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RL Style Guide

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How can I bring a sense of warmth to my home during the colder months?
Transform summer’s airy interiors into a cold-weather sanctuary with the addition of throws, pillows and a pastiche of wintry tones and textures. A cashmere blanket and pillows will instantly transform a neutral sofa into a cozy retreat, while tartan patterns dress up any home accent—from barware to frames and vanity trays—and add instant holiday chic. Lastly, scatter votive candles and bits of greenery, such as fir and pine, throughout rooms. Each exudes a glow and fragrance that is just right for long evenings spent indoors.
What are some unique gift ideas this holiday season?
The holidays are all about family and finding comfort in the familiar, and this season’s gifts reflect that intimacy. A monogrammed cashmere throw is at once luxurious and cozy and can be appreciated year-round, while monogrammed boxes, trays and frames rendered in silver and snakeskin make instant heirlooms. Contribute to a loved one’s home library with a book packed with gorgeous imagery and inspiration. It will dress up any shelf or tabletop for years to come and also give a nod to the recipient’s personal interests.
I’m hosting a dinner party this winter. What festive extras can I add to my tabletop for the occasion?
During the holidays, it can be easy to go overboard with the bold and the bright. Practice restraint with your decorations, and your elegant sense of style will shine brighter than a string of multicolored lights. Consider dressing your table with ivory votives and long candles of varying heights, gleaming silver serving dishes and boughs of fragrant fir and holly. At each place setting, a single piece of holly will serve as the perfect seasonal accent to your everyday china.
How should I care for my cashmere throws and blankets?
As with cashmere clothing, your throws, blankets and pillows should be dry-cleaned; however, it is possible to care for them at home in between trips to the cleaners. Wash them with a very mild detergent, press out excess water and lay flat to dry. In the warmer months, fold throws and blankets, and store all cashmere pieces in a cool, dry place.
How can I incorporate iconic holiday patterns, such as tartan and intarsia, into my décor?
The phrase holiday patterns may conjure images of wild knit sweaters, but it’s easy to incorporate these iconic prints in your home as well. Brighten your tabletop with china bordered in plaid and tartan cloth napkins, and swap plain blankets for throws rendered with intarsia and Beacon patterns. Bar accoutrements also look especially festive, from intarsia-printed cocktail napkins to serving trays and crystal glasses cut with a tartan trim. Take care to keep patterns classic and sophisticated, however, and your home will look chic for years to come.
How should I dress my bed during the colder months?
When the weather turns cold, in spite of modern conveniences like central air, thoughts turn to getting cozy–especially in regards to bedding. Heavier down comforters, wool blankets and extra layers all come out to keep you warm at night. But, all that rich material needn’t mean you should sacrifice on style. The trick is to mix the fall and winter items with airy pieces that have a lighter texture and perhaps some tailored flair, like ruffles. This will not only create depth, but also allow you to continue to express personality without sacrificing practicality.
I’m hosting a gathering of family and friends in my home. How should I prepare?
The first rule of thumb when having a get-together is to make all of your guests feel welcome. And that means making your home feel warm and inviting. Low lighting, candles and hurricanes will always help set a mood. And, your dining sets and table (should there be a meal involved) should feel festive as well. Simple touches like an elegant floral centerpiece show the crowd that you’ve been preparing for them and are happy to have them in your home. Of course, after dinner is an intimate part of the evening as well, and if you want to keep a party going, bring out a beautiful gaming set that will go far as both a conversation piece and entertainment on its own.
Should I decorate my bedroom for the holiday season?
Adding subtle holiday accents to every room—including your bedroom—creates cohesion and warmth throughout the home. A traditional tartan pattern on a comfy duvet can liven up your bedding with just the right festive touch. Or, opt to decorate with smaller pieces that still deliver holiday spirit. Try placing a row of plaid throw pillows on your bed or updating a chair by draping a buffalo check throw across the arm. Winter’s colder months allow you to use heavier, more dramatic textures to dress your bed. Soft velvet adds the perfect touch of texture, while a touch of sparkle makes a stylish statement in both the modern or traditional bedroom.
I’m going to a holiday party. Can you suggest a gift to bring the hostess?
