Debbie Travis'
House to Home
newspaper columns

Read about Debbie’s exciting discoveries — today’s stylemakers, iconic products for the home, and irresistible decorating tips and trends. Debbie gathers news of great design from around the world and shows you how easy it is to bring your favourite looks home.

House to Home appears weekly in newspapers across North America. Produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle, the column is syndicated by Torstar in Canada and King Features/Hearst in the United States.

October 11, 2020

Make it better

Shelving and cabinetry are among the first items you opt for when setting up a new home. A common choice is to go for flat pack furniture as it is affordable, functional and easy to find. There is a trend out there that has been growing with faithful followers of IKEA that takes their clean-lined, Scandi designs and transforms them by decoration and/or use.


October 4, 2020

Got the blues?

Dear Debbie;

We have a long hallway that stretches along the front of the house. It’s an unusual design with entrances to the main rooms off the hall on one side. It gets a lot of use by our large family of kids and dogs. How can I break up the runway feel?
— Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth;


September 27, 2020

Splurge on small spaces

The bathroom is one of the busiest, hardworking spaces in your home. It’s there for you when you begin and end your day and how well it looks and functions can make a big impact on your mood. Whether you are in a hurry to get to work in the morning or relaxing in a bath in the evening this is a room that deserves your attention.


September 20, 2020

The right rug

Dear Debbie;

We have just installed beautiful oak hardwood throughout our main floor including the kitchen and hallway. Now we are in the market for an area rug for the living room and wonder about size. Are there rules that we should follow? Thank you.
— Jennie

Dear Jennie;

An area rug is a special feature.


September 13, 2020

Rental hacks

September is often a month for moving, changing your living arrangements to be close to school, a new job, perhaps to live in a new town or city. Even with the pandemic, and made more complicated because of it, many people find themselves renting a place to call home. It is important to bring some of your personality into this new space so that it feels welcoming and comfortable for you.


September 6, 2020

Another guest at the table

Designing and decorating a dining room is an adventure. You begin with a blank canvas, which may be intimidating but a worthwhile challenge nonetheless. Whether it’s a quiet place to enjoy your daily supper, a family communal meeting spot, the space you gather with friends or all of these, the atmosphere should be friendly and inviting. There are many different approaches along the way as you pick furnishings,


August 30, 2020

First impressions

Dear Debbie;

We are doing some landscaping around a typical bungalow and while we are at it, wonder about what colour to paint the front door. It is dark brown and feels quite lifeless. We need a lift. Thanks for your help. You are always so cheerful.
— Bryan

Dear Bryan;

The front door of your home sends the first signal of what is to come;


August 16, 2020

Welcome signs

Dear Debbie;

We are looking for ideas to separate our garden spaces. Our house is on a corner lot and the lawn wraps around front and back. What would you suggest to divide part of it up into a more private space? We enjoy some gardening but not too labour intensive. With thanks,
— Eugene

Dear Eugene;


August 9, 2020

Paint a corner table

There is always room for an extra table or two that will add practical value and extra style to your living space. A small table in the hallway is handy for dropping off the mail and other stuff you’re loaded down with when you enter. It may get over-cluttered, but it’s the first place to look when you can’t find your keys,


August 2, 2020

Love colour

Dear Debbie;

I inherited a few pieces of furniture from my aunt’s mid-century modern collection when she drastically downsized to a tiny apartment. She has decided to travel the world, or at least parts of it, and has changed her living requirements at home. Lucky me. But not sure how to make the turquoise chair work with my rather bland decorating.