[design]: Princess Margaret Showhome Review

9.29.2014

Every year I like to visit Princess Margaret Showhome for some design inspirations and ideas. This year I could not wait to go after seeing some of the images of its kitchen and master bath and I managed to squeeze in a trip last week. Here are some of the thoughts..

What I liked

Here is what caught my eye:


  1. Tile throughout main floor looks less dark and more brown than grain in person than it does on the photos I saw originally (official ones) but even with that I really like them. I think that they really make a statement and I good for maintenance. I am currently debating if I should put tile in my hallway when we renovate our first floor or if I should have hardwood throughout. I love how transition between tiles and hardwood was done in this house.
  2. I also liked uniformed window treatments throughout the house - linen roman blinds - look that I love
  3. As always I like to see what was done with mouldings, trim, baseboards, etc. Both powder rooms (on main floor and basement) had paneling done and I really liked simplicity of the one in the basement even if I did not like the colour choice. I was also surprised to find black electrical outlets as I found the covers myself but not the electrical part for my basement... I guess I did not search hard enough.
  4. Finally, I almost walked into that mirror a few times and I just love how it expands the space - not that it needs much expanding given the square footage of the house!

What I did not like as much



  1. Workmanship - while some areas were done superbly, I've noticed too many little mistakes and bit of sloppiness. I was not the only one to notice it so I cannot blame this on my mommy brain playing tricks on me... I don't remember seeing this in the past and was generally impressed by PCM before.
  2. Hardwood floors had certain striations that I assume have been done on purpose (unstained lines throughout the space making high contrast). Initially I thought it was a mistake, but then realized it was everywhere and that it was probably done on purpose.
  3. Too much of Glucksteinhome furniture - I enjoyed in the past seeing the mix of different furniture and was always trying to guess where things came from. I also enjoyed in earlier years seeing how Ikea pieces were interpreted in the basement to source some ideas, but that is not the case anymore. 
  4. Overall, there were not too many different design ideas to emulate or consider unless you have considerable budget for your reno and can replicate that kitchen and master.
  5. Some of the flow was a bit confusing and space choices unclear to me (i.e. master bath size vs. closet space)

What I loved




  1. I loved the art especially the playful one in kids' rooms and craft room.
  2. Kitchen for inspiration - loved black cabinetry in the island and really liked overflowing quarts around all cabinets - even if it is almost too spendfull
  3. Master bath floor and vanity/suspended mirror while I was not too crazy about the size of the space.
  4. Craft room was really great and I guess it is great that it can be converted to guest room as it comes with en-suite bathroom.
  5. Foyer with glass see through fireplace and inlaid tile plus the powder room.




Other thoughts

It was nice to see the use of black (dark walls) in the basement to bring some coziness the way we have done it in our basement. I cannot say that I was crazy about the screen and would have preferred a sofa table but I really liked the earthy pieces on the TV console.

Not counting master en-suite rest of the bathrooms, while nice were not that exciting when it came to showers and tile choices as you can see by those three images in a collage - they are almost replicas of one another.


Laundry room is spacious and nice - but a bit too dark or almost gloomy for me if I think about doing my laundry there. I really liked the cloths line art and would have liked to see TV in order to spend more time there.

Exterior of the house I like - brick colour, black windows and doors even if I am a bit unsure about the roof - small and perhaps too simple to carry the weight. I assume there might have been some height restrictions dictating that.

Finally, I love how this little conservatory looks and it is a great magazine worthy look, but in terms of practicality and living with a tree - I am not sure if I would keep it due to potential maintenance and root issues. I also almost would have liked to see some comfortable chairs or benches in this space - but I am imaging myself writing a book there. I love the use of mirrors to replicate windows on two sides.

At the end - while not everything in this showhome is overly exciting from my perspective - it will make someone very happy and it was done for a great cause.

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