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10 Design Tips From Brian Gluckstein You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

In his new book, Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home, Canada’s most influential interior designer reveals the secrets behind his effortlessly elegant style.

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Brian Gluckstein bedroom designPhoto: Jessica Klewicki Glynn / Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home

Brian Gluckstein on relaxed interiors

“Designing relaxed interiors is about conveying a nonchalance to everything, even the accessories. I will lean framed art against a wall rather than hang it, because there’s a looseness to it that feels unhurried and unplanned. I had a ledge built behind the bed in this principal suite for the sole purpose of creating a place to lean art and display collections.”

Here’s advice on how to start a home art collection—without breaking the bank.

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Brian Gluckstein monochromatic designPhoto: Ted Yarwood / Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home

Brian Gluckstein on mastering a monochromatic space

“For a perfectly balanced monochromatic palette, 75 per cent of the room should be the starring colour and 25 per cent should provide contrast. Any more and the space risks not being monochromatic; any less and it risks looking boring.”

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Brian Gluckstein powder roomPhoto: Mark Olson / Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home

Brian Gluckstein on powder rooms

“If you can’t be adventurous with a powder room, where can you be adventurous? Used mainly by guests, this space should be indulgent. And it’s small, so the risk is low—you don’t have a tub and a shower and storage to consider. There is one sink, one faucet, one toilet and four walls. Do something fun. Do something dramatic. No one wants a boring powder room.”

No room in the budget for a full reno? No problem! Check out our top 10 finds from the new IKEA catalogue.

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Brian Gluckstein grey bedroomPhoto: Eric Piasecki / Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home

Brian Gluckstein on window treatments

“Drapes should always just touch the floor.”

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Brian Gluckstein beige living roomPhoto: Jessica Klewicki Glynn / Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home

Brian Gluckstein on living rooms

“A sisal rug tones down formality, even in the most elegant living room. There’s an unpretentiousness to it that’s timeless and wildly versatile.

I framed a mirror behind the sofa to visually expand this living room and to brighten that wall by reflecting the light and view from the windows.”

Check out designer Amanda Forrest’s wallet-friendly furniture facelift.

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Brian Gluckstein antiquesPhoto: Kelly Horkoff / Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home

Brian Gluckstein on antiques

“I like vintage and antique pieces for the same reason I like people: they have a story to tell. Who made them? What have they witnessed and overheard? Where have they travelled? They add soul and a sense of history to spaces.”

Here are 20 garage sale finds you should never pass up.

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Brian Gluckstein outdoor spacesPhoto: Mark Olson / Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home

Brian Gluckstein on outdoor living

“Outdoor lounge areas need all the same things indoor ones do: comfortable seating arranged to encourage conversation, and elements that provide a focal point, such as a fireplace. People socialize and entertain the same way whether inside or out, so the design principles are the same too. One added consideration, however, is ensuring there’s sufficient protection from the elements. You don’t want to be sitting in the sun without respite, so shade is essential.”

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Brian Gluckstein closet designPhoto: Mark Olson / Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home

Brian Gluckstein on closets

“Closets are much more than just a place to hang your clothes. They’re where you prepare for the day and choose how to present yourself to the world. A well-designed closet can turn the ritual of getting dressed into a fun pleasure. It certainly is for me, and I love creating a special space for someone who appreciates fashion and the art of dressing. Every dressing room needs a place to sit, a full-length mirror, good lighting and well-considered storage. I personally like lots of shelves with only one or two items stacked on them, rather than fewer shelves with multiple items stacked up. It makes it much easier to pull out sweaters and folded dress shirts.”

Could your closet use a serious decluttering? Try these brilliant closet-cleaning tips from professional organizers.

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Brian Gluckstein black basalt Wedgwood collectionPhoto: Michael Graydon / Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home

Brian Gluckstein on collections

“Collections give a room soul. I collect silver, chinoiserie, black basalt Wedgwood and vintage cameras. They make my home feel personal but, more importantly, they bring me joy.”

Check out 17 more home improvement ideas under $200.

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Brian Gluckstein bedroomPhoto: Kelly Horkoff / Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home

Brian Gluckstein on bedrooms

“My bedroom—where I sleep, watch television, work and read books—is probably the most used living space in my house. The canopy bed acts like an oasis, offering a wonderful feeling of enclosure. It’s a true retreat from the demands of the world.”

Don’t miss these budget-friendly decorating tips from HGTV’s Sarah Richardson.

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Brian Gluckstein: The Art of HomePhoto: Figure 1

Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home

For more insights into Brian Gluckstein’s signature style, check out the design guru’s gorgeous new book, Brian Gluckstein: The Art of Home (Figure 1 Publishing, 2018). Featuring elegantly designed homes from a small-but-chic New York apartment to sprawling country estate, each inspiring space serves to illustrate different design lessons, with take-away tips that apply to every home—regardless of budget.

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