Candles and fragrance diffusers are an elegant accent in any holiday home and make a great gift for every hostess. Choose one that evokes the holiday season with a fragrant blend of evergreen, red currants and juniper berries. Unique holiday ornaments are also a thoughtful gift; your hostess will cherish the memory while decorating for years to come. A traditional game of checkers or backgammon is a sophisticated gift that can be enjoyed by all the guests. If your hostess is a family member or close friend, thoughtfully cater to her unique taste when selecting a gift. Personalized items, like a luxurious monogrammed throw or an engraved keepsake box, are an excellent choice.
How do I set a festive holiday table?
Whether your holiday meals are formal affairs or more relaxed gatherings, a fully dressed table sets the tone for the season and the feeling of togetherness. And just as families possess character, so should your table setting. For an instant update, replace a solid table runner, napkins or place mats with styles that feature a warm, wintry pattern like tartan. Fill the table with a mix of glassware for both drinks and candles: A hurricane lantern will cause a goblet of wine to flicker almost magically. Special serving trays also add a touch of glamour to the table while showcasing your delicious homemade recipes.
How should I care for my cashmere throw?
View your cashmere throw as an investment piece: In order to maintain the luxurious softness, you need to properly care for it. Unless the product tag recommends dry cleaning, hand-wash only when necessary to extend the life of the throw and maintain the ultra-soft, fine quality that cashmere is known for. Soak the blanket in warm water for five minutes, and add a very mild soap or baby shampoo to wash. Throws with deep, rich colors may bleed into the water—don’t be alarmed. Rinse out the soap and lay the throw on a flat surface in its original shape to dry. Press a rolled-up towel along the wet cashmere to squeeze out excess water. Be especially careful not to wring or hang the blanket—the cashmere will stretch and lose its shape. Protect the blanket from moths by thoroughly cleaning your throw before storing in an airtight container for the warm months.
What are some elegant ways to incorporate leather into my décor?
In addition to the classic overstuffed leather easy chair, which looks right at home in a book-filled den or library, leather can add a sophisticated—and often unexpected—textural contrast to softer fabrics and hard woods. The sleek trim on a blown glass hurricane is a subtle equestrian-inspired accent, while a safari camp chair’s rugged patina and irregular pattern make a major statement. Polished leather picture frames and throw pillows also evoke an elegant, masculine sensibility that conjures visions of a country estate.
What are some key tips for building a home library?
A well-curated collection of books, no matter how large or small, brings character and life into the home, with each title reflecting the taste and style of its owner. Accumulate books that will pique the interest of your guests and serve as visual inspiration and a springboard for conversation—from richly designed anthologies of art and architecture to classic and contemporary fiction. Arrange them in bookcases dotted with small accents, such as framed photos, paperweights and keepsakes, to add depth and personality to the display, and stack a few books on coffee and end tables for friends and family to pick up and flip through at any moment.
How can I add modern accents to a traditional interior?
Stark, minimal pieces inject a fresh sensibility into even the most conservatively decorated home. Hang matted gallery frames on the wall to highlight beloved art or photographs in a contemporary way, or showcase your bar accoutrements on a sleek Art Deco console or rolling cart. Even the books you choose to display—such as collections on modern art, film or architecture—add a touch of modernity to a room, proving that no detail is too small when honing your taste and refining your home’s identity.
How can I create a modern environment that’s still warm and inviting?
Even in an extremely modern interior the mood can be warm and romantic. The trick is to use texture and contrast. Hard materials should play against soft ones and shine against matte. Make the space personal with books, art and family photographs. Modern can also be functional and comfortable. Decorate with deep upholstery, luxurious fabrics, and well placed lighting. Lastly, modern doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for the traditional. Traditional patterns and materials can mix easily with sleek finishes and modern accents. It is the more traditional elements that keep a space warm and familiar.
How can I use lighting to create a mood?
The right lighting can add drama and elegance to any room. Whether turned up or dimmed low, general ambient lighting sets the mood. Ambient lighting works well with task lighting (like a pharmacy lamp pulled up next to a reading chair or a bed.) The contrast between general light and task light lends mystery and drama to an interior. The most romantic light is accent lighting. The gleam of candles through glass hurricanes, or the glow of votives in crystal glasses scattered throughout a room, across a dining table or along a mantle are perfect ways to create accent lighting. Use general ambient, task and accent lighting together to set a mood that’s right for you.
What’s the best way to display a collection of art or photographs?
