Home & Garden

Brian Gluckstein's outdoor living essentials

By: Canadian Living
Canadian Living
Home & Garden

Brian Gluckstein's outdoor living essentials

By: Canadian Living
[caption id="attachment_3372" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Interior designer Brian Gluckstein Interior designer Brian Gluckstein.
Photography by Naomi Finlay.[/caption]

Quite frankly, nobody knows Canadian interiors like Brian Gluckstein.

That's why he was the designer I went to last spring, when I wanted to crack the no-fail formula for the perfect living room, dining room and kitchen. (You can check out the story here!) What we didn't cover at that time, however, was what designers sometimes call the "fourth room"—the outdoors.

I recently caught up with Brian following the launch of his 2014 GlucksteinHome Patio lineup at Hudson's Bay, and it was the perfect opporunity to chat about all things outdoor—a category that Brian says has changed enormously in Canada over the past two decades.

"Twenty years ago, the selection of outdoor furniture at a moderate price point was not good," Brian says, noting that your options as a consumer were generally limited to injection-moulded, stacking plastic chairs. "Now, you can get beautiful outdoor furniture, tabletop accessories, carpets and umbrellas for great prices."

And it's not just the merch that's changed. "Canadians are much more sophisticated now when it comes to outdoor furniture. The bar has definitely been raised," Brian says.

To help you meet that new standard of chic outdoor living, here's Brian Gluckstein's guide to what every outdoor space needs:

[caption id="attachment_3374" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Cayman Dining Collection from GlucksteinHome, The Bay GlucksteinHome Cayman Dining set, Hudson's Bay.
Photography courtesy of GlucksteinHome.[/caption]

1. A DESIGNATED DINING AREA. "There's no better way to start your day than by taking your breakfast outside—even if it's just cereal," Brian says. "Spending that little bit of time sitting outside is what makes summer so special."

[caption id="attachment_3380" align="aligncenter" width="620"] GlucksteinHome Porto Conversation Collection, Hudson's Bay GlucksteinHome Porto Conversation set, $2,100, Hudson's Bay.
Photography courtesy of GlucksteinHome.[/caption]

2. A PLUSH OUTDOOR SOFA. Outdoor living spaces have really become extensions of our home interiors, Brian says. Not only does that mean a comparable level of style, but also comfort. "People love creating outdoor living rooms with really comfy sofas and sectionals," he says. His cushy, woven Porto set(above), for instance, is a modular furniture system that can be arranged in multiple configurations to suit any space. "In addition to the set, you can buy individual pieces a la carte to create a casual seating area that's as big as you want," he says.

[caption id="attachment_3381" align="aligncenter" width="620"] GlucksteinHome Ibiza dining set, Hudson's Bay. GlucksteinHome Ibiza dining set, $1,400, Hudson's Bay.
Photography courtesy of GlucksteinHome.[/caption]

3. APPROPRIATELY-SCALED FURNITURE. According to Brian, one of the biggest mistakes people make in designing their outdoor living space is to start without an overall plan in mind. "You have to measure your space and do a floor plan thew same way you would if you were furnishing the inside of your house," he says. More often than not, we err on the side of furniture that's too big for the space—something that's easily prevented by mapping out a rough plan on your patio, deck or balcony with some newspaper templates that approximate the placement of chairs, sofas and table. "You can also cut out craft paper forms and move them around to make sure it's going to work," Brian says.

[caption id="attachment_3383" align="aligncenter" width="620"] GlucksteinHome Turkish cotton pool towel in Melon, $34, Hudson's Bay GlucksteinHome Turkish cotton pool towel in Melon, $34, Hudson's Bay.
Photography courtesy of GlucksteinHome.[/caption]  

4. SPLURGE-WORTHY TOWELS. One of my favourite releases in last year's GlucksteinHome outdoor collection was the luxurious Turkish cotton pool towel—an item Brian's expanded on for the 2014 season in this gorgeous melon hue. "People love these towels," he says. "A couple even came up to me in New York to tell me that they'd bought the towels for their pool last year and were thrilled with them. I thought that was very nice of them to say!" Having seen hammam towels of comparable quality offered at high-end boutiques, he's particularly proud of the $34 price tag these super-soft accessories. Talk about "luxe for less"!

[caption id="attachment_3385" align="aligncenter" width="620"] GlucksteinHome textured side plate in Terracotta, Hudson's Bay. GlucksteinHome textured bowl in Terracotta, Hudson's Bay.
Photography courtesy of GlucksteinHome.[/caption]

5. AMAZING FAKES. It seems like every year, that distinction between indoor and outdoor products blurs a little bit more. Take this gorgeous artisanal-looking GlucksteinHome bowl (above), for instance. "It's textured on the inside, and has a matte finish, with undulated lines to look like earthenware," Brian says. "I took it on a recent episode of CityLine, and the audience couldn't believe that it was actually melamine!"

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Brian Gluckstein's outdoor living essentials

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