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Ralph Lauren Style Defined

Get inspired by the designer's classic Americana look.

By Lisa Frederick

Ralph Lauren may have started out designing neckties, but he's parlayed his early menswear success into a global empire that includes a vast collection of home décor. From leather armchairs to preppy patterns and thoroughbred accents, his brand has become synonymous with a classic, genteel approach that celebrates the finer things and pays homage to the traditions of the past.

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The Basics

Dark Traditional Kitchen
Ken Kelly

What makes the Lauren look so popular? Is it the masterful blend of attainable and aspirational which suggests a comfortable familiarity yet whispers of exotic locales? Or perhaps it's the refined, dignified aura, reminiscent of an old-school gentleman's club. Regardless, his signature style represents an air of good breeding and good taste that resonates across generations.

These designer rooms display Ralph Lauren style:

Get the Look

Follow these tips to bring a little Ralph Lauren panache to your home.

Wool Plaid Bolster Pillow
Room & Board Wool Plaid Bolster Pillow

Rich, classic colors. Ralph Lauren offers a well-established paint line, and the names alone give you an idea of how the palettes take shape: Dressage Red, Safari Tan, Picket Fence White. The hues in Lauren-style interiors are nuanced and mannerly, never shocking or loud. You can't go wrong with neutrals, but also consider well-loved combos such as preppy pink and green, classic red and khaki, or nautical navy and white.

Storied furnishings. Lauren interiors convey a sense of history and rootedness. Add a few vintage or heirloom furniture pieces with strong, classic profiles to help ground their newer or daintier counterparts. Rich, deep wood tones or upholstery in mellow materials such as leather will lend a suitable gravitas.

Menswear patterns. True to his roots in the fashion industry, Ralph Lauren has always drawn upon menswear for many of his textile goods: plaids, houndstooth, pinstripes, cable knits. If your tastes veer more toward the feminine side, soft florals and gentle paisleys in pale colors feel appropriate as well.

Triple Crown Bookends
Plantation Triple Crown Bookends

Equestrian accents. Thoroughbred motifs are an indelible facet of the brand, showing up in everything from jewelry to hardware to fabrics. That's not to say that you have to cover your walls with horse-themed prints or fashion seating from old saddles; a few carefully chosen touches are all you need. Consider a pair of horsehead bookends, a horseshoe-shaped door knocker, or a leather pillow with bridle-style detailing.

A well-traveled air. In contrast to its traditional side, there's a worldliness about the Ralph Lauren look that suggests adventure and exploration. Antique maps and globes, British Colonial-style furnishings and accents, vintage suitcases, and other treasures create a sense of venturing into new frontiers.

  • If you like Ralph Lauren style, you may also like Traditional and Plantation style. Click to explore!

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