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.

August 4, 2019

Take a step back

It is a puzzling truth that sometimes we need to take a few steps backward in order to move forward. We are experiencing just that today as we endeavor to undo the damage that an extreme overload of plastic products has created. At this point it is difficult to imagine life without plastic bags, containers, toys, furniture … the list is endless.


July 28, 2019


Dear Debbie;

I was debating with a friend what was an ‘extra’ piece of furniture she couldn’t do without. We agreed that a bed, a table and a light were givens. As I have an entire room lined with bookshelves, that was my choice. What would you choose?
— Anna

Dear Anna;


July 21, 2019

View point

There is much talk of mindfulness today, an energizing, freeing state where you listen only to the quiet that is around you, blocking out negative thoughts, past or future concerns. Being in the moment in a non-judgmental way allows us to release the daily stress, but it does not come easily to many of us. The pursuit of a mindful life takes time and thought and planning.


July 14, 2019

Screen room

Dear Debbie;

I’ve heard that a decorator’s screen would give us some privacy (and hide some storage). However, our condo is tiny and I imagine it will make the space even smaller. Any ideas?
— Francois

Dear Francois;

When you are faced with an open space, it is not always ideal to be able to see the whole picture.


July 7, 2019

Light up the night

When I was renovating our centuries-old farmhouse in Italy, there was so much to do and so many bylaws to follow I was at first overwhelmed. As the rebuilding and decorating of the interiors neared completion the exterior spaces demanded my attention. The entranceway had to be exciting. My dreams of sharing this piece of heaven with family and guests had become a reality.


June 30, 2019

Outdoor style

Dear Debbie;

I am an amateur seamstress and decorator and enjoy making my own upholstery and fabric pieces. We have a backyard for the first time and I want to “furnish” the patio with style. What do you recommend that can withstand lots of sun and the occasional rain? Colour is my passion.
— MaryLynn

Dear MaryLynn;


June 23, 2019

Creating contrast

There are many paths you can take when decorating a room. It often starts with the furniture that you have on hand and walls that have been painted by the latest tenant or owner. When it’s time to put your personal stamp on your surroundings what direction is best followed to get that extra pizzazz, that fuller picture of a home that beckons you?


June 16, 2019

Up style DIY

Dear Debbie;

We have some dressers and bookcases that we bought when first married. They were inexpensive and served their purpose at the time. We don’t want to throw them away and hope you have some ideas on how to change them up. Thank you.
— Bev and Ron

Dear Bev and Ron;


June 9, 2019

Feature fences

Spring cleaning doesn’t stop with sorting out the closets and washing down the windows. It is time to start looking outside again. Time to make a plan to rejuvenate your property on the other side of the door. What are your views from the back or front patio? Does your home’s exterior have an attractive and welcome sense of well-being?


May 26, 2019

Light and luxurious

Dear Debbie;

I’ve always wanted an all-white room but kids made it impractical. Now they have grown up it’s my turn. Have you any tips on how to make this special room work?
— Dianna

Dear Dianna;

Planning a monotone room is an adventure. There’s lots to think about and you should take your time selecting the major features.