Unify a collection of prints in different sizes and subjects by framing them in the same way. Hung together on a wall, they take the place of one large piece of art. Even a close corner comes alive when artfully decorated with a framed collection. Or, try a modern way to display your art collection: lean multiple frames of various sizes and finishes against the wall on a floating shelf for a chic collage effect.
How can I add glamour to my home without a complete overhaul?
Giving your home a makeover doesn’t require a major project. Simple adjustments, such as adding throw pillows or blankets to your current sofa, will change the landscape of a room immediately. The right lighting creates a special ambience: Place decorative sconces and hurricanes about and fill them with various types of candles. Simple tapers and votives add instant charm, especially when paired with fresh flowers — a necessity in any truly glamorous home. This season, integrate textiles that incorporate touches of silver or gold metallics and instantly update your décor.
What are the key pieces in a bedding set?
Once you purchase quality basics, your bed is made for a lifetime, so don’t be afraid to invest in items that will withstand the test of time. Work with layers to build a rich look, from the richest, crispest flat and fitted sheets to the warmest, most inviting blankets. Infuse your personality into the classics by adding throw pillows and shams that suit your whims with each passing season; it’s an easy way to put a fresh face on your favorite retreat.
What are some quick and easy ways to update my table each season?
Whether enjoying a quiet dinner with family or entertaining guests, color is the easiest way to refresh and animate the dining room. Make a bold statement by dressing the table in vibrant solids, from five-piece place settings in coordinating brights to tablecloths with a punch. Try integrating colored dessert plates or a single serving platter among traditional white china for a sprinkle of color. For a polished finish, complete the table with fresh-cut wild flowers in a simple vase.
What essential pieces do I need to create a formal table setting?
Begin with a centerpiece, such as a flower arrangement, which will set the tone for the table. Keep a variety of tablecloths and cloth napkins on hand so as to play with mood as well as candles, which can soften the lighting scheme. Be sure to have the dishware, flatware and glasses required for a five to six-course meal but don’t worry if they don’t come from the same set: mixing and matching complementary sets will make for a dynamic arrangement. Finally, beautiful and unique serving pieces will add another layer to your table setting—even if they are removed from the table during the meal.
How can I balance masculine and feminine elements in my bedding?
Many of Ralph Lauren’s bedding collections blend masculine and feminine elements thereby creating a dynamic, rich appearance. One way to balance these elements skillfully is to start by selecting a duvet cover or comforter, thus establishing a dominant theme, and then decide on the remaining components based on that theme. The Lauren Home Belle Harbor bedding collection, for instance, balances a feminine floral duvet cover with throw pillows, sheeting and shams rendered in masculine patterns like gingham, seersucker and awning stripe.
What are some ideas for housewarming gifts?
Classic home décor elements, like an elegant picture frame or set of luxurious linens, make great housewarming gifts. Look for timeless styles that can work in any room and are likely to stay with the recipient for years to come. One way to ensure that your gift will be treasured throughout the years is to have the item engraved or embroidered with a monogram. As part of Ralph Lauren’s new Custom Shop program, a selection of home items are available for this service. When designing the monogram, choose from a variety of fonts and styles, giving the item a personal touch that will surely be remembered.
How do I incorporate patterns in my bedding in a subtle, elegant way?
Patterns rendered in one solid color are a great way to add interest to your bedding while keeping an overall look that is refined. Lauren Suite, a new bedding concept from Lauren Home, is ideal for those who prefer this type of subtle, elegant look for the bedroom. In the Lauren Suite collections classic patterns like Glen plaid and paisley are executed in solid shades like navy, white and camel. The effect is ideal for many interior environments, from a serene guest bedroom to a modern studio apartment, and appropriate during any season.
What essentials do I need for my desk?
Even though a desk is used for practical purposes, it should also be considered as a decorative element. With the right essentials, a beautiful, hand-crafted desk can become the focal point of a room. Start with a great lamp—one that complements the style of your desk and gives off the right amount of light for your needs. Next, look for useful items that are also decorative. Beautifully crafted accessories like a letter rack, paperweight, desk tray, letter opener and desk blotter. Finally, fresh flowers in an elegant vase or a picture of a loved one in a stylish frame make the perfect finishing touch to a well-dressed desk.
How do I incorporate a tapestry print in my bedding?
