I remember the first time I visited the Guggenheim. Walking into that white, soaring space, away from the noise of the city, had a powerful effect on me. When Ricky and I found our apartment on Fifth Avenue, not far from the museum, I had that feeling in mind. We wanted it to feel more like a loft, totally open and clean and with a focus on city views. I wanted a downtown loft, but uptown on Fifth Avenue.
This was in some ways our real first home. I wasn’t looking for glamour or to make an impression; it was just the simple, almost primitive desire to have a kind of freedom—room for our three children to race around in, room to take stock of ourselves and to discover who we really were and what we wanted.
Personally, I needed that open space and serenity. That’s why we had the apartment done all in white—white lacquer tables, white canvas sofas—with natural bamboo armchairs, polished wood floors, and lots of plants. It was such a relief to come back to after a long day of looking at endless swatches, patterns, and colors. Part of that peacefulness came from the view of the sky, the Central Park Reservoir, and watching the lights coming on all over Manhattan at the end of the day.
Thirty years after we moved in, when our lives changed after the children were off on their own, we decided to start all over again. Of course, there were those moments when we asked, “What have we done?” But the changes were subtle and important.
Now our home feels larger and more modern. There’s a flow and a comfort I like better now. It’s about the windows, and the light that comes in from the park. In the evening, with candles lit, it’s almost like an event—but just for the two of us.
Lead image: “When we first lived here, this room had a tropical feeling, with large palms, bamboo furniture, and matchstick blinds. We removed all of that, uncovering the windows to let the light in.”
Reprinted from Ralph Lauren: A Way of Living, © Rizzoli New York, 2023.
This story appears in the October 2023 issue of Town & Country under the headline “Move in with Ralph.” SUBSCRIBE NOW