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Our readers and viewers have their say.

May 2015

Wow! I love the watercolour lampshade! ("Editor DIY," May 2015). — Mary Alice Flood

April 2015

Your April "Fashion Insiders at Home" issue was excellent! While I recognize and appreciate the role of an interior designer, I truly enjoy the personal touch that can only be achieved by someone styling their own home — especially when that person has a great eye for design. The homes of Virginia Johnson and Rebecca Taylor were particularly wonderful expressions of their own personal styles. — Veronica

It was certainly heartening to see a feature on creative talents in the April issue. As "Canada's magazine of home and style" it would seem imperative to encourage and celebrate a wide variety of design aesthetics as well as the diversity of design talent available in this country. Along these lines, Houzz recently gave Jeremy Aykroyd, a Toronto designer, an award — surely this is a perfect opportunity to introduce readers to his work as well as that of other emerging designers. — Rhonda Kastner

I'm deeply upset and offended by the ceviche article in your April issue ("Recipe Lab"). I come from a Peruvian family and take my Peruvian heritage very seriously. In 2004, the Peruvian National Cultural Institute declared ceviche to be Peru's National Dish, and the importance of ceviche is so great that the government declared June 28th as "Día del Ceviche." Calling the first recipe "Classic Peruvian Ceviche," is an insult to all who treasure Peruvian heritage. There are no apples, apple cider vinegar, piquillo peppers, cayenne and espellete pepper, or extra-virgin olive oil in a true and classic Peruvian ceviche. While I understand chefs can, and will, make their own Anglicized versions of ceviche, what is described in your article is not, by any definition, "classic" or "Peruvian." — Mila Carvo

March 2015

I love the House & Home [digital] app! I've subscribed since the beginning, but I've noticed that the last few months have been overrun with ads. This month (March), 24 of the first 30 pages are advertisements! I understand they're necessary, but that is a bit much. Otherwise it's a great app. — Trina

I love the kitchen in March's "Living." However, look how the woman has to go on her tiptoes to reach the second shelf! I had my cabinets installed to be able to reach three shelves easily. My backsplash is 16" high and the first shelf is 18" from the counter — a real pleasure for a 5'3" homemaker. — Terri

Your March issue is an example of the disconnect between decorating the pages of a magazine and decorating a home! In her Editor's Letter, Suzanne points out that while open shelving looks "dreamy," they "don't really work." But look how many of the pages that follow feature open shelving. And what a riot that the issue closes with an article by Steven Gambrel on the merits of open shelving! — Carolyn

I've been a subscriber for many years, but am disappointed with the March issue. The home featured in "Creative Licence" is a non-example of good design and decorating: the layout and style mixes of furniture make no sense in terms of space planning and good taste. Similarly, the kitchen featured in "A Study in Contrasts" is a mish-mash of wood types, finishes and paint colours that are totally discordant and unappealing. — Jennifer Butterfield

I love the look of the black cabinetry on page 87 of "A Study in Contrasts" in the March issue. The rug in the photo complements the room perfectly. — Carolyn

I used to subscribe to your magazine and stopped because I found the pages to be filled with pedestrian decorating. I bought March's issue thinking that this one should be a no-brainer, with so many amazing kitchens and bathrooms out there, but I have to say this is probably the last issue I buy. I know you want to show us stuff that's different, but show us extraordinary, not "designed by the average Joe." — Susan

H&H has been having delusions of grandeur for the last few years. Who buys $525 throw cushions, except designers working for very wealthy clients? I loved the magazine for years, but I find it hard to relate to now. — Liz Chapple

February 2015

I've just received my copy of the February 2015 issue and I have to say: Really? Again? Three Toronto homes. Again. And an 8,000 sq. ft. house? In an age where global warming is happening at a faster rate than ever? — Debbie Cook