Tapestry prints add Old World romance, creating a bed that is both luxurious and refined. Whether tapestry appears on the sham, sheets or throw pillows, take color cues from the print and your bed will look unified. Also, don’t be afraid to include more than one pattern in your bedding--plaids, stripes and florals in complementary palettes will add dynamic style to your bed. Tapestry prints are especially great for adding interest to plain or small rooms, as they are inherently rich and warm in mood. To make this luxurious look work in the summer months, simply add fresh flowers and crisp white linens in order to make the room feel airy and open.
What essentials are needed for a college dorm room?
It’s important to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere in a dorm room, not only because the student will be away from home, but because the space is often shared and quite small. That said, the room should also reflect a young, collegiate spirit and not look like mom or dad’s bedroom. Our University bedding collection offers the best of both worlds. The cool prints and color combinations speak to a youthful sense of style while still offering the quality and warmth of home.
What are some ideas for wedding gifts?
When people start their life together, finding the perfect gift to honor the occasion can be a difficult task. A stunning crystal decanter, a large hurricane and the perfect flatware set are all great choices – elegant and special, yet functional. While the couple’s registry is a good place to start, it is perfectly acceptable to purchase something outside of the list. Don’t be afraid to get personal with your gift - top off candelabras with scented candles that suit the couple’s personality, fill a classic frame with their wedding invitation or add a monogram to luxurious sheeting.
How can I dress my dog to reflect my own style?
Make your home all the more bright and celebratory by dressing your pup in looks that complement the classic Ralph Lauren style. Done in bright and playful colors, polos, rugby shirts and sweatshirts all keep your special canine friends looking sharp and ready for fun—the perfect accent to any joyful home. Your pooches will look even smarter and more sophisticated when sporting a luxurious alligator-skin collar and touting a leather leash, both rendered with iconic equestrian detailing.
How do I add interest to a neutral palette?
For those who prefer a softer color palette to the bright, bold options available, the key to perfect style is summed up in three words: texture, shape and tone. When creating your neutral bedroom look, mix fabrics, details and the weight of materials in just slight variations of color. A ruffled bed skirt in an ivory color against a white top sheet will create just as much interest as would a colorful piece without the tailored detail. And adding throw pillows in different shapes and sizes will immediately attract the eye. Subtlety is your friend in a crisp neutral palette; the slightest change in hue, shape or form becomes immediately dramatic when it’s presented correctly.
How do I set up the perfect bar?
Creating the perfect bar is an act of hospitality. It’s also about romance and style. Contrast the sparkle of crystal decanters, highballs and double old-fashioned glasses with the shine of silver ice buckets and cocktail shakers. For an extra pour of elegance, look for fine crystal that is hand-cut and have silver bar sets custom-engraved. Beyond that, great style lies in the niceties of the little details like cocktail picks, ice tongs, zesters and jiggers. A bar cart adds a touch of vintage glamour, allowing the party to move at a moment’s notice. Or, set up a simple bar wherever you gather. Lay out a silver tray with just enough supplies for a small group: ice, glasses, a pitcher of water, a few lemons and a dish of nuts to snack on.
What stylish finishing touch will complete the décor in any room?
Everyone’s home should feel like an expression of their own personality and nothing allows you to accomplish this more easily than stylish art on your walls. Ralph Lauren’s new Timeless Images collection features iconic prints that are numbered and set in an elegant frame. From a dapper photograph of Roger Moore sipping a martini to a contemplative Audrey Hepburn in Paris, these images instantly add atmosphere to a room. Displaying them in a series creates a dramatic effect, or, mixing these prints with images and artwork from your personal collection makes a stylish statement. To add a unique touch, choose frames crafted in interesting materials like sumptuous leather or striking Buffalo horn.
What are the differences between comforters, duvets, bed blankets and quilts?
A well-dressed bed has many layers which will vary in weight and fabrication depending on the season. Bed blankets, which are typically simple in style, are used directly on top of the sheeting and then usually tucked in under the mattress. On top of the bed blanket, you may choose to add a thicker, fluffier decorative blanket such as a comforter or a duvet. A comforter is a decorative blanket that has fill quilted into it, while a duvet consists of a decorative cover and a separate down-filled blanket that fits inside. Usually, the comforter or duvet is folded and set across the foot of the bed, exposing the coordinating bed blanket and sheeting underneath. Quilts are comprised of several layers of quilted fabric and are often used without other blankets to create a more rustic, country-cottage look in the bedroom. These blankets have a history and aesthetic all their own and often feature patchwork and embroidery in their designs.
What are some tips for decorating my bathroom?
