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.

March 22, 2020

Always In Style

Dear Debbie;

I’d like to try a paint effect for the walls in our living room, but I am concerned that it will become out of date and be difficult to cover up. I have heard you joking about sponging, which I did in our nursery years ago. Actually it still looks good, but the colours are all wrong now.


March 15, 2020

Go Graffiti

Dear Debbie;

My teenage kids want to decorate the basement, which is their hangout, and do not want any input from me. We gave them a small budget to cover the cost of paint and a few necessities such as oversized cushions. I remember you did a graffiti wall on one of your television shows and would love to show them that I can be fun.


March 8, 2020

The Quick Fix

“Wow, you look great,” exclaims a friend you haven’t seen for a while. “What have you done? Lost weight, joined a gym, got a new boyfriend?” she continues looking you up and down. Trying not to feel insulted, as these revelations seem to indicate that I wasn’t looking so good the last time we met, I reply that I’m not doing anything special but … I did get my hair cut.


March 1, 2020

Early spring notes

Dear Debbie;

When is it too early to bring out the spring décor? I crave the first brave blooms that shoot through the snow and feel it is time to fold away the woolies and breath in the fresh air.
— Penny

Dear Penny;

Winter has its glorious moments with a gleaming palette of white snow against black bark and moody skies that threaten a cold blast offset by the brilliant winter sun.


February 28, 2020

How to create an inspiring vignette

When you walk into a room, what is it that makes it feel like home to you? The furniture pieces are familiar, there is the lingering scent of a spicy candle, a photograph that smiles back at you. Memories make it special and mark the space as yours. Why not take the next step and create a vignette in an unused corner or on a bookshelf that showcases a selection of items that might not otherwise be on display?


February 16, 2020

The third dimension

Dear Debbie;

We have recently removed some cheap paneling from our den and the walls are a mess. I’ve seen some textured wallpaper that I like, which would help cover up the scrapes. But a friend is keen on a 3D wall panel product that is awesome to look at. Is this a good idea?
— Leon

Dear Leon:

Although heavy wallpapers and panels will hide imperfect walls,


February 9, 2020

Mad about red

Red is a fascinating colour. Its moods are as diverse as its many shades and tones. Scarlet is bold and sexy, heightened if applied with a glossy finish. Reds with an earthier, brown tone are warm and have the feeling of country in them, think barn red. Pinky reds are often playful and young at heart like candy,


February 3, 2020

Stairs well done

Dear Debbie;

We have just ripped up a ratty old runner that covered our stairs and would like to do something interesting, not carpet. We are a young family and all love colour. What would you do?

Dear Cindy:

I came across a youthful and exciting stairway treatment in Annie Sloan’s third edition of The Colourist.


January 26, 2020

The allure of lace

There is something special about lace. This alluring fabric with its intricate stitching and airy patterns is a featured favourite in both traditional and modern fashion. It is never out of style and enriches the appearance of whomever or whatever it covers. In home decoration a touch of lace has the ability to conjure up romance, charm and nostalgia. The origin of the word lace dates back to Middle English and Latin,


January 19, 2020

The refined bath

Dear Debbie;

We live in an older home and enjoy decorating in a traditional style that suits the rooms’ high ceilings and wood floors. The bathroom requires a full renovation and we would like some ideas before we start. Thank you.
— Miranda

Dear Miranda;

When I first saw this chic bathroom,