I find it maddening when readers complain about the size of featured homes. Have they no imagination or desire to dream? In February's RSVP, I found it "pretentious" (to use her word) that one reader thinks most Canadians live in 2,500-square-foot homes. I live in a modest 1,800-square-foot home and love to take ideas from your pages to make my home my million-dollar castle. — Debra Harmer

February's "Ask a Designer" totally missed the mark. A reader asks how to arrange furniture to accommodate their 65" TV. Joel Bray's solution is not to suggest where the TV should be placed, but to purchase a smaller TV and paint the room. Really, move the TV they already own somewhere else and buy a new, smaller one? That is not a solution. — Peter Psutka

I love the photographs you include in the Source Guide. The photographs highlight small details that readers may miss. — Mildred Way

January 2015

I really hope Suzanne Dimma largely turns her living room back to its original state ("Can Four Trends Live in One Room?")! While Stacey and Joel did a great job, the original design was so lovely and classic: the drapes lifted your eyes and helped balance the visual weight of the hutch, as did that gorgeous gold mirror. The new coffee table is better suited to a garden room, and getting rid of the Mouille lamp feels criminal. — Justine Taylor

I loved the colour scheme of the room featured on your January 2015 cover, but was amused by the room featured in "Child's Play" (Rooms That Work). The ridiculous extravagance of a $2,399 Murano chandelier located in a kids' room, within a short throw of a basketball hoop, made me laugh out loud. — Linda Wright

I've had a House & Home subscription for years now. I absolutely love it, and it has been so inspirational to me. I've just completed a design designation through New York Institute of Art & Design and most of my influence has been Lynda and Suzanne's style and your very talented team. Someday I hope to be featured on your pages, as my husband and I are chronic renovators and sell every house we list in approximately two weeks mostly due to our obsession with improving real estate and decorating. It's great to read about likeminded people in your stories. Bravo! — Elaine Lowes

I've enjoyed House & Home over the years, but sadly I'll be letting my subscription lapse. Often, I'll see ideas that I can use or that I think are interesting, but the January issue had absolutely nothing for me. I understand that when you're immersed in an atmosphere you begin to think a certain way, so that a $6,000 sofa seems normal and a 3,000 sq. ft. home for four seems fine. But as an average Canadian, you're way off the mark. My family has a household income of over 100K, yet there is no way we could spend 70K to renovate a kitchen... or maybe I should say would spend. — Debbie Cook

Love my House & Home, but one complaint. Rather a funny one coming from an immigrant: enough of using American designers in the "Ask a Designer" section. I'm sure there are designers from Canada who would do this column for a reasonable price — I can suggest a few! With the global market sucking business away from our country we need to extol our homegrown market at every turn. — Rowan Reimer

Editor's note: Though House & Home is a Canadian-born magazine, we're proud to say that we have wide distribution in the United States. This means we have readership across North America, and so our featured designers reflect this diversity.

December 2014

I loved the vanity mirrors in the principal bathroom of Brian Gluckstein's Princess Margaret showhome in the December issue. I have a bathroom with the same configuration; the window is located above the vanity and I was having trouble adding a mirror — until I saw this photo! I'd like to use this inspiration in my home! — Jessica B.

I just got my first magazine from a subscription and I have to tell you I am very disappointed in it! All the furnishings look the same: way too modern, way too many skinny furnishings. We are not all 89 pounds! There is nothing "homey" about this magazine! — V. Watson

Can you please refrain from including perfume ads in your magazine (December 2014)? I love H&H, but really do not like my magazine smelling like it was bathed in chemicals, even after I have removed the ad. As someone who is sensitive to artificial smells, I would much rather enjoy your magazine headache-free. Thanks! — Karen Webster

The Ultimate Guide To Holiday 2014

In Holiday you have a Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie recipe that does not work. I tried it the first time and the dough simply crumbled when I tried to make a thumbprint. Thinking that I did something wrong, I tried it again. Same result. There is definitely something very wrong with this recipe. I think you should try it again and see if your dough crumbles. It's very maddening, as they ended up in the garbage. — Gail Palkeinen

Editor's note: How frustrating for you! We triple-tested the recipe and found that it worked — the key is to ensure your dough is well mixed. If you have trouble forming balls, or find they crumble when thumb-printed, try letting the dough rest for a few minutes on the counter (so the butter softens into the ground almonds). You could also form the balls, slightly flatten and bake them, then make thumbprints with a teaspoon once they come out of the oven.

November 2014

As an interior decorator in a small town, you can imagine my anticipation at the arrival of H&H every month! So many of my inspirations and ideas come from your fabulous magazine. I especially loved "Studying the Classics" (November 2014), with the elegant decorations and traditional style. I look forward to your next issue to help decorate my clients' homes for the holidays! — Stephanie McKenna

I love your magazine but after reading the November issue, I will no longer be purchasing it. I have reached my limit with "Happy Holidays," "Seasons Greetings" and other such safe greetings. It is CHRISTMAS!!!! When did "Christmas" become a dirty word? This is Canada, and I welcome people of all nationalities and cultures to this wonderful country, BUT I am tired of my traditions being changed so as not to insult others. If I, as a Canadian, were to move to another country, would I expect them to change their traditions to fit mine? Never. So why should I have to deal with this? Stop this foolishness. Again, this is Christmas. — Colleen Saunders

I found the cottage in Muskoka beautiful ("A Winter's Tale," November 2014). I always wonder when I see these beautiful places with very few window coverings in the kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms — is that done for the magazine pictures? Yes, you do get beautiful vistas looking out, but what about those looking in? The question of heat comes to mind as well, especially with the gorgeous snow views. — Loree Baker

I've been a faithful H&H subscriber for years and November's item on Jillian Harris' Vancouver home ("A Good Vintage") has inspired me to write you for the first time. I'm sorry to start our correspondence on a negative note, but I'm very unimpressed with the girly, glittery and rather tacky decor of this house. I'm a fan of Love it or List it Vancouver, and of Jillian Harris in particular, but this house doesn't do her justice. Perhaps her Kelowna home does? — Mary

I recently received my renewal notice and noticed that you seem to have eliminated "Canadian" from the name of the magazine. It still appears on the cover page of my latest issue, but it is also missing from the masthead of your online presence. Why is this? One of the reasons that I subscribe is to support Canadian publishing. — Lynda Bowen

Publisher's note: We are a proudly Canadian publishing company, born right here in Toronto. However, as we publish two editions of H&H — one for our Canadian readers, and another for our readers in the United States — the name House & Home appears on our shared website and renewal notices. Hope that clears up the confusion.

I have hard copies going back to the first weeks of House & Home. They literally fill one side of my clothes closet! I had to cut off my subscription because I had no place to put another copy. Then one day I got a note in the mail suggesting that I get the iPhone app. At the same time I found your beautiful website with H&H Online TV! The iPad newsstand came out and I signed up immediately. Now I have a lovely collection of H&H. Just love these digital versions! — Rod

Loved the H&H Online TV episode for the small townhouse makeover. The two designers offered great ideas. Budget-friendly, too. Thank you. — Diane Novini

October 2014

I'm writing to say that I was very disappointed with your October 2014 issue! Why? Because it was like searching for something to get the next fix going! I'm sorry but a headboard made out of lattice is not okay. I love you guys, but this issue was not what I expected. I love new things, but sometimes it doesn't have to be so handmade! — Jessica Stocker

What on earth is going on in "Flight of Fancy" (October 2014)? I really didn't like all the name-dropping. Am I supposed to know who this Picasso biographer is? Or random art dealers from London? I really struggled to relate to this article. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the August issue — especially the "Home Truths." Just throw the words "functional family design" out there and I'm hooked. — Meredith

September 2014

I was surprised to see empty bookshelves on the cover of your September 2014 issue. I was then shocked to see that the same shelves had been filled when the photo was repeated inside the magazine. Presumably, the additional books and accessories were added using Photoshop. The unfortunate consequence is that every photo that I looked at subsequently made me wonder if the design was real, or if it had been augmented by a savvy Photoshop-user. — Justine Scales

Editor's note: Thank you for your letter, Justine. In fact, what happened is exactly the opposite of what you thought — we had to remove some of the books from the shelves on our cover image. Sometimes, when we place text over a photograph on our cover, we need to remove distracting background items (like some of the books, in this case) to make the text easier for people to read. It is always important that our cover lines are legible so that people know at a glance what they are getting inside. You can rest assured that the interiors we feature in H&H are shot in real-life decorated homes – that's what makes them so fascinating for us to feature!

August 2014

I laughed and laughed reading about how "toddler-friendly" the home featured in "A New Blend" is supposed to be [August 2014 issue]. Apart from the fact that the baby does not appear to eat (no high chair), the number of beautiful objet d'art-come-weapons-of-destruction is just astonishing. That baby must have the restraint of a saint! After the last two hours at my house with my three and one year old, I have come to the conclusion that the most child-friendly space would have all the beautiful things at least five feet up, and all the seating low to the ground, so as not to provide a stepping stool to anarchy. (Also, how the mother must trip over that antique race car ride-on toy on the way to the crib in the middle of the night!) — Mary Fraser-Hamilton

Editor's note: Thank you for your feedback, Mary. In our August issue we strove to feature a variety of family homes to suit a range of tastes and lifestyles. Though you may have found this modern home impractical, the homeowners really do find it quite functional for their day-to-day life, as it's bright, open and clutter-free. And, as the homeowner Lauren Currie shared: electrical cords are tucked safely away, the upholstery and hard surfaces are durable and easy to clean, and "anything within reach of little hands isn't precious or breakable." The charming race car toy you mention easily rolls to the side when the room isn't styled for a photo shoot. I sincerely hope that you were able to get some inspiration and ideas from the rest of the issue that you can apply in your own family home.

Regarding the August issue cover — so very amazed that you would use a picture of children with such bad manners. Feet up on the table and sitting up on cupboards! Really! — S. Stevenson

Wow, so happy to hear other people do the stashing of "stuff" when company arrives unexpectedly [August 2014 issue]. My Mom had a place for everything and she always felt I had to be the same. Nope, I missed that gene, so I stash papers in big baskets and put in a closet. I know someone who stashes it all in her oven... yikes! — Margaret Hackett

July 2014

I just read the July 2014 issue and was quite frustrated regarding two articles on home decor. I am using the term "home decor" somewhat loosely... really? "On the Rocks" demonstrates not a designer's ability to create a welcoming home set in a fabulous natural landscape that anyone would want to live in — it demonstrates that, when without any talent or inspiration at all, choose white. That this is then described as the designer capitalizing on the setting's natural beauty is a sure bet not to ever choose this designer for any project of mine. This total lack of inspiration is then followed by an equally insipid work in "A Shore Thing." Good grief, two out of two for white only on the walls, the furnishings and to cover all natural wood work again in the stark palette of only white on white. Sheesh, are you guys getting tired of searching for true inspiration? That these homes are also surrounded by natural beauty is a travesty, it is not inspired, it is not Scandinavian, it is without any merit at all. Deeply disappointed. — Janice Laprade

June 2014

Just received the June 2014 issue of H&H. I'm not as enthralled with H&H as I once was. I frequently visit New Zealand and they have several home decor magazines. The one I prefer highlights homes that have been designed and decorated by non-professionals — just regular people. There is, therefore, no promotional material accompanying the articles. So the articles and pictures are always original and inspirational. Just a side note: I counted 63 pages out of a total of 136 devoted to advertising. Yikes! — Louise Robinson

Why do you make the writing so damn difficult to see with these 75-year-old eyes. It is so frustrating! — Ken Carlson

May 2014

In your May 2014 issue there were two things that really grabbed my attention. The first was the Collins Ikat pillow by Madeline Weinrib on page 36. $950 for a pillow??? Was this some kind of typo? I am fairly certain that no sensible person would pay that kind of money for a pillow unless it was either Madeline's mother, hoping to support her daughter's overdue student loan or one of those millionaire designers who couldn't care less what they spend as it isn't their money anyways. Yes, the pillow is attractive but I wouldn't exactly call it an investment piece like some furniture where one will keep it forever and have it passed down to the next generation when they are gone.

My other point relates to safety and design. Your “Street Smarts” story on page 62 showed a very nice house transformation. However, there are NO railings along the front steps of the house. Yes, it does look better than before but with small children, elderly visitors and our poor dying-out postal carriers, these steps can be extremely dangerous. I suppose this may be different in Ontario but I know that in BC they would never let this happen. When we built our home from scratch just over ten years ago, there was no way we would have been allowed to do such a thing. I am questioning the practicality of such an idea if readers like it and then try the same thing themselves just to be later put through the wringer for unsafe practices. — Vicki W.

The interiors you feature are mostly done in East Coast modern country style. For those of us in Western Canada, whose homes are not brick and 100 years old, this style is too fussy. But your May outdoor issue may make me reconsider my decision not to renew. It is beautiful. Good job. — Carol Tamblyn

I can't even begin to tell you how disappointed I am since I subscribed to H&H. White walls, white walls, white walls! That may be the "in" thing, but you are definitely overdoing it. I wanted some inspiration on how to decorate my home. Now I know — white walls! Blah. — Gail Parkhurst

In the “Into the Blue” story, the homeowner Magela Bruno states she "couldn't live with the brown floors, with the honey colour staring at me"! So she PAINTED them! Really, how awful — she could have stained them to a more suitable colour, but to paint them is almost criminal. With homeowners wanting hardwood floors all the time in new builds and in older homes, I for one find this not a clever mix or design style at all. — Mrs. M. Wilson

I had to laugh when I read your May issue RSVP column about incorporating rugs in a kitchen. What better way to warm up a kitchen (especially THIS winter) than by the use of a strategically placed rug? Yes, REALLY! We have had a lovely wool rug on our ceramic floor in the kitchen for 20 years. — Jadzia von Heyman

I was surprised the backlash in the May 2014 RSVP page against a rug in the kitchen. I have had a 6' woven cotton rug in front of my sink for many years. It’s soft underfoot, and when I see at the end of a week what has landed on the rug and not on my beautiful hardwood floor, I am grateful that it is there. — Sharon H.

I came across your publication via YouTube, and soon became an avid follower of your video updates. So when I discovered the magazine in the newsstand, I had no choice but to buy it — this was five months ago and now I am a firm follower and addict. I truly appreciate that all the media material is available internationally, as I'm the U.K. — Nyasha

I have been subscribing to H&H for many years. This year while on vacation I decided to subscribe to the digital edition for the iPad tablet. WELL!!!!! I was so excited to see the pages, it was as if I had walked into the rooms in person. The resolution, quality and clearness of the photography are unbelievable. Kudos to everyone who produces the magazine in this format! It was amazingly simple to sign up, and I was in another country at the time! — Judy Sawhney

April 2014

When I saw the April 2014 cover, I was surprised. It looks like the room has a dirty old industrial carpet and there is no real decorating. You can't really see the room, plus the colours are so drab. It really stood out as dull and uninspiring next to all the colourful spring magazines. — Hailey Morris

Suzanne Blogs On Chester, N.S. Must-Sees I've been to many of those places them all. Hope the Rope Loft sticks around, we've always enjoyed going there. Village/Town...just semantics in my opinion. It feels more like a town to me. — Nicole

I really enjoy your many inspirational and idea-filled blogs on I look forward to them each week, as well as my weekly fix of the latest online TV episode — I can't wait for Mondays! However, I think it is time to freshen up the posts. We are all still viewing Christmas posts, and although they are informative, they’re just not what we need after such a long, tedious winter. So please, dear bloggers, give us all some fresh inspiration. — Joy

The Most On-Trend Room of 2015— you all just knocked it out of the ballpark! That design was so creative and custom and colossal! Thanks for all your talent! — Franki

Just wanted to say I absolutely love the mix in Carlo Colacci's home (Vintage Style Done Right). I wish you would show more of this style in your magazine. I just can't get enough of it. Keep it coming. — Joelle Wilcox

I have subscribed to your magazine for a very long time and watched H&H Online TV. I am very frustrated that there is no captioning on the online videos. As a person with a hearing impairment, I feel that I can't enjoy the videos. — Lynda Morin

The Historic Stratford Home shown on H&H Online TV is just beautiful. I have watched the video so many times — love the kitchen. Will this home be featured in a future issue? I hope so! — Kris McLean

Having to watch and listen to advertising every time I watch one of your video segments is becoming very annoying, and there is no way to skip them like on other websites. Please, if you're going to list 10 interesting segments, don't impose advertising before each and every one. They're short, but a real nuisance. — Lucie

I wondered if this part of the site was new — I never realized we could watch actual episodes, they were great! Thanks! — Deb Fair

Small Home Renovation While that is a well done space I could not live with the idea of walking straight into the house and looking at my kitchen sink. The cups and plates left over from breakfast or the lunch dishes on the counter. I like the look of open concept, but would not live in it. I also cannot get with sinks in the island that are the only sink in the kitchen. A prep sink, sure, but my main sink — no, just no. I really hope this trend fades out. I'm probably too traditional for these things. The finishes in this house were really nice and I liked that she mixed the metals. — DinNDee

Century Home Update The bathroom is insane! Although the house is beautifully done, it does make you wonder how much energy that must take to heat and cool... — Salt's Press

Historic Mill-Turned-Cottage Beautiful but why does one decide on "Moroccan" in a former mill? Still, I'll take it and that "fantastic" ottoman. Thanks for sharing. — Dathan

Tudor-Revival Renovation This is my style to a 'T'...loved every inch of this house, I need Samantha to transform my house! Samantha Sensibility...that should be the name of her design firm :) — Lotusblossomed

Quebec Colonial Country House Such a beautiful home with exquisite grounds and landscape. I love the white canvas for the interior. It is clean and opens up everything. Amazing decorating too. I want to visit you there..... — K.L.

Teen Girl Boho Bedroom This is excellent low budget decor! Though I wasn't very keen on it at the beginning, I loved it in the end.— Eva Frade

Actor Yannick Bisson's Home I've never been a fan of 'modern' architecture, but I LOVE this house. And I LOVE this couple. I hope that they are as nice as they appear! My husband and I enjoy everything about the Murdoch series. — Betty Duncan

Round Furniture Set-Up I just got rid of my couch and have been searching for the perfect one without luck. So this week I actually thought why not get 2 more chairs (for a total of 4) instead. Now that I know it's a trend — just confirms the fact that I DO know what I'm doing when following my decorating instinct and furthering my education in order to do so! Thanks, H&H. — Angie Visintin

1960s Rowhouse Renovation Absolutely gorgeous! Two things you might want to consider in the future — the step down to the living room can become a problem. Just not a safe idea. The second problem — the buttons on the custom banquette — will rust when fabric is steam cleaned. Avoid those buttons in furniture. The house is so beautiful — lovely and bright. Well done! — saltnlightful

Congrats House & Home on a truly great story featuring @colettevdthillart in the October issue, and for bringing an international perspective to your readers with her amazing work and super glam life :) — Grace Castaneda @gracecastaneda

Photo Gallery: New Life For Salvaged Finds In 2011 I framed a Hungarian embroidery this way (grey silk but a professionally assembled white frame) and it is still one of my favourite pieces! I hope it will look timeless. Seeing this makes me want to try the DIY route, maybe with a brightly coloured backround. — Danslelakehouse

Oh wow this is awesome. I have black placemats that look exactly like these doilies that I've been