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There is nothing radical about Ralph Lauren—but don’t let that fool you. With his shapeshifting, canny retakes on tradition, Lauren has long set the trends on how we dress, live, and head out on the town. This year marks four decades since Lauren galloped his way into the home sphere—one of the first major fashion designers to do so.
Over the years, ELLE DECOR has featured Lauren’s designs as well as his homes—three of which have appeared on our covers. His new book, Ralph Lauren: A Way of Living (Rizzoli), out September 26, celebrates 40 years of design. The book is the first dedicated to Lauren’s focus on lifestyle and makes the case that his influence has been as profound in the home sphere as it has been in fashion.
Since it was first launched in 1983, the home collection has generated numerous iconic pieces. Inspired by menswear, Lauren’s Oxford cloth bed linens required the creation of special looms and took two years to develop. The RL-CF1 chair, made of carbon fiber, was inspired by the designer’s McLaren F1 racecar. His Writer’s chair has hand-burnished leather and a patina that feels almost Proustian.
The book is organized around Ralph and Ricky Lauren’s own spectacular properties, showing how each inspired the designs of his collections. In Montauk, their seaside home tempers nautical stripes and wicker with a sleek modernism. The couple’s Fifth Avenue apartment is the height of glamor with its stark white and black palette and Art Deco influences. And in Telluride, Lauren’s Double RL Ranch makes everything from faux antlers to bandanna-patterned pillows feel as fresh as a day in the Colorado sunshine.
Along the way, Lauren has conquered not only fashion and the American home, but also expanded with stores and restaurants from Paris to Tokyo. In New York, his Polo Bar is one of the hottest tickets in town, and his Ralph’s Coffee trucks have appeared as far away as Qatar.
Below, we celebrate four decades of Ralph Lauren Home with a look at his home style. Welcome to Ralph’s world.
Lauren’s signature nautical stripes, shades of blue, and wicker evoke seaside vistas similar to those found at his Montauk, New York, home.  Ricky and Ralph Lauren in the Hamptons.  A Bluff Point striped rug in Pacific.  A Wicker Wingback chair from the 1980s.  The RL-CJ lounge chair.  Maritime style at Ralph Lauren’s spring 2023 show.  The Montauk living room furnished with Ralph Lauren Home pieces, from club chairs to floor lamps.
Fifth Avenue Apartment
Ralph and Ricky Lauren’s Manhattan apartment oozes big-city glamour, with its palette of black, white, and chrome reflected in both the runway and home collections.  The Duke bar cart.  The Equilibrium table lamp in Polished Nickel.  Ralph and Ricky Lauren, with two of their three children, prepare for a night out.  The City Modern dining chair.  A loose, laid-back silhouette from the spring 2023 collection.  The New York City living room.
Cowboy hats, colorful patterns, and brown leather take center stage at Lauren’s sprawling Colorado home, the Double RL Ranch, as well as in fashion and design collections.  Western flair at Ralph Lauren’s spring 2023 show.  The barn-board-clad cookhouse at the Double RL Ranch.  The Straton double-tier chandelier.  A Double RL embroidered bandanna pillow in Indigo/Cream.  The Murray throw blanket.  The designer on horseback at his ranch.  The Writer’s chair.
This story originally appeared in the October 2023 issue of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE
Executive Editor, ELLE Decor
Ingrid Abramovitch, the Executive Editor at ELLE Decor, writes about design, architecture, renovation, and lifestyle, and is the author of several books on design including Restoring a House in the City.