A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Gluckstein for the first time at a special evening for designers and media at the beautiful Princess Margaret Showhome.

Having been a fan of his work for many years, it was a delight to have the opportunity to chat with Brian about trends and traditions alike. The conversation was so interesting that I just knew I had to share some of Brian’s thoughts and insights with you via this interview. Brian is {not surprisingly} a very busy man, traveling constantly amidst working with his busy roster of design clients, so I’m very grateful he’s taken the time to share with us today.

Brian, you are known internationally for designing elegant and luxurious homes exquisitely detailed for entertaining. What is the number one request you get from clients who are designing grand yet child-friendly homes?

The number one request I receive is a designated playroom so toys and games can be stored and used in a specific space, minimizing clutter throughout the house.

What are your favourite choices for floors and countertops in a family-friendly yet glamorous environment?

I love hardwood floors and I’m using a lot of reclaimed and distressed flooring in projects. This works really well with children because it’s beautiful and so forgiving to wear. I do use natural stone in family homes but I also introduce man-made materials like Caesarstone because it’s impervious to stains.

What about fabrics? What are some creative applications you recommend to your clients where small and sticky fingers might be a part of everyday life?

We often use outdoor fabrics in kitchens and playrooms. They wear so well. The outdoor fabrics currently on the market come in beautiful colours and patterns – you’d never guess they were designed for outdoor applications!

Where do families designing homes have to compromise luxury for practicality, and where should they never compromise?

Never compromise on quality. For example, you can look to a luxuriously built sofa but incorporate wearable, user-friendly textiles.

What trends do you see for interior design as you look ahead into 2014?

We’re going to see a lot of antiqued brass in homes, wood grain patterns on everything from dinnerware to textiles and the integration of antiques into contemporary spaces.

Antiqued brass and mirror Greek Key Serving Tray from The Gluckstein Home Collection, available at The Bay.

Soap dispenser from the Gluckstein Home Briar Collection, available at The Bay.
Towel from the Gluckstein Home Briar Collection, available at The Bay.

In a world where high-end designs and products are being knocked off at the speed of light, how do you offer your clientele customized and bespoke spaces that don’t look like “what everyone else has?” How is this trend of luxury design product “dopplegängers” changing the industry and your approach to designing homes for your luxury clients?

We do a lot of custom designed furniture and particularly in luxurious materials like aged metals, cashmeres and silks. We’re even using cashmere for carpets and upholstery. The use of antiques mixed into contemporary spaces really gives the home an identity that can’t be reproduced.

What is the number one “must have” that you believe every family home should not be without?

A library.

Given my love of reading, it isn’t hard for me to take Brian’s advice to heart by adding a library to my dream house wish list! More than anything, I love his approach to designing family-friendly homes without compromising on quality. Elegance can be attainable through any phase of life with smart choices on finishes and textiles, and a truly fabulous designer can help you make that dream a reality!

Thank you so much, Brian, for taking the time to share your insights with us. You are as lovely a man as you are a brilliant designer, and it was such a joy to meet you! I sincerely hope our paths will cross again soon.