Design: The Princess Margaret Oakville Showhome Designed by Brian Gluckstein

Brian Gluckstein. Damn, he’s good.

This past weekend, Brian Gluckstein and the Princess Margaret Welcome Home¬†Sweepstakes¬†invited a group of bloggers to attend Brunch with Brian at this year’s Oakville Showhome.¬†Our private event included an¬†detailed tour led by¬†Brian, delicious food by Chef Logan,¬†drinks from Pluck Teas and¬†Rosewood Wine, and an amusing Q & A session with the man of the hour.

So,¬†let’s go on a photo tour, shall we?

The foyer and grand staircase in the Oakville showhome is beautiful.¬†It reminds me of¬†entrances I’ve seen in France. I love the iron railing¬†and¬†the massive windows. The light in this foyer – and throughout the house –¬†is¬†enviable.


front foyer with grand staircase and herringbone porcelain tiles

Just off the foyer is one of my favourite spots in the house (but too¬†dark for White Cabana). Believe it or not, the all-black powder room really caught my attention. Luckily, the dark powder room has¬†natural light coming through, which makes it more moody than dreary. The tile work also reminded me of European homes. (Sorry, I don’t have any photos to post. You’ll have to go to the showhome to see what I’m talking about!)

Just to the left of the foyer is the grand living room. The see-through fireplace that connects the front foyer to the living room is a beautiful addition. It was manufactured in and shipped over from Portugal. Classic shades of cream made this space bright and classy, and the floor-to-ceiling windows are impressive.


white mantle in the front living room


the see-through mantle in the front foyer


bright and white in the living room


the living room and dining room viewed from the staircase


Q & A session with Brian Gluckstein


How many pot lights around the perimeter?

Everyone and their sister is talking about the indoor tree in this showhome. Yes, an actual tree…planted in the ground! I was fascinated by Brian’s explanation about the amount of thought¬†went into this tree; flooring, ventilation, etc. were all¬†considered when Brian designed this¬†room around the tree. I’m such a sucker for offices, as you may know, and¬†this one is stunning.


a house built around a tree

This house is full of interesting art and gorgeous skylights.


one of the many beautiful pieces of art


 one of the many skylights

The kitchen’s toaster wall is completely unique. The collection of toasters from the 1930s turned into a beautiful art installation and feature wall in the reasonably-sized¬†white kitchen.

White-Cabana-Oakville-Showhome-PMLotto-2 White-Cabana-Oakville-Showhome-PMLotto-9

toasters – just for looks


there’s a fridge behind these doors

Of course, the La Cornue stove adds to the beauty in this space. I could make killer scrambled eggs on that gem, I’m sure!

White-Cabana-Oakville-Showhome-PMLotto-1 White-Cabana-Oakville-Showhome-PMLotto-8

La Cornue + Pluck Teas

There is more delight upstairs. The master bedroom is big and airy. The white bedding and layers of pillows add luxury to this space, the sofa adds comfort, and the walk-in-closet is, well, pretty much perfect.


white linens in the master bedroom


creamy details in the master bedroom


Who wouldn’t love this closet?

Brian is a wizard when it comes to bathroom design. The tile work in each bathroom in this house (I lost count of how many there actually are…six maybe?) is something to¬†really note. The master bathroom is generously sized and the layout is flipped. Here, the vanity is in front of the windows and the bathtub is floating on the other end.¬†I loved it when Brian talked about the affordable route he took to install the vanity¬†mirrors. Brian and affordability – not the combo you’d¬†really predict, right?¬†Although it looks like the mirrors are framed in steel, they’re actually framed in painted wood. The bars are made of shower rod¬†holders and¬†pipes. That’s where the affordability ended, though. The cast iron Kohler bathtub costs a pretty penny! It’s the same one that Brian has in his own home.


here I am in the master bathroom


double vanity surrounded by natural light


white monogrammed towels in the bathroom


floating Kohler tub in the master bathroom


floor tiles in the master bathroom


my favourite light fixture in the house


the jack-and-jill bathroom vanity


here I am in the white jack-and-jill bathroom

Also upstairs is a sweet little office. Brian maximized storage¬†in here with floor-to-ceiling shelves. In fact, this space was originally a hallway, but Brian suggested that the walls be bumped out (and a foot taken from each of the rooms on the other side of the walls) to make it a useable room. The skylight provides loads of natural light. And, yes, I could see myself working in here as well. I’m a sucker for offices, remember?


a white hallway leading to the office area


a bright place to work on the second floor

Another one of my favourite spaces in this house is the wine cellar. Just look at it.


