The legendary designer discusses the inspiration for his stylish empire with a look inside his Bedford, New York, residence, Colorado ranch, and Manhattan office.
Photography: Björn Wallander | Author: Brad Goldfarbwww.architecturaldigest.com
Lauren’s office at the company’s Madison Avenue headquarters is filled with art, books, and sundry objects that inspire him, including a 1950s model plane suspended from the ceiling. A large graphite drawing by Woodrow Blagg is displayed behind the designer’s Highbridge glass-top desk, which is by Ralph Lauren Home.
“I came at everything with a sense of how I would want to live,” says Ralph Lauren, the first fashion designer to offer a comprehensive home-furnishings line, which he crafts around themed lifestyle collections.
At Lauren’s residence in Bedford, New York, a 19th-century Dutch chandelier presides over the entrance hall.
In the living room, matching 19th-century Louis XV–style wing chairs flank an 18th-century Chinese carved low table; pillows made from antique textiles accent the sofa, and the throw in the foreground is a 19th-century Kashmiri paisley.
Embellishing one end of the living room are a Victorian cut-glass chandelier, a pair of George II gilt-wood mirrors, and a 16th-century Flemish tapestry; the carpets are 17th- and 18th-century Persian.
A circa-1774 portrait by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni is displayed between the library’s French doors, which are curtained with a Ralph Lauren Home velvet; the two-arm Argand lamp is 19th century, and the pillows are made of antique fabrics.
An antique three-light fixture is mounted above the Victorian-style billiard table.
The breakfast room’s tableware is by Ralph Lauren Home, as are the fabrics used for the tablecloth and the cushions on the 19th-century English armchairs; the painting is 17th-century Dutch.
The poolhouse is surrounded by towering pines.
Ralph Lauren Home fabrics cover the sofa and pillows in the poolhouse, which features 16th-century Belgian pine ceiling beams and a 17th-century French limestone mantel; the lamps are made from 18th-century Chinese vessels.
A vintage French bistro mirror hangs above the antique pedestal sink in the poolhouse bath.
On a terrace shaded by a linden tree, vintage wrought-iron chairs encircle a table set for an alfresco dinner; the striped cushions, tableware, and chandelier are by Ralph Lauren Home.
Blue Pony, one of five guest cabins at Lauren’s Double RL Ranch in Colorado, was built using century-old hand-hewn logs from Montana.
Overlooking the cabin’s living room is a chandelier made with naturally shed elk antlers; beside the hearth, a woven-twig rocking chair is draped with a vintage Capps Indian-trade blanket, and an antique New Mexico pine table stands atop an early-20th-century Navajo rug.
Ralph Lauren Home linens mix with antique and vintage bedding on the cabin’s 1870s cannonball bed; a circa-1900 hooked rug and two ’20s Navajo rugs are on the floor.
Antique Navajo rugs decorate the walls of the ranch’s screening room, which features club chairs, wing chairs, ottomans, and velvet curtains, all by Ralph Lauren Home, as well as antique Pendleton and Beacon blankets.
Another view of the screening room.
The saloon’s porch is furnished with 19th-century Mexican sabino-wood pieces, including a table made from a salvaged door and ox yokes; the tableware and linens are by Ralph Lauren Home.
The living room of the ranch’s main residence, constructed using local pine logs, is appointed with late-19th-and early-20th-century Indian rugs. An antique pine table from New Mexico and a turn-of-the-century pine farm bench stand on a circa-1890 Navajo rug. A beaded parade saddle by Edward Bohlin straddles the staircase railing, while an original Frederic Remington bronze is displayed by the window. A Plains Indian leather pillow on the sofa is embroidered with an American flag.
The San Juan Mountains provide a scenic backdrop for the ranch’s five tepees, built and hand-painted by local artisans; the free-form pool resembles a natural pond.
The interior of the Chief’s Tepee is ornamented with Edward S. Curtis photographs and a circa-1900 parade flag; the industrial-cart table is from the same period.
A remnant of an original chief’s tepee hangs over the Victorian cast-iron bed, which is topped with antique bedding and Ralph Lauren Home shams; the chandelier is also Victorian.
The decoration on the Chief’s Tepee exterior is based on Indian ledger drawings.