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.

April 21, 2019

Light fantastic


Dear Debbie;

My cousin has a very modern minimalist apartment, too sparse for me, but I really like her new lights – she says they are Edison style. I am more of a traditional decorator and I would like to update my chandelier in the dining room. Will a modern lighting choice clash with my floral wallpaper and carved wood buffet?


April 14, 2019

Salvaging history


More than ever, today’s consumers are conscious of the need to recycle. We think about the consequences of haphazardly tossing items large and small into the garbage. If we no longer find it useful, perhaps someone else will. Building materials such as wood and stone are precious natural resources that can and should outlast one lifetime. In their thought-provoking book,


April 7, 2019

Country vibes

Dear Debbie;

We are refinishing some furniture for our large, wrap-around porch. There are two tables, one for each end and wood and wicker chairs we found at a flea market to go with them. I want a real country vibe. Thanks for your fun ideas.
— Mackenzie

Dear Mackenzie;

How wonderful to be thinking about sitting outside again.


March 31, 2019

Brian Gluckstein takes us home

For more than 20 years Brian Gluckstein has entertained, enlightened and delighted us all with his personal take on interior design. Although most of us will never live in the mansions, chalets and sprawling country homes that Gluckstein has designed and decorated, his appeal is universal; his vast knowledge of decorative elements and fresh ideas can be transformed in part to any space that you love.


March 24, 2019

Electric visions

Dear Debbie;

We have decided to put on an addition to our bungalow so that we can have a separate area for when grandparents come to visit. I envision a bed/sitting room and a fully accessible bathroom. I hear that electric fireplaces don’t need a chimney but will heat. Any suggestions?
— Lou

Dear Lou;


March 17, 2019

Invent your own backsplash

If originality can be a trend, it’s happening now. More than ever our homes are taking on the personalities of those who live there. Cookie-cutter designs, matching furniture suites, bland colour palettes are a thing of the past. The kitchen, long touted as the heart of the home, continues to lead the pack when it comes to change, big change.


March 10, 2019

Pathways to success

Dear Debbie;

We live on the fifth floor of a condo and have been receiving complaints from our neighbours below us that they hear “every step we take”. Our suite has beautiful hardwood floors that were here when we bought and we don’t want to cover them up. What would you do?
— Henri

Dear Henri;


March 3, 2019

Living Large in Small Spaces

The most frequent emails I receive regarding home design and decorating come from people who are looking for ideas that fit their budget restraints. The other challenge is how to decorate when you are a renter. These situations are familiar to everyone and I have had lots of fun coming up with successful solutions that fit any budget, and also those that can be utilized in rented spaces where rules about making changes are strict.


February 24, 2019

On fire Design

Dear Debbie;

We have been debating fireplace types for our home renovation. We have always had a log burning fire but think maybe it’s time to switch to easier maintenance gas. Will we regret this decision? Our style is traditional with some Victorian furniture pieces. Thank you for your advice.
— Martha

Dear Martha;


February 17, 2019

Botanical Blast

We share a universal desire to connect with all that’s green. We strive to be surrounded with the beauty and invigorating essence of fresh air, clear running water and lush botanicals. It’s no surprise that the riot of colours and intricate patterns viewed in our natural environment are copied in all the decorative arts. Bringing the outdoors in has always been a source of pleasure that repeats over generations.