It helps to unify the home when the décor in each room is subtly connected, so when decorating your bathroom, take cues from the adjoining room as a starting point. Pick up a color from a pattern in that room, for example, and use it for your towels or shower curtain. Decorative lighting, like a small chandelier or a vintage pendant lamp, will bring style into your bathroom. Consider implementing multiple sources of light or putting a single source on a dimmer in order to have flexibility in mood. Fixtures should complement, if not coordinate with, each other, as should the bathtub, sink and toilet. In a small space, this creates order, and that order allows for personality elsewhere – whether in the form of bold patterned wallpaper or a framed mirror that replaces a standard medicine cabinet.
How can I bring animal prints into my home in an elegant way?
Adding animal prints to your home should be approached in the same, considered way that you’d infuse your wardrobe with any other pattern. Remember, a little bit goes a long way. Just as a cheetah-print scarf peeking out under a solid jacket gives a subtle splash of bold style, so should the amount of animal prints in your home be spare. Balance bold prints by mixing them into predominantly neutral color schemes. A leopard-patterned dish pops against a white linen table runner, while a lion-print pillow stands out on a sand-colored chaise. Refrain from mixing different animal prints to ensure the room is chic and tasteful.
How can I incorporate a bold color into my neutral bedroom?
A neutral-toned bedroom serves as a calm and understated haven, but adding a burst of color to a monochromatic palette livens up your room for the warmer months. A bright pillow or a patterned area rug instantly update a room and showcase the energy of the new season. Stick to bold shades that bring the outside in, like a deep ocean blue or a sunset orange, and use these hues in shams, throw pillows or a comforter for spring and summer. Incorporate vibrant shades sparingly to keep the room modern and sleek without looking busy. A bold palette will stand out against a crisp white backdrop and will make your room feel fresh and ready for spring.
What are some unique pieces I can add to my bar collection?
The perfect bar creates an aura of warmth and comfort. While every well-appointed bar should contain the essentials—highball and lowball glasses, a martini shaker and a decanter—accessories can add that little something extra. Dress your bar with stylish additions that put your personal taste on display at every hosting event. Ralph Lauren barware features supple leather pieces adorned with our embossed nameplate to evoke an authentic heritage feel. A crystal decanter wrapped in handsome leather and our signature etching makes it a collector’s item appropriate for year-round display. It perfectly complements every bar as a stand-alone piece and encompasses timeless Ralph Lauren sophistication when combined with other accessories from the collection.
What is the first thing I need to consider when lighting my home?
Lighting is a necessary and vital component of a beautiful home; use it to create a sense of drama in each room. Overuse of light or high-wattage bulbs can wash out the beauty of a room, while insufficient lighting can create a room that is uninviting. Find a sense of balance with your use of light—create an intimacy between the lighting and other elements in a given space. Using halogen or lower wattage bulbs brightens a room with soft tones. Also try putting higher wattage bulbs on a dimmer so that you can control the amount of light in any setting.
How can I mix and match different fabrics?
Mixing and matching is a creative and fun way to express your personal style at home. For instance, you might start with a great Glen Plaid fabric and then complement it with a shirting stripe. If you want to add a pop of color, experiment with an ostrich pillow in red—it will lend color and texture for wonderful personal style. Don’t be timid when it comes to mixing and matching fabrics, patterns and colors. There is beauty and harmony in blending and balancing a wealth of varying elements.
What kinds of towels should I have on rotation throughout the year?
Whether you layer your towels on a rack or decoratively roll them into a basket, your plush cotton towels can serve as a bathroom essential and as stylish accessories. For the winter months, keep a few sets of warm, ultra-soft towels in deep colors, like chocolate or cranberry, to add a touch of richness that’s perfect for the season. In the warmer months, replace these dark hues with light, airy colors, such as honeysuckle yellow or powder blue. As the weather warms, you’ll need towels for trips to the beach and weekend getaways by the water. The cornerstone of every well-equipped beach bag is a lush oversized towel in highly absorbent cotton to keep you comfortable and dry all day. This season, choose one in an array of bold, sunny colors that suit your personal taste. While your bath towels should convey subdued sophistication, your beach towels can be bright in order to deliver beach-ready style for every waterside escape.
How can I use throw pillows to add style to my room?
