July 19, 2024
A little luxury goes a long way in home design

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The look may be extravagant but the fixes are actually quite simple 

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How do you elevate an ordinary house to luxury-home status? There are some great examples of details that add high-end polish in the 2023 Princess Margaret Home Lottery Showhome, which was designed by Brian Gluckstein.

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Some of the more extravagant elements can even be imitated in the most humble of homes, and without breaking the bank. Other frills, let’s be honest, are going to be bigger-ticket.

That’s why they call it a dream home, friends.

Showhome bathrooms are a masterclass in special moments, starting with a double sink that features matching widespread Essence faucets from Grohe. I love the casually rounded shape, and the earthy graphite finish.

A little less severe than black, it retains the warmth of darker metals, which are trending heavily in luxury design.

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These deeper finishes hold their own against the textured walls Gluckstein employed in the same bath, and which are another décor element that’s gaining ground.

Homeowners can replicate textured looks with DIY paint finishes, while dreamy papers and murals from Toronto-based, female-led Fine and Dandy sport the kind of lush botanical motifs and sumptuous historical references that also compliment popular black and brass finishes.

Another bathroom has DXV Belshire high-spout faucets that reference Art Deco, which is hugely influential in higher-end design at the moment.

Not used in this Showhome, but similarly reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties is the Ellington Collection of tiles from Walker Zanger, which includes a range of eye-catching shape and metallic trim options, as well as stunning gold-patterned black or white field tiles.

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For a more subtle shimmer, Zanger has Metalux large-format porcelain tiles in subtle shades like smoky sapphire, steely silver, and golden topaz. With just a whisper of metallic sheen, they offer an under-stated opulence. Both represent a growing taste for just a touch of metallic sparkle.

At the higher end of the design market, there’s increasing interest in water-quality features: the American Standard Saybrook in the basement bar of the Showhome, for example, gives a choice between ordinary tap, or treated water.

It’s used in a cozy coffee/cocktail/juice bar, which also reflects the degree to which art and objects are now seen as an opportunity to add whimsy, or a personal story, to a space.

Here, a bank of storage and counter is flanked by large prints of sunny tropical fruits, while open upper shelves house decorative storage jars, prints, and other objects.

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If you can’t afford to have a designer craft a bespoke grouping of pictures, there are other ways to introduce customized art to your home.

One of my favourites comes from Loveyourwalls.ca, a Canadian company that creates personalised gallery walls by framing digital art supplied by customers, and delivering them, along with necessary hardware and a 1:1 paper template for the wall, which makes hanging a breeze.

These walls can be themed with everything from memorable travel shots to meaningful family photos.

Bed, bath, and home textiles provide a high-value shortcut to adding the detail that takes design to the next-level. Examples include scalloped edges, monograms, graphic accessories, and richer colours, some of which could echo the serene green used throughout the home.

Look for these items at local retailers like Au Lit Fine Linens, or from Gluckstein’s own line at The Bay.

Most of these fixes are easy to do before the holiday season, so you can tweak the home’s comfort and grace just before sharing it with friends and family. If not, add it to chores for 2024.

After all, the biggest luxury of all is time itself, and you deserve some for yourself.

Vicky Sanderson is the editor of Around the House. Check her out on Instagram@athwithvicky, Twitter ATHwithVicky and

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