Friday, September 27, 2013

Princess Margaret Lottery Dream House- Designed by Brian Gluckstein!

Last week I am going through my emails when I see this evite reminder for an event for bloggers at one of the Princess Margaret Lottery dream homes...and you get to meet designer Brian Gluckstein, who designed the whole house! Whaaaat! Not sure how I missed the original invite (I think I had Jamaica-brain), but I was up for going on short notice! I dragged my friend Sarah with me for good measure :)

We decided to take the GO Train to Oakville and then take a bus to the house. Did you know the buses in Oakville suck? haha it only comes every FORTY minutes. Luckily it lined up well with our train. Unluckily, I forgot to tap off with my Presto card when I left the station for the bus, which led to me running like a crazy fool back to tap it before the bus left. Too funny, but I made it!

Please be nice to me in this post. I got home and found out ALL my photos were blurry. I am really not enjoying this new camera I bought. Blegh. To see nice photos- go here.

At first we toured the home, and then went out back to get our badges (they closed the house to regular tourers), where they also had snacks and drinks. But we didn't stay out long because the mosquitoes were interested in touring us.

At some point in all that, Brian Gluckstein showed up! We luckily snagged 5 minutes of his time to chat about the project. We learned that a lot of the materials and furniture (including a $6000 coffee table I think I heard?) had been donated, which helps the hospital make more money from the lottery. Brian had a hand in everything from the floor plan to finishes to furniture! Also- this house went from breaking ground to finished in only 5 months. I told him it took me over a year to paint my bathroom and we laughed. He was very easy to talk to!

Bleeeeeh blurry photo!
Another neat thing- we were planning on leaving early and for some reason we were separate from the group while we collected ourselves to go. Then some people came up and asked if they could film us talking about our favourite rooms! How neat! We decided to go upstairs, where it was quieter, and Sarah talked about the master bathroom and I talked about the "girl's room". They said they hoped to send us the video early next week- I am sure I look like a fool in it but it is still pretty neat. I got to wear a mic and everything!

I thought I would share some tips that I picked up from touring a professionally designed home

1. Low Profile Vent and Outlets
The wall vents were built with the same materials as the walls, so they appeared as slits vs metal plated ones. Even the ones in the floor! The kitchen had a floor vent made of granite. The outlets were all horizontal on thick baseboards vs on the wall- it make the walls look less cluttered

2. Add Some Interest
Is a glass floor over your wine cellar necessary? No...but it sure is fun! 

3. Hide the Appliances
I wish I had taken a photo from the other side of this kitchen, but the dishwasher, garbage "drawer" and fridge were all hidden to look like cabinets! Also, is that a tap over the stove?? 

4. Create an Interchangeable Gallery Wall
With a wall like this, you can change up the art to suit your taste at the drop of a hat! Plus the low profile, wall mounted TV fit right in. 

5. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting
The house was covered in different lighting, including a lot of overhead, small, potlight type lights! The house was very warm and welcoming with it.  

6. Don't Neglect the Back
This is a photo of the back of the house! You can really tell a high end home from a cookie cutter one from the attention paid to the back of the house. It also had copper eavestroughs, which I haven't seen before. I wasn't 100% a fan (personal taste), and I wondered if they would turn green over time.  

7. Break Away from White Trim
This room has large white crown molding, but the baseboards and trim were all painted to match the walls. I felt it made the room look bigger and softer. 

8. Mirrors and Glass
All the mirrors and glass in the master bath made it feel HUGE. I also loved the bookcase over the bath (the shower is completely glassed in so steam isn't an issue) 

I need to talk about this tub for a second. It is from Kohler and I need it. NEED. It has lights and jets that move to music you can stream on it! I am not sure how I have survived this long without this tub. I was relaxed just being in it's presence. 

9. Make Rooms What You Need/Want, Not What Is Expected
I had no need for the 4 living rooms in this house, which is why I am glad they didn't make this room a 5th. I loved the idea of a gym indoors and the giant glass wall was awesome. However, this room could also be a play room, or a craft room, or room for displaying your collectable beanie babies. Whatever you need!

10. Put TVs Everywhere.
It upsets me know that I can't watch TV while doing the laundry. It also upsets me that this laundry room is bigger than my condo.  

 11. Loft Where You Can
A basement can't always have high ceilings, but by moving pipes and ducts to the sides, you can loft areas to make the whole ceiling feel higher!

12. Strategically Place Mirrors
I liked how this mirror was opposite a giant piece of artwork of a long hallway. Two pieces of art for the price of one! 

13. Use Flooring and Arches to Define Spaces
The show home used tiles and hardwood to differentiate spaces, along with the tile inlay to break up the rooms with tile in them. They also arched most of the divisions to help further define it, yet the house still felt very open!

14. Do What You Like!!
This was not my favourite room. The room below is off the entrance and with TWO sitting rooms off the entrance (the other one is the first photo), I felt it was overkill. I mean, the room itself was beautiful, just not useful to me. And then upstairs above it was a room that could have been a bedroom, but it was converted to an opening and you couldn't place anything in the upper room because the walkway was narrow. However, I admire Brian for putting this in because it made the house different. A 6th bedroom would have been passed right over, but I bet everyone remembered this room! 

So that was my tour of the Princess Margaret Lottery Show Home! I don't even think I showed you many rooms (like the mudroom, office, some bedrooms, a billion bathrooms etc). It was 7000 sq ft! I really appreciated being able to come out and hang out with the other bloggers and meet Brian Gluckstein- it was such an interesting evening! I wish we could have stayed longer, but it was a long way back to the city on the train :(. Thank you to whoever found me and sent me the invite!!

Please visit the Princess Margaret Lottery Website to see their other prizes available!


  1. That's a pot filler above the stove. They're awesome and super useful, especially if you have a large kitchen. The house is gorgeous! I would hate to clean it though. hahah :)

    1. Im fairly certain that if I owned a 4MM house I would have a cleaning lady :)

  2. We're you using the auto settings on your camera Casey? It looks like maybe the blur could be from low-light issues, a faster card might help with that too. I hate it when cameras are non-cooperative.

    I want that balcony library droooooling! The last time I toured a PMLotto home I was like 10 and my uncle had bought into the draw and wanted to check it out—needless to say the houses have come a LONG way from the 90's ;)

  3. So cool that you did the video! I chickened out :)

    So great seeing you again!

  4. Thanks so much for coming out, Casey! I love your tips - especially making the rooms what you need, not what's expected.


Pin It button on image hover