A simple way to update your home throughout the year is to swap out your throw pillows with ones that capture the style of the new season. Bold prints, like a vivid floral or a sweet paisley pattern, add vibrant summer style to any room. Or, for a more subtle option that still feels fresh, choose pillows in rich textures, like rustic raffia or chocolate-colored leather. The addition of one pillow in a striking texture or pattern will enhance the room without overwhelming other décor. When fall arrives, replace the pillows with ones featuring a cozy cable knit or herringbone. Make a statement by placing a pillow on a chair as a sharp stand-alone piece or against complementary colored shams on your bed. This easy addition will instantly add style to any room.
How can I mix traditional and contemporary styles in my home?
When combining pieces from different periods, consider the design of your room and then balance that with furniture, bedding and accessories that stem from an alternate era. In a modern room that is flooded with natural light, choose vintage furniture and heritage-inspired accents, like leather-wrapped hurricanes, for a warm and inviting touch. Or, if the room possesses more traditional architecture, add minimalist pieces, such as solid sheeting and translucent crystal lamps. To harmonize the entire room and tie each piece together, keep one aspect—such as the color palette—consistent. Navy bedding blends with similarly dark-colored furniture featuring contemporary flair. Limit additional décor to subtle neutral hues, such as chalk-grey walls and bare wood floors, to draw attention to the unique style of the rest of the room.
How can I make a statement with bright paint colors?
A splash of vivid color is a fail-safe way to add personality to a room, and when chosen carefully can completely alter the space’s mood and dimension. Trim and crown molding painted in soft shades, such as lilac and pale yellow, contrast subtly with off-white hues, drawing the eye up and brightening an otherwise neutral backdrop. Bold red, by comparison, looks best when applied to just one wall, making a major statement that doesn’t overwhelm the senses yet commands attention like a painting or piece of art. Choose a shade that complements but does not clash with other colors featured in the room, and use texture and finishing techniques to make strong shades glow with a unique, timeworn patina.
What seasonal changes can I make to my interiors?
Summer means fresh breezes blowing through open windows, while winter is a time to relax, reading books in a warm library. In the living room, slipcovers are a good way to make the change: use cool cotton and linen in the summer, and warmer corduroy or velvet in the winter. Or, simply drape cozy blankets over your sofa. Roll up your area rugs for a clean, airy look in the summer, and unroll them again for the colder months. In the bedroom, replace summer’s cool cotton sheets with warm flannel sheets, then pile the bed with additional blankets.
What is the difference in paint finishes?
Paints can be oil-based or water-based latex. Oil-based paint is durable and long lasting, and takes two or three days to dry. Water-based latex is easier to clean up. Finishes vary according to how much light they reflect. In oil-based paints, eggshell paint provides a mid-sheen, and a gloss paint offers a shiny, durable coat. In the water-based paints, flat paint has no sheen at all while semi-gloss paint offers a mid-sheen. Use a flat paint on ceilings and an eggshell finish on walls, which is easier to clean. For trim, go up a step in shine to semi-gloss.
What should I consider when choosing a wallcovering?
The most important thing to consider is the condition of your walls. The better your walls are, the more options you have and the less you will have to spend to cover them. If your walls are damaged from leaks and dripping, have them redone before you cover them. Remember that wallpaper does not work well in tight spaces because it can get dirty easily. If your walls are older, the best option is wall upholstery. Wall upholstery is also great if you want to create a padded, cocoon effect, which is wonderful in a bedroom.
What pieces of furniture work best for storage?
When things are properly stored or hidden, order in interiors is created. Choose well-designed pieces that are functional. For instance, armoires that are fitted to serve as either entertainment centers or wardrobes. Use one to hide your television and stereo equipment, or if you are short on closet space, it can hold your clothes. Some coffee tables also feature trunks built on the sides, which are great for storing magazines, newspapers and books. While a “casually cluttered” look can be charming, everything should be stored in its proper place.
How do I care for my lighting?
To maintain the beauty of Ralph Lauren Lighting, the following, simple guidelines are recommended. For general maintenance, all finishes should be wiped gently with a soft, damp cloth, followed by a soft, dry cloth. Avoid cleansers with ammonia, bleach or harsh chemicals. Silk and vellum shades should be brushed gently with a feather duster or soft cloth to remove surface dust.
How do I care for my upholstered furniture?
To ensure the long life and beauty of this piece, avoid excessive sunlight, dampness, and hot or cold conditions. To maintain the original softness and resiliency of the cushions, hand fluff and reverse cushions regularly. Vacuum to remove surface dust.
