Thompson).
“My day is rawther full—I am absolutely so busy I don’t know how I can possibly get everything done.” Eloise, that busy girl, has just returned from abroad, where she lived an expatriate life. To help her settle back at The Plaza with her dog Weenie, turtle Skipperdee, and Nanny, House Beautiful decorated this pink-and-yellow room for her, using Drexel’s “Whimsy” furniture. As a Christmas gift for visitors to New York City, The Plaza has the room on view. Above, Eloise looks for her lost skate key in the bureau drawer.
“Getting bored is not allowed...I have to play the piano and look in the mirror for a while.” After making terrible faces in the mirror, Eloise searches for Skipperdee under the yellow-painted daybed, left.
“I make as much noise as I possibly can like turning on the phonograph real loud and hollering a lot.” While Johnny Cash plays in the background, Eloise climbs up to get her doll Saylor, above left.
“Here’s what I can do...chew gum...write...spell.” At the end of each day, Eloise estimates her neatness quotient, and checks off Neat or Untidy on the chart, above.
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