I want one.


 Brian, the wine cellar, and the exercise room

You can work off the calories you drink in your private exercise room.

The basement family¬†room is¬†darker than I normally like, but I’m wondering if this is something I should consider for my own basement. Would I dare go dark? The white matting on the gallery wall art brightens up the room as does the sofa and the lighting.


the basement family room (it doesn’t feel like a basement, does it?)

The white and grey laundry room in the basement is spacious and has top of the line machines. The cabinetry, we learned, is from a big box store that was painted and framed with additional moulding.


laundry room details


the spacious laundry room in white and grey

Brian was kind enough to take photos with all his blogger fans. Here we are…


 Brian Gluckstein and Jordana

Other things I learned during #BrunchWithBrian that might interest you:

1. Brian eats the same breakfast every day: yogurt and berries. Brian, I eat the same thing every day, too (toast, berries, and a latte).
2. Brian enjoys Pinterest just like the rest of us!
3. About 60-70K people come through the Oakville showhome each year.
4. Brian¬†can’t imagine a space without art.
5. Brian reads the blog The Blue Remembered Hills.
6. Brian’s design influences include Billy Baldwin, Jean-Michel Frank, Edwin¬†Lutyens, and Kalef Alaton.
7. It took less than a year to buy the Oakville showhome lot, demolish the original house, build a new house, and decorate it.
8. Brian did not shy away from mixing metals in this house.
9. Brian is as classy, approachable, and intelligent as you may imagine.
10. The foyer drapes are 30 feet in length and the trim is made of one continuous piece.

As if you need any more convincing! Order your ticket!

Photos by Jordana. For more photos (really beautiful ones) of the Oakville showhome, click here.

To see the 2013 Oakville showhome design by Brian Gluckstein, click here.
Remember the time I toured the GlucksteinHome design office? That was fun.

Many thanks to Brian Gluckstein, Cheryl K., Laura Z., Chef Logan, Rosewood Wine, Pluck Teas, and the Princess Margaret Lottery Foundation for hosting a classy and fun brunch.

Art: Citizen Atelier

If you haven’t already come across Canada’s art shop Citizen Atelier, let me introduce it to you.


Citizen Atelier was founded by art dealer and PR pro Alessandra Salituri with the help of her web whiz cousin Gabriel McCay. Alessandra curates a highly interesting collection of art from around the world and the pieces in her online shop are certainly unique.

Although there are many dreamy pieces at Citizen Atelier, these are some of my most favourite works that are currently in the shop.


Amy Friend – Atlantic City, 1948, $695-$1495 (Canada)

Theystillbloom-Amy Friend-Citizen Atelier

Amy Friend – They Still Bloom, $695-$1495 (Canada)

Amy Friend‘s pieces¬†are delightfully sparkly.


Georgianna Lane – Versailles Chandelier III, $75-$175, (USA)

Speaking of sparkle, Georgianna Lane‘s collection of photographs from Versailles are so uber-glam and sharp.¬†These images make me want to just go ahead and book a flight to France!


Krysztof Wladyka – Animaly 15, $825-$2850 (Poland)


Krysztof Wladyka – Animaly 22, $825-$2850 (Poland)

Krysztof Wladyka‘s animal prints are whimsical,¬†dreamy, and completely amusing.¬†I love pretty much every one of them because they are so out of the ordinary. Come on, that elephant? Awesome, yes?


Vanessa Paxton – Ballerina I, $120 (Canada)

Vanessa Paxton‘s collection of ballerinas¬†are at once¬†strong and delicate. There’s serene movement in Paxton’s¬†images, and I can see them making a dramatic addition to a bedroom.

I encourage you to go ahead and click on through to the artists’¬†bios. You will¬†be completely¬†impressed with the artists’ experiences, awards, and educational achievements. I totally was!

So how exactly do these gorgeous¬†pieces of art look in real rooms? Have a look at some of the photos from¬†Citizen Atelier‘s lookbook (styled by Christine of¬†Bijou and Boheme, photos by Toronto-based photographer¬†Ashley Capp).


art by Antonio Mora


art by Ashley Woodson Bailey


art by Michael Wou


Alessandra Salituri

I was thrilled when Citizen Atelier’s owner Alessandra Salituri agreed to answer a few of my questions about her work and approach to design. Read¬†on to learn about Citizen Atelier’s¬†beginning and what inspires Alessandra.

Jordana: How did Citizen Atelier come to be? 

Alessandra: I have always had a love for interior design and art. My mother is a painter and I grew up in a creative environment, attending art fairs and gallery openings. Becoming an art dealer was a natural progression. Though even in that line of work, I always felt there few places to purchase art in Canada that fit my style and also offered the option of some affordable pieces. Over the years and through my travels in Europe and the US, I had come across the work of some very talented international artists. I wanted to share their pieces with a Canadian audience.

J: Where did¬†the¬†name “Citizen Atelier” come from?

A:¬†The name was very much inspired by my hometown, Montreal. In the city, having your own atelier where you produce creative work, whether it be art, jewelry and sculpture, is quite common. I too have an atelier where I store and display the work of artists I represent. I wanted the store to feel homey and approachable, as though you were spending an afternoon touring a friend‚Äôs French-inspired studio. And I liked the word ‚ÄúCitizen‚ÄĚ because I wanted the name to have a little edge to it. Citizen Atelier literally means ‚Äúthe people‚Äôs studio.‚ÄĚ

J: What three words would you use to describe Citizen Atelier?

A: I would say that three words that I hope define the brand are dreamy, luxurious and accessible.

‚ÄúDreamy‚ÄĚ because I have always been attracted to art that has a magical quality. A lot of the work in the atelier is surrealist photographs where the photographer explores the inner world of dreams and their intersection with reality. I personally have filled my home with this type of art and find it inspires me to live my best life.

‚ÄúLuxurious‚ÄĚ because I wanted to ensure that every piece in the atelier was special and made with the highest-quality materials, like long-lasting archival canvases and Hahnem√ľhle photo rag paper which has a beautiful smooth surface. I also wanted to offer some pieces, even large-scale statement artworks, at a more accessible price point.

J: How do you go about curating the Citizen Atelier collection?

A: My vision for Citizen Atelier was bringing together both well-established and emerging artists/photographers from across the world. I pick the art based on what I would have in my own home (and my home is actually filled with many pieces from the store!). I found the artists and photographers while visiting galleries, attending art fairs, searching online and some I had previously collaborated with as an art dealer. It took a year for me to curate the initial collection. The exciting thing is the site is ever-evolving and we have some wonderful artists/photographers joining the atelier throughout the summer and fall.

J: What is the best part of your job?

A: The best part of my job is definitely meeting and connecting with the artists. They are all such creative and kind individuals who chart their own path. There’s also such a thrill in finding new artists and photographers whose portfolio takes my breath away. And getting to work with my only cousin who does the website design and development is such a blessing too. We were born one week apart and live on opposite ends of the country. It allows us to keep connected on a regular basis!

J: What is the most challenging part of your job?

A: The most challenging part is probably balancing it all! With Citizen Atelier, I wear numerous hats: creative director, marketing manager, (learning-as-you-go) financial officer! I also work as a public relations consultant for a Montreal firm. It requires a lot of organization and long hours. At the end of the day though I am lucky to be doing work that is creatively stimulating and makes me happy. You’ll often find me at my favourite coffee shop on a Sunday brainstorming on how to make Citizen Atelier the best it can be. I do try to fit in as much downtime when I can, whether it be playing tennis, dinners in Montreal’s Le Plateau neighbourhood or relaxing with a pile of magazines and my dog! 

J: Describe your favourite space in your home.

A: My favourite space in my home is definitely my bedroom. It has a monochromatic palette with a lot of white and textures like faux-fur throws and wood furniture. I wanted to keep the design minimalist and serene to have a quiet place to relax in at the end of the day. My room faces a local park so my favourite part is definitely feeling like I live in a cozy little treehouse!


Alessandra, thank you so much for sharing¬†the¬†Citizen Atelier¬†story¬†with us. I appreciate¬†your approach to curation and¬†commitment to a balanced¬†work life.¬†Like many of my¬†readers, I’m sure, I am inspired by¬†places and people¬†I come across in my travels, and I love how art completes (or inspires) a space. How fun (and difficult) it is to fill your shop with such beautiful pieces of art!

Many thanks to Alessandra. 

20 Below: Drip Maple Syrup

I LOVE waffles. Love ’em. I also love maple syrup. Put those two together and you’ve got a perfect (any time of day?) meal. Yum. Yum. Yum.

I read about Drip maple syrup in the LCBO’s recent Food & Drink. Great packaging, beautiful website, and I am sure Drip’s maple syrup is pretty darn delicious.


The three maple syrup varieties Рblond, copper, amber Рare each $20 and can be purchased online.

1 2 3 4 5 12