Brian tackles design dilemmas from you! Be sure to follow @glucksteinhome on Instagram to submit your questions for our next Ask Me Anything with Brian.
Q: If you don’t have a lot of space outside, what’s better – dining set or conversation set?
A: It depends on how you are going to use the space. If you’re mostly going to use it to read and relax, I’d go with a conversation set. You can still comfortably dine out there with a coffee table or nesting side tables, but I’d say if you’re primarily going to be dining or working outside, I’d choose a dining set.
Q: What can I use to hide the unsightly sides of a shed?
A: I would put a lattice on it and grow climbing hydrangeas so you have a flowering wall. In my backyard, I have climbing hydrangeas on the wall at the back of my pool.
Q: Best investment piece in a backyard for a family that loves to entertain?
A: I would say a great table and chairs and umbrella. Buy extra chairs to put around the area so that you don’t run out of seating.
Q: What is the best material to use for a countertop to an outdoor kitchen/BBQ area?
A: The best is probably a granite or porcelain slab because they’re not affected by the heat, the cold, or the sun. Some of the man-made surfaces have a resin in them that’s affected by the sun.
Q: What plants do you recommend for modern style homes?
A: I would do a more structured garden where hedges and bushes are clipped in a more formal shape and probably stick to a white and green palette for the flowers.
Q: What to splurge on and what to save on for patio pieces?
A: Splurge on the furniture and economize on the accessories like cushions and placemats. You’ll likely change up the accessories more often for a new look.
Q: Do you prefer decks or stone patios? Also, suggestions on best bushed for privacy wall?
A: I prefer stone patios because wood decks require constant maintenance in our climate. For privacy I would use either tall yew or cedar hedges. Or if you have the room for it, my favourite is pyramidal oaks because the leaves hold through the winter.
Q: Rug or no rug for the patio?
A: I like a rug on the patio and it’s a particularly good idea if you have a patio, balcony, or deck that doesn’t have a nice surface to it. It’s a great way to camouflage a bad surface.
Q: Limestone flooring or porcelain tiles for outdoor patio? What pattern?
A: Porcelain pavers have come a long way and they’re great because they’re non-absorbent and hold their appearance for a long time. I like a brick pattern.
For more patio design tips, watch this video with Brian Gluckstein:
Photography courtesy of Kelly Horkoff (lead) and Hudson’s Bay