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Billy Cotton Crafts an Inspired Sitting Room Around a Classic Work by Henri Matisse

The designer is known for his unexpected palettes and ease with art

Billy Cotton Photo: Noe Dewitt

Working with art-world superstars such as Cindy Sherman and Lisa Yuskavage on their own homes, Billy Cotton is no stranger to incorporating powerful works into his interiors. In his first monograph, Billy Cotton: Interior & Design Work (Rizzoli), every page proves his gift for complex palettes and talent for making things livable.

For a sitting room, he fashions a space around a nude by Henri Matisse, pulling inspiration from “the artist’s incredible paintings of interiors and his use of colors.” The vibrant scheme that results reflects both the designer’s and the painter’s ability to use strong hues in a way that still feels exceptionally elegant. 

Henri Mattise, Large Reclining Nude, 1935. Photo: Courtesy of the Baltimore Museum of Art

“Matisse is always my touchstone when it comes to color theory. When I think of how art can inspire one’s design practice, I always think of him”

Billy Cotton

Haras floor lamp by Liaigre. Photo: Courtesy of Studio Liaigre

Cashmere throw by Loro Piana. Photo: Courtesy of Loro Piana

Pippa folding screen by Hermès. Photo: Courtesy of Hermès

Auguste buffet by Elizabeth Garouste. Photo: Courtesy of Ralph Pucci

Banquette Face a Face by Pierre Paulin. Photo: Courtesy of Ralph Pucci

Dustin director's chair by Armani/Casa. Photo: Courtesy of Armani/Casa

Galerie House of Art and Design

Billy Cotton’s Downstairs Living Room at the Galerie House of Art and Design

Bursa Bobo by Buccellati. Photo: Courtesy of Buccellati

The Classicist Sketchbook wallpaper by Rinck for Fromental. Photo: Courtesy of Fromental

Ribbon striped fabric by Schumacher. Photo: Courtesy of Schumacher

Reedition Jean-Michel Frank sofa by Hermès. Photo: Courtesy of Hermès

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2022 Spring Issue under the headline “French Connection.” Subscribe to the magazine.

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