It's where they spend lovely, fun-filled summer weekends and where they have cozy winter nights.
They serve fancy foods, such as lobster souffle and towers of beets, arugula and goat cheese, and comfort fare like challah-bread French toast and brownies. Sure, there's help nowadays, Ricky says, but she likes to do as much of it as she can: decorating, cooking, general good hostessing.
She also likes a full house, and her now-grown children, their spouses and their friends, are often there.
"There's a very grounding thing about family, spending time together, cooking for them, having their friends over," she says. "It feeds you not only with food, but with love."
She's put together a new book, "The Hamptons: Food, Family, and History," opening up the inside world of one of fashion's most famous labels. It's full of that classic, clean, Americana style that Ralph Lauren and clan have come to symbolize — and have used to make lots and lots of money.
"Nice things have happened in our lives," Ricky says with a smile.
But what strikes a reader right away is how normal mom, dad, two sons and daughter seem to be. The kids were skeptical of eating salmon, and they learned to ride bikes with Ralph holding a broomstick for them to use for balance. There even might have been some questionable fashion moments.
"The home is where the family gathers, talks together. Is it perfect?" Ricky says. "How can it be perfect with all those people!"
The Laurens have been regulars on Long Island's tip for 40 years, starting in the early 1970s in the converted barn that was part of someone else's mansion in Southampton. It was rugged, and Ricky once found a bird's nest on one of the ledges of its indoor wooden ceiling beams. She'd use the big kitchen sink to alternate baths for her first child, Andrew, and their big dog.
Their Amagansett houses — there were two — served as Ricky's base when Ralph would commute to Manhattan. No television needed there, she says, because there was so much to keep her and the kids busy.
At their old shingled saltbox in East Hampton, Ricky's mom would visit often and she was charged with making the coffee each morning.
The "screening room," which would later become a McMansion must-have, was a freestanding pull-down screen in the living room.
When they settled into Montauk, the area was still pretty remote, even if they had moved into the house previously occupied by John Lennon and Leonard Bernstein, says Ricky. The community is more bustling now, but the house is on a high cliff and surrounded by lush greenery.
They're an outdoorsy group, she says, and everything is about bringing the beach inside or, better yet, setting up as much as they can on the other side of all the glass sliding doors. She likes the small seating areas created by enclaves of lavender blooms and rhododendrons.