Occupying some 16,000 acres beneath the snowcapped San Juan Mountains is the Double RL Ranch, the Colorado getaway of fashion designer Ralph Lauren and his wife, Ricky.
The ranch includes a main lodge, three guest tepees and several outbuildings.
The living room of the four bedroom primary structure. Pieces from the Ralph Lauren Home collection, such as the suede sofa and club chair, fill the compound’s interiors. A work by Fritz Scholder is above the fireplace. The cowboy hat on the table in the foreground once belonged to John Wayne.
In the master bedroom, concho belts and an Indian chief blanket with an American flag motif, both 1880s, hang on a ledge holding an Apache olla basket, at right. The 19th-century breastplate with mirror, at left, is believed to have come from the Blackfoot Indian tribe.
Art Nouveau-style lamps illuminate a living area that lies alongside a bar and dining area. On the mantel is a photogravure, left, by Edward S. Curtis, a chronicler of Native American culture. The canoe hanging above is a Canadian birchbark. Stickley wood chairs.
Leather armchairs provide comfortable seating when the couple and their guests watch movies. “Although the ranch is a work in progress, there’s a real feeling of heritage here,” says Ralph Lauren. “Everything is authentic to me—and pleasing to my eye.”
The couple often use the space to serve breakfast to family, including their three children, and the cowboys working at the ranch.
The terrace faces the tack house. “After 20 years here, I still notice new things, depending on the time of day,” says Ralph Lauren.
Little Brown Cabin
“The cabin is named after Billy Brown, who lived in it when he homesteaded part of the ranch in the 1880s,” says Ralph Lauren. “It was moved from its original site.”
Little Bear Cabin
The interior of the cabin, which is named after two curious bear cubs that frequented the area during construction, is lined with logs from an 1880s Montana barn. An Edward S. Curtis photogravure rests on the rock fireplace’s wood mantel.
The mudroom serves as a storage area for leather chaps, riatas, stirrups, early snowshoes from Taos and Native American-made fishing accessories.
Like most of the dwellings on the property, the space is equipped with accommodations for as many as eight visitors. Before the rock wall is a 19th-century painted stepback cupboard that was found in the South. On the table is a Santo Domingo dough bowl.
Little Blues Pony Cabin
Near a pasture where the horses often graze, the cabin is partly constructed from a dismantled barn from Montana. Blue accents, such as the small wood chair, are displayed throughout. The photograph is by Karl Moon. The bed was acquired in Pennsylvania.
A rebuilt clawfoot tub, a Shaker-style basket and a New Mexican Navajo rug are in the bath. Ralph Lauren Home multicolored towels; red Polo towels.
The pool, which reflects the faraway mountainscape, is located just off the main lodge and is accompanied by a gym.
The barn was built by the homesteading Vance family. “My family and I ride out to it on horseback for dinner,” says the designer.
A place setting includes Ralph Lauren Home placemats, napkins and flatware. The Double RL Ranch logo is on the plate.
Sun streams in through an American flag to the dining area, which is decorated for a Christmas meal. Sage and willow branches from the ranch grounds adorn the tree. The tablecloth is French lace.
A pair of 1960s-style butterfly chairs flank the entrance to the 1960s silver Airstream trailer the couple offer to their guests. “The interiors are redesigned in an Army-surplus style,” the designer says. A canopy over the wood-plank platform protects visitors from the elements.
A collection of Indian blankets warms the inside of one of three guest tepees, which measures 28 feet in diameter. Since they have no heating or cooling systems, the structures are used in the milder months.
The exterior was handpainted by Native American artists.
Tom Harrington on a cattle drive. “There’s such a sense of space at the ranch,” says Ralph Lauren. “Whether Ricky and I are riding horses or driving, we’re at ease, surrounded by the mountains. It’s completely restful and inspiring.”