It's been three decades since design megastar Ralph Lauren launched his home collection—yes, 30 years since he first translated his signature rugged formality (indeed, the twin tastes for the craggy Old West and cut-glass England he whetted for summer home owners and polo players the world over) from wide neckties and tartan button-ups into Oxford cloth bedding and navy velvet curtains. To celebrate the special birthday, Architectural Digest takes a look inside the many living spaces of the head honcho himself, from his rich, nigh-museum-like office to his stuffier New York residence to his perfectly worn (and Oprah-approved!) Colorado ranch. Below, the 10 best details—from how his brand blossomed to how he decorates his world—from the spread:
10. On founding his brand: "'I came at everything with a sense of how I would want to live,' Lauren told AD. 'My wife, Ricky, and I were shopping for things for our apartment, and all the sheets were very feminine and covered in roses. I wondered, Why can't I get something masculine? So I took Oxford cloth we were using to make shirts, turned it into bedding, and sewed buttons down the side of the pillowcases.'"
9. About his stone mansion in Bedford (above) AD writes: "True to Lauren's penchant for using his own life as design inspiration, several of the dwelling's furnishings helped shape signature pieces in the home collection. For example, the 19th-century Dutch brass fixture that illuminates the entrance hall gaver ise to the Lillianne chandelier, and a pair of Louis XV-style wing chairs in the living room led to the Spencer chair."
8. About his office, above: "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."
7. About his Colorado ranch, pictured below: "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."
6. A bit about his prodigious real estate holdings: "He's living out the fantasy he's marketing, with all the trappings: a minimalist Manhattan apartment, a rustic-modern Long Island beach house, a ranch in Colorado, a tropical retreat in Jamaica, and a stone manse in Bedford, New York. Each home is its own distinct vision of the good life, and each tells a different but complementary story."
5. His dream life: "'I felt like just creating the clothes wasn't enough,' says Lauren, adding, 'It's all an extension of something I wanted in my life—or in my dream life.'"
4. "Blue Pony, one of five guest cabins at Lauren's Double RL Ranch (living room of which is pictured above) in Colorado, was built using century-old hand-hewn logs from Montana."
3. On the ranch's saloon: "In the adjacent saloon, a vintage English club chair and a sofa covered in Ralph Lauren Home leather are grouped with a bespoke cocktail table atop antique Navajo rugs. 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."
2. On his car infatuation: "'We didn't have a car when I was a kid,' Lauren confesses, 'so my dream was always, Boy, wouldn't it be cool to pick up a date in a great car!' Today evidence of that obsession can be seen not just in his array of impeccably restored vehicles but also in the way they have sparked various home designs—notably the RL-CFl lounge chair."
1. Company philosophy: "The key, he insists, is creating interiors that capture the individuality of their owners. 'A room doesn't come alive at all without people,' he says. 'And there needs to be a sense of their connection to it.'"