What are some tips for incorporating flowers into my home décor?
Flowers are an essential part of any home environment, whether you’re entertaining or enjoying the space yourself. Of course, we would all like to have fresh cut flowers replaced daily (and, if you have the time, this is the ideal), but schedules often interfere. To that end, potted house plants can create a similar effect. Orchids can last for years, flowering several times over, if well cared for, and many simple green plants—rubber trees and palms, for example—require minimal maintenance. If your green thumb is truly non-existent, don’t give up hope: Decorating with black and white photos of flowering plants can create the desired effect with zero upkeep.
How can I add a warm-weather feel to the different rooms in my home?
With warm weather within reach, now is the perfect time to infuse your home with a summery feel. The warm months are known for being airy, easy and bright, so the thick, cozy textures and deep colors of winter can now be cleared away and replaced with natural materials that reflect the outdoors. Replace dark, leather accents with tall glass hurricanes and vases encased in a natural woven shell. The addition of a few summery pieces—whether it’s a crisp white sheet set in airy cotton or potted plants that mirror the green outside—drastically alters the overall aesthetic. Finally, update the personal pieces in each room for a fresh start to the new season. From the novel that graces your bedside table to the flowers that fill your dining room centerpiece, these real-life finishing touches will transform your home for the new season.
How can I create an indoor space that feels like the outdoors?
During the warmer months, outdoors and indoors can blend together seamlessly. In order to create a home environment that combines the two worlds, try an unconventional approach. Bring outdoor or garden furniture and accessories into your home—think rich oak bookcases, Adirondack chairs and wicker benches. Incorporate this theme in rooms where a sense of the outdoors already exists, such as a sunroom that leads to a porch or an area filled with ample natural light. When choosing textiles and fabrics, use the natural world as inspiration. Scatter throw pillows that are made of natural fibers, such as natural raffia or rustic leather to add unexpected style and texture to the room. Terra-cotta vases and beautiful topiaries will put the finishing touches on the theme.
How can I create a special dining experience in the great outdoors?
As the weather warms, bring the fun outside with a dinner or luncheon party. Dining al fresco is an inherently casual affair, but that doesn’t mean you can’t instill some glamour. A rustic wine tote and classic picnic basket add refined charm, while comfortable blankets and pillows can be arranged to create an elegant setting on which to dine. If you’re not going any further than your backyard, use hurricanes and potted flowers to set a special mood.
How can I add style to my seasonal outdoor space?
Outdoor spaces require more rugged, durable items that can withstand a range of temperatures and weather conditions; however, creating a rich, atmospheric setting can be achieved with a few beautiful yet practical pieces. Lighting is an important element to consider. A combination of practical overhead lighting and decorative, atmospheric lighting will create a romantic mood for evening. Terra-cotta hurricanes allow for candles to be used without blowing out and can be arranged on the floor in groups for a dramatic effect. As for furniture, choose pieces that are designed for outdoor use but keep luxuriously cozy items on hand like cashmere throws and linen throw pillows, to be used outdoors and stored indoors. Finally, oversized plants will fill out vacant corners while adding a beautiful, natural ambience to the space.
What items should I keep in my beach cottage for guests to use?
As the host or hostess you’ll want to make sure your guests are as comfortable as possible during their stay. Leaving a few luxurious items for them to use at the beach or while exploring the area is both thoughtful and stylish. Large, cotton beach towels in classic patterns and colors are essential, while additional beach accessories, like a canvas tote, folding chairs or a beach umbrella, will also be appreciated. In a closet or dresser, leave a few extra items your guests may have forgotten. Leather sandals, a cotton caftan, a one-piece swimsuit or a pair of classic sunglasses are all items that will subtly enhance the appearance of the space while, in some cases, saving your guests from purchasing forgotten items. Finally, a handwritten note and a map of or book on the locale will give your guests the confidence they need to explore and experience the area in style.
What are some ways to update my barware collection for spring?
While the winter season calls for rich, Old World inspired barware, the spring season presents an opportunity to introduce lighter, more cheerful elements into your decor. Fresh flowers, lighter liquors and spirits, and cheerful glasses and serving pieces will instantly update the look for the spring season. New from Ralph Lauren Home this spring are vibrant blue highball and double old-fashioned glasses, which instantly ready a collection for warm-weather entertaining.
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