High-Low Ralph Lauren + Decorating’s Most Dreaded Words

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Hi Everyone,

Well, after two back to back business posts (here and here if you missed them) and much chit-chat, we definitely need to go back to some hard-core decorating.

And, I think I need something relatively easy and definitely fun.

 

Therefore, today, I’m going to tackle one of my favorite giants in decorating and do a high-low Ralph Lauren.

 

Well, I don’t have to “do” a “high Ralph Lauren”, because saying “high Ralph Lauren” is like saying “tall Empire State Building” or “wet water.” :]

I was so excited too, because I chose this room that many of you have seen and like me, are drooling over…………..

ralph lauren home British Colonial East Indies style with green and white wallpaper -High-Low Ralph Lauren
Right? Timeless and classic.

And, so, of course, I went out to find that show-stopper wallpaper.

I found it pretty quickly.

 

Hehehe, This High-Low Ralph Lauren is going to be a cake walk!

 

Ralph Lauren Tea House Floral Racing Green - discontinued -wtf

Ralph Lauren Tea House Floral Racing Green

 

And, then I was so excited because I found it on Decorator’s Best

Sort of.

First of all, it’s not wallpaper, it’s actually fabric.  But, that’s not a problem, because we can send it out to get backed with paper (Custom Laminations does that) and then it can be hung on the wall.

(You might get a healthy dose of Schadenfreude if you check out the 15 hideous decorating mistakes I made.)

 

Ralph Lauren Tea House Floral - four colorways - DecoratorHowever I only found these four colorways at Decorator’s Best.

 

Why aren’t they carrying that stunning dark green?

That’s crazy-time! They have the day glow acid green, a raspberry, and a too bright indigo. Ralph? Is you okay? The lighter blue, is okay, but none of these have the sophistication of that deep green, IMO.

And, the dark green is the one that EVERYONE is kvelling for like mad! You know. Plotzing?  Fine. Hyperventilating. That paper or fabric, rather, is to die for.

I put the image into google images, because I’m sure that it’s just lame Decorator’s Best who decided not to carry it.

 

Well, apparently, I was having a severe case of DECORATOR DENIAL.

Phew, finally, I found it— hooray! Except I started tripping a little; probably because I hadn’t had a decent breath of air in several minutes.

 

Ralph Lauren Tea House Floral in racing green. high-low Ralph Lauren - DISCONTINUED. WTF???

 

I could’ve sworn that I saw the three most dreaded words in all of decorating.

 

DISCONTINUED – NO STOCK. But, of course, that’s not possible. As my eyes began to focus away from the definitely not Ralph Lauren approved psychedelic combination of hot pink, orange-ish, robin’s egg blue and apple green, on this tacky page, I shook my head in disbelief!

NOOOOOOOOO!!!

Please, in a world already gone mad, this can’t be true. Half of the western world has filled every river, lake and stream with their saliva over this green wallpaper, fabric, whatever.

In fact, Ralph Lauren, should discontinue EVERYTHING else and only make this one slice of sheer perfection.

But instead, they DISCONTINUED IT??? That doesn’t compute. Oh, it’s not the first time this has happened. But this one might  take the top prize.

However, it was already 2:00 in the afternoon, and there was no going back. This room and me are joined at the hip. (Laurel is still editing at 2:00 AM. no judging. thank you. I’m a big girl and can ride a two-wheel bike now too.)

 

But, Laurel??? Stop yammering for a second. Isn’t this supposed to be High-LOW Ralph Lauren? Weren’t you going to have to find a substitute for this wallpaper anyway?

 

You guys are so freaking smart. I love you! Well, in this case, I was thinking it will not be too bad because I thought that it WAS wallpaper.

Thus, began the quest for the world’s most perfect wallpaper that for some bizarre reason no longer exists.

The first Chinoiserie paper I thought of with a deep green background is this one I saw 4.5 years ago when I was at the High Point market for the first Design Bloggers Tour.

 

cr-laine-high-point-fall-2015-hpmkt-design-bloggers-tour - Fromental wallpaper - high-low Ralph Lauren

Actually, it’s not bad. This paper is from Fromental’s printed collection. You can see more here. I don’t know how much it is, but it’s a lot less than the hand-painted stuff.

Like the other papers everyone loves by Gracie which Mark D. Sikes uses all of the time and are also hand-painted.

Remember the Giannetti’s TV cabinet?

 

gracie blue chinoiserie wallpaper Mark D Sikes

Beautiful wallpaper by Gracie

 

Laura Tutun Dining Room - Gracie wallpaper

A Gracie beauty by Laura Tutun

 

And, then I remembered another green Gracie paper.

 

kips-bay-Mark D Sikes bedroom - Gracie wallpaper
Mark’s sensational bedroom with green and white (mostly) Gracie wallpaper that he did for last year’s Kips Bay Showhouse in New York City. Actually, it looks a little darker here than in most photos.

And, I love this paper here. But, it’s not that deep saturated green like in the Ralph Lauren original Room.

@younghuh - via instagram - Ralph Lauren Home vignette - High-Low Ralph Lauren

Another amazing photo found @younghuh – via instagram – Taken at the Ralph Lauren Home Showroom in High Point.

If you read the comments on Younghuh’s instagram linked to above, you’ll SEE just how much people are dying over that discontinued wallpaper/fabric. I still can’t believe they discontinued it!

Although…

 

The scale looks awfully huge in the photo above. hmmmm…

 

HPMKT-monicawantsit - ralph lauren high-lowAbove is another image from the showroom at High Point taken by Monica from Monica Wants It.

 

Could it be that this is the same pattern, but that this was hand-painted by an artist for their showroom? And, in a larger scale?

 

I’d say almost definitely. The vertical repeat on the fabric is about four feet and we’re looking at more than that. Well, now I feel a little better.

 

And, I’m thinking of Maura Endres’ dining room with her stunning hand-painted mural. And maybe the answer is a hand-painted wall. But, that requires a lot of effort, TIME and some talent. Oh, and patience. That is, unless you can afford to hire an artist to do it. But, then it won’t be High-Low Ralph Lauren. It’ll just be high.

 

Short of that. There are companies that will make custom wallpaper and or murals, out there.

 

You can google that if you like. Now, I don’t know anything about any of them or if it’s anything you’d want to put on your wall. If you do ANYTHING custom, you must always get a sample. We call it a “strike off” in the business, if you don’t already know that.

I didn’t say the following, but you could get a roll of one of the other colorways.

Shhhh… I didn’t say that. ;] And, you could have them reproduce it in whatever scale would work for your room. And then, change the background color. I mean, you’re not selling it. And they did dare to discontinue it.

Hunter Green, one of the Laurel Home paint collection colors that might work if you room is fairly bright. If you’d like something else, one of these darker greens would probably work.

 

Okay, we better focus on the furniture or I will not be going to sleep tonight!

 

The furniture is in a British Colonial East Indies style. That means that most of the wood is mahogany and/or a fairly dark stain. But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t throw in a painted piece and definitely need some gold accents.

 

British Colonial Style - High-Low Ralph Lauren

 

Above and below are two other Ralph Lauren spaces to give you more of an idea of what I’m talking about. Most of Ralph’s rooms have this influence.

 

Ralph Lauren Men

Above from the Ralph Lauren Men’s shop in NYC

 

Now, EVERYTHING is low compared to Ralph Lauren when it comes to upholstery and tables. But there’s low and there’s looooooow.

 

As you can see, Ralph used the NUMBER ONE sofa that’s an enduring classic. The English roll arm in a white fabric. Definitely, it can be a performance fabric or even a slipcovered sofa. Remember the pretty one in this post that’s super inexpensive?

And then, there’s an entire post of inexpensive sofas and chairs. That’s one of my favorite posts.

 

carlisle-upholstered-sofa from Pottery Barn

Next up in price, is the Carlisle series of sofas and chairs from Pottery Barn.

 

In case you don’t know, PBs upholstery is ALL made in the USA now, so the quality is much better than the PB of yore. Here, you’ll also find lots of customization possibilities with fabric as well as a feather down insert option. And, for a made-to-order custom sofa, the prices are very reasonable.

However, if you have a little more to spend, I would definitely go with a Serena and Lily sofa and chair. One of the Miramar sofas, if you want a beautiful English roll arm style. They are made by Lee Industries.

 

S & L is having a sale right now and there’s one promo code on their site that’s only good for about 2 more days.

 

And there’s another S&L promo code on the hot sales page that is only good through the 29th. But, both will give 20% off which is a good deal.

Also check out the hot sales rug page for some great rugs.

And, Overstock (big sale going on there, too) is a great source for rugs. And they have lots of natural fiber rugs.

But, so does One King’s Lane and I believe your promo code works for most of them.

 

ralph lauren home British Colonial East Indies style with green and white wallpaper -High-Low Ralph Lauren
One last thing I want to point out are the sconces.  It is difficult to find these sconces, at least for a reasonable price. I love the ones that Furlow Gatewood, John Rosselli and Bunny Williams use in a lot of their projects.

First Dibs Antique English Hurricane Sconces

 

You can usually find them at First Dibs. These are around $2,275 for the pair.

 

Below is a High-Low Ralph Lauren widget inspired by the room with the wonderful Chinoiserie walls.

 

Many of the items are currently on sale. And most things are relatively inexpensive or at least are moderately priced.  You can click on any of the images for more info. Please look also in all of the hot sales widgets for other items in the manner of Ralph Lauren.

 

 

Hope that you enjoyed the high-low Ralph Lauren ideas and info.

below is a graphic to pin to your pinterest boards for reference.

 

High-Low Ralph Lauren - Get the Look for A Lot Less Money

 

xo,

 

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Jessica - April 14, 2019 - 11:57 PM

    I love you Laurel, you are just the best!ReplyCancel

  • Jean - March 27, 2019 - 12:16 PM

    The Irving chairs upolstered chairs were made in China and the quality is embarrassing. Mostly because I accepted it. As for the Jake sofa legs, they invert because the place they attach under sofa is not flat so we put washers between the legs and sofa frame to balance and flatten out the connection. The back sofa cushions are half leather and half black fabric therefore they can not be flipped. On a positive note the sofa fits perfectly in a very unusual configured living space where I did not want to block the view. Now I must get back to reading your post on timeless kitchens! Let’s hope I can tackle my next project well.ReplyCancel

  • Val - March 26, 2019 - 10:23 AM

    Laurel, you’re the rock star of interior design!!! I’d love to read more posts about rock bottom prices… or rock moldings refresh post. Sorry for too many rock, I’m drinking coffee and super excited to see your blog postReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - March 26, 2019 - 8:05 AM

    Sorry, I meant Hegemone not Wisteria! Their new website is :-/ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 26, 2019 - 10:07 PM

      Oh, I haven’t seen their new website, I don’t think. I’ll have to check it out.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - March 26, 2019 - 7:59 AM

    These walls reminded me a bit like Farrow & Ball Wisteria in the Vardo version, but I know teal is a long way from hunter green :-). Still their papers have that lovely painted quality.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 26, 2019 - 10:06 PM

      Yes, I love their wallpaper and did the Ringwold pattern a number of times.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Gregory - March 25, 2019 - 2:04 PM

    Hey! I ordered hand painted silk wallpaper through a company called Griffin & Wong. I think I found them through Pinterest. When you order from them you are buying direct from a workshop in China. The price was approximately 1/3 the price of a paper bought through Gracie or De Gourney. The communication was good. I received a fan deck on the front end, and some large sized samples. The colors are based on Benjamin Moore paints. The basic process is that silk is layered over paper, painted, a basic design is block printed onto the paper and then all the details are added by hand. I ended up very happy with my wallpaper, and it blows people away. As a caveat however, you need to price the installation of the paper before you buy it. This is not normal installation, especially if you have a backing put on so that you can remove the paper later if you ever want to move. The paper comes slightly too wide and needs to be professionally trimmed. And, the design is specific to each wall, so they have to be installed in order. There is no repeat. The cost of the installation was significant. You can avoid that if you buy a regular paper. However, if you are dying for that truly custom handpainted look, companies like this will bring it into the realm of a possible splurge.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 25, 2019 - 7:20 PM

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I do know of Griffin & Wong and featured them in this post from over five years ago!

      Thank you too, for the information.

      There are a lot of sources for Chinoiserie wallpaper which I think I linked to. One of course, is Mural Sources. It’s not hand-printed, but the quality is beyond superb. So clear, and the colors. Plus the paper feels and looks like silk.

      Another hand-painted source that I’ve seen for YEARS but know nothing about first or secondhand is YR Mural. However, since they’ve been in business for quite a while, I imagine that they’re doing something right.

      However, none of these are quite like Gracie. If you put them side-by-side, you’ll see the difference. It’s not that the others are bad, just different. Less painterly than most of the Gracie patterns. Painterly, as in a looser, quality, not necessarily more detail.ReplyCancel

  • mrsben - March 25, 2019 - 1:42 PM

    Laurel, as you mention RL sheets; I do not know if all their bedding is made in China or they have a high and low end but a reversible (king size) comforter of theirs that I purchased a few years ago, was definitely made in China according to its tag. To elaborate; I purchased it namely because I loved the fabric and wanted to make Roman Shades and its wider width was a plus (no seaming) however when taking it apart I discovered how poorly it was made as its construction wasn’t the best compared to the quality of the fabric itself. -Brenda-
    P.S.: It took me about 30 minutes maximum to take out all the stitching.ReplyCancel

  • GL - March 25, 2019 - 4:26 AM

    Actually, Laurel, I do like the wall treatment, and I was not implying that it’s less beautiful than the Mark Sikes wallpaper. I agree with your remark about lots of interruptions and architectural features, and about restraint. I think the scheme would be lovely, but if you’re hooked on decorating, your ideas might move on too fast for the “investment” in this — and the discipline required to make it work.
    What really prompted my call for prudence is that in 2015 I saw a pic of a stunning kitchen with dark green cabinets (glass-fronted uppers), black soapstone counters, wood floor and lots of copper. Absolutely beautiful. But it didn’t take long to think that I don’t want to be stunned by my kitchen, just by the food I cook in it!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 25, 2019 - 10:27 AM

      Hi Gilly,

      The solution, I think, is to have two houses. lolReplyCancel

  • Jean - March 24, 2019 - 9:16 PM

    I love your honest, fun and real blogs. Glad i found your site while researching colors. November 2018 I finally ordered pottery barn furniture. Finally, because I could finally afford it and I’ve loved their furnishing for 30 years! Yep, I know I’m using the word finally, correctly! The quality is horrible. The two chairs I ordered are not made in USA and have serious issues. The jake sofa legs invert and the cushions were stated to be down filled are not (unless you count the back cushion). PB gave me $300.00 off the chairs price due to lumpy upholstery, gaps between back and arms etc. Since I had company coming and had sold all my previous furniture to make room, I accepted it. Live and learn. My opinion of Pottery Barn quality has changed dramatically and I just had to put my two cents in.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 25, 2019 - 10:25 AM

      Hi Jean,

      Oh gosh. I’m so sorry. I did look up the Jake leather furniture. I’m curious what is meant by inverted legs. They are steel and shouldn’t be moving. Maybe they were attached incorrectly? They other thing is, leather furniture sometimes takes some time to “break in.” I can’t say if that’s the case here, however. Apparently, most of their leather furniture is still imported. Their carlisle sofa is made here in leather. But as far as I know, all of their fabric upholstered furniture is constructed here.ReplyCancel

  • Kris McKenna - March 24, 2019 - 7:33 PM

    Laurel, the British racing green fabric is still available at patio lane for $86 per yard.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 24, 2019 - 7:35 PM

      Yes, I saw that too, but my guess is that they haven’t updated their system. None of these places stock fabrics. So, if it’s discontinued at one source and not available at another. (Decorator’s Best), I’m 99.9% sure that Patio Lane doesn’t have it either. But, if it was for a client, you’d be sure that I’d be on the horn asap with them. I’ve been through this before. Too many times. sigh…ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Riegel - March 24, 2019 - 4:46 PM

    Check out BallandBall.com for reproduction sconces at much better price point than $2000!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 24, 2019 - 7:33 PM

      Thanks so much Melissa. I don’t know if you realize that those are the real-deal antique sconces and thus do have greater value. Still, I think that price is a little high like everything on First Dibs.

      And the other thing is, I have not seen any reproductions of that type of sconce. Alas, not at Ball and Ball either, unless I missed it. My favorite source for lighting of this nature is also one of my favorite < a href=”https://laurelberninteriors.com/laurels-rolodex/” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Laurel’s Rolodex sources which I’ve used dozens of times, is Authentic Designs, located in West Rupert, VT. It’s a family business and they are absolutely fabulous to work with. Can’t recommend them highly enough.

      They have a huge selection and they do custom-work too. Could they are Ball and Ball make this type of sconce? Maybe, but theirs are quite a bit different from anything they already are making. Maybe there’s a repro source in England.ReplyCancel

  • Gloria - March 24, 2019 - 3:57 PM

    Silly me, I shouldn’t have even asked since I’m not doing a room (but when/if I do I would need a blue the depth of the actual green). You’ve trained us well,so I know where to look…I was just being lazy, I guess. It’s not that you’re busy or anything like that, is it! Your blog added to a very pleasant Sunday. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa D. - March 24, 2019 - 12:00 PM

    That room with the racing green wall covering is stunning! I just adore Ralph Lauren’s design sensibility. I bought two of his Daniela crystal table lamps a few years ago after lusting after them for years, and I’m so glad I did. I can’t help but wonder why that particular color would be discontinued. Perhaps it didn’t sell very well. Thanks for the pretty post, Laurel.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 24, 2019 - 1:22 PM

      Hi Lisa,

      Well, I’m finding it hard to believe that the other colorways sell better. The only thing might be that the green was sooo popular that they ran out of it and for whatever reason are no longer working with that mill or decided not to continue manufacturing it. So, it’s not that the other colors are better, it’s that they still have some yards left in stock.ReplyCancel

  • Gloria - March 24, 2019 - 11:27 AM

    Oops! Forgot to ask: What “blue” paint color comparable the to RL wallpaper green would you suggest? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 24, 2019 - 11:49 AM

      Hi Gloria,

      I’m smiling because there are so many! And, it wouldn’t be prudent to blindly recommend specific colors. That’s because I could throw one out and it might be a terrible choice for you. There are a lot of posts here which suggest some beautiful deep blues. Maybe if you do a search for dark blue or navy, you’ll find them. There’s a little box in the side bar.

      And then, there’s the Laurel Home Paint and Palette Collection. There are many beautiful shades of blue from light to dark in the collection.ReplyCancel

  • Gloria - March 24, 2019 - 11:21 AM

    Oh, Laurel. I want to hug your neck for this trip to (my idea of) decorating heaven…sheer heaven! You’re something else! (btw: I referred your blog to a decorator this week. She will be glad!) 😉ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 24, 2019 - 11:41 AM

      Thank you so much! I really felt like I was walking a tightrope with this one. Ahhh… but that IS the real life of an interior designer/decorator. Fortunately, in this case, it’s only my face I was hoping to save. haha.ReplyCancel

  • susie - March 24, 2019 - 9:12 AM

    saw some killer wallpaper in latest issue of H.B. magazine; looks like gray storm clouds. Cost? $250/roll. Fancy designer name starting with the letter F that has those dishes with the faces on them….ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 24, 2019 - 11:14 AM

      Hi Susie,

      That would be Fornasetti. Yes, his stuff is quite fanciful and is sold through Cole & Son.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - March 24, 2019 - 8:32 AM

    Amazing post!!! Superb! I have always wondered about these sconces too. They are beautiful. I’m wondering about Ralph Lauren furnishings… if they’re made in China or am I nutsReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 24, 2019 - 11:13 AM

      Hi Lisa,

      As far as I know, E.J. Victor, is the exclusive licensee and manufacturer Ralph Lauren Furniture. The furniture is all manufactured in North Carolina. The accessories and more moderate end part of the operation, like sheets, etc. I don’t know. I’d have to research that.ReplyCancel

  • HeidiP - March 24, 2019 - 7:34 AM

    Laurel I LOVE this post! Ralph is my fave home designer ever, i always keep him in mind when trying to decorate. Have you been to his polo bar in the city? Omg it’s gorgeous!!!
    Also, how funny, I JUST yesterday ordered a PB SECTIONAL (ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!) and drooled heavily over the Carlisle, literally drooled. But alas, my husband wanted more casual for the family room
    so we went with the Pearce roll arm, he let me pick the fabric at least (white sunbrella). I was super super anti PB until I happened to watch one of their videos and learned all their furniture is made here in North Carolina. Yeah!!
    Another high-low RL option: Pb Caden equestrian ottoman— gives that RL feel and is priced at $1,100 but has 25% off this month.
    Ps I think you’ll be quite happy with my new kitchen results!! It’s all done:-)ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 24, 2019 - 11:03 AM

      Thanks so much Heidi! And no, for others reading this, Heidi doesn’t work for me! lolReplyCancel

  • GL - March 24, 2019 - 5:11 AM

    If you’re really desperate to get this room, I think painting the walls, using about 4-6 stencils (and not huge ones), could do the trick. Paint the wall an ivory white, cut the stencils with extreme care, in order to use the cut-outs as well as the stencils. Working in panels, arrange the stencil cutouts, fix with spray adhesive, paint the walls the dark green. Remove the cut-outs. Go on to the next panel. Leave it all to dry. Then go over the whole lot, this time positioning the stencils, and paint with the ivory and then pale grey shadows on the flowers etc freehand. Bingo!
    But before you invest time and effort in this, a few remarks. The original room works because the walls are the only patterned surface in the place. Notice: no cushions! You also need a hot climate, large windows with outside slatted shutters and the British-in-India furniture, all white upholstery, appropriate accessories and not very many of them. And no tweaking by adding stuff later — when it’s done it’s done, finished.
    Finally, it’s stunning because the print is over-sized — put Mark Sikes’ beautiful green wallpaper there instead and it doesn’t work the same. Question, how long will you love being stunned every time you walk in?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 24, 2019 - 11:01 AM

      Hi Gilly,

      I gather that you’re not too fond of this wall treatment. :] I think for it to be successful, it needs lots of interruptions with windows and other architectural features. And yes, you’re right no pillows. That’s another thing that’s special about this room.

      Restraint. I think that’s probably one of the most difficult things to achieve. Darryl Carter is a master at restraint.

      It’s true the MDS Gracie paper would not be the same at all. I guess I implied it without coming right out and saying so.ReplyCancel