Designing the Princess Margaret Showhome

You asked, Brian answered
Princess Margaret Showhome | dining room
GlucksteinHome Serena chairs

Brian Gluckstein has been designing the Princess Margaret Showhome every fall since 2013 and proudly supports the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and its world-leading research. Brian recently answered your questions about the design of the incredible four-bedroom, five-bathroom Fall 2021 Showhome on Instagram and we’re sharing the insights and inspiration here!

Be sure to follow @glucksteinhome on Instagram to submit your questions for our next Ask Me Anything with Brian.  

Favourite room? Favourite part of the design process?

Brian: One of my favourite things about designing the Princess Margaret showhome is trying new things and using ideas that I’ve collected. It really is the opportunity to do something like this two-storey atrium dining room. I love the idea of a room that feels like you’re indoors and out.

To capture that indoor-outdoor feeling, we used black porcelain on the floor and took it right out onto the patio to create that connection.

The two-storey window allows so much light into the space. And this is the only window in the house that’s finished in black which, again, helps connect the space with the outdoor area.

The stone table I used here feels like a garden table. It was custom designed using a material from Caesarstone’s outdoor collection. It’s so practical because you can eat off it, do projects, work on it with your computer, and you don’t have to worry. Around the table, I used cane-backed dining chairs. The black matches the floor, and the caning again gives you that feeling of a garden space.

I think what’s special is that this room is so beautiful all year round and it really connects you with the garden.

How do you keep a black and white scheme feeling warm?

Brian: Many people think a black and white room can be cold, but we balanced it with textures in this family room. For instance, we have the grey sofas but the carpet – with whites, greys, and blacks – really adds a lot of warmth. I opted for one huge carpet so that everything is sitting on it and that warms things up. The coffee tables have an antiqued gold finish, there are lots of wood textures, and the wood floor also adds a great deal of warmth.

The kitchen, which opens onto the family room, features a lot of wood details. It brings in a sense of warmth but keeps that modern feeling. This shows that you can create a black and white space that’s also quite warm.

Princess Margaret Showhome | family room and kitchen
GlucksteinElements Lowell pendant (kitchen), Bristol chandelier (family room); GlucksteinHome Ainsley sofa, Fulton cocktail tables, Wesley chairs

What dictated or anchored your lighting? Some fixtures are black, and some are gold.

Brian: I used a lot of different finishes for the bedroom principal suite. For the lamps on the night tables, I used a brushed silver and it blended in nicely with all the fabrics and matched the hardware of the tables. I wanted more of a focal point and sparkle for the overhead fixture in the room, so I chose the brass and matched that to the wall sconces as well. There’s no issue with mixing metals. We do that in jewellery all the time; you’ll see that when you’re styling an outfit.

In the bathroom, the plumbing fixtures dictated the lighting finish. Black plumbing fixtures are really on trend right now, so I went with the black sconces and black ceiling fixture.

The finish of the lights doesn’t have to match all the way through the suite or throughout the house. They really should work in the room that they’re in.

Princess Margaret Showhome | principal bedroom and bathroom
GlucksteinHome Amelia table lamp, Decker wall bed, Tranquility bedding; GlucksteinElements Ashbury chandelier, Beaumont vanities, Burke mirrors, Ashbury wall sconces

How did you design the shared bathroom for kids?

Brian: When designing bathrooms for children, I like to keep the built-in elements classic. For this bathroom, I chose the grey vanity with black mirrors, black wall sconces, and chrome faucets. I frosted the water closet and kept the shower clear.

To add fun, you can always change up the wallpaper and towels. I used this fun graphic wallpaper and white towels, but you can use any colour. Have a lot of fun and change it up as the children age.

Princess Margaret Showhome | bathroom
GlucksteinElements Beaumont vanity, Westbury mirrors, Ashbury vanity lights

Want to see more from the showhome? Visit to take a video tour with Brian through the home. For sourcing info, view and download the showhome source guide.

Photography by Angus Fergusson