Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Quintessential Fall Decor - Ralph Lauren

Fall is in the air!! In my part of the country, the weather is still warm, but the soft breeze, the slightly turning colors of the leaves and that crisp fresh smell in the air all signal that fall is very near!! To me the quintessential fall decor is a room adorned with Ralph Lauren. The warm colors, the menswear inspired fabrics, the very layered beds with many blankets all look like a place that would be great to curl up and keep warm, read a book or watch an afternoon of college football. The plaid, the houndstooth, the paisley, the herringbone, the leather, the velvet, all the wonderful textures and hues of his rooms remind me of a very well put together fall ensemble. Looking through the roomscapes you feel as if you are about to step out of the house into a landscape of colored leaves!!

With a chill in the air, a look at http://www.ralphlaurenhome.com/, is as satisfying as a trip to the apple orchard!! The site is a fall feast for the eye; There are slide shows of the rooms to view, video tours of homes and informational videos with tips about using color to setting up a bar (think glamorous like Madmen!!). There are plenty of tips for adding a bit of "Lauren" style fall inspiration to your room!!

There are simple ways to add a bit of "Lauren" style to your room without major reconstruction, purchasing all new furniture or picking up a paint brush (although painting your room a warm rich color certainly would be a start!!). Adding accessories and "Lauren inspired vignettes" around the room would certainly do the trick and add a little bit of that fall richness. Layers of accessories and carefully chosen mixes of fabrics and patterns are key to acheiving the look. He always has a balance between "old" and "new", making the room look as if it's evolved over years of careful collecting or pieces that have been passed down from family members. Antiques and one of a kind pieces are always present. Here are a few ideas to get you started if you want to acheive this look:
  • Adding pillows in a mix of "ready to wear" inspired fabrics. For example mixing a houndstooth or herringbone fabric with a silk paisley; A bold plaid in silk with a rich velvet or a subtle plaid with a soft silk stripe. Think of one fabric being the suit and the other the blouse or tie that accompanies it. Pair the pillows, on a sofa, with a thick, warm blanket of cashmere, plaid or faux fur (like the overcoat to the suit, to continue the analogy!!).
  • Go to your local consignment store and pick up an easy to upholster bench or pair of smaller benches that can be added to the "layered" look of the room. Add a "ready to wear" inspired fabric.
  • Add a pile of worn leather bound books with a small glass vase of flowers placed on top to a table, pair this with an assortment of frame types, ie: wood, metal, glass that all work together and look like you've had them for years.
  • To add a bit of the "Lauren Glam" look (see his Brook Street photos on his site), pair a crystal based lamp, in a structured or deco style, with silver pieces and black framed photos or follow the video's steps to set up "the perfect bar".
  • Select a series of prints, artwork or images to combine and hang artfully as a collection on a wall. Make the frames interesting, choose all black in different finishes for a glam look, or combine wood and leather for a more urban country look.
  • A layered bed is essential for the "Lauren" style. To achieve a more "fall" feel to an already exisitng set, add a wool throw blanket at the end of the bed in a complimentary pattern. Add new shams in a rich velvet and textured throw pillows.
Remember, the Ralph Lauren look is not a structured or matched look; it is meant to look like it has been accumulated over years and tastefully lived in. It is full of contrasts, masculine and feminine, old and new, high end and low end, therefore have fun with it, no hard fast or steady rules. Layering, adding your personality and having items that mean something to you are key to this look!!

The following photos are from RalphLauren.com


  1. These are just lovely...made me get up and make some changes around the house. Thank you for the inspirational photos!

  2. Lovely and so cozy! He's just amazing, isnt' he?! When the clouds clear here, I'm sure I'll see a little snow at the top. It will melt quickly, thankfully! and leave the trees to change- they've just started, a little late here, but so wonderful! Thanks for the visit!

  3. I have always loved the richness of the Ralph Lauren style. Thanks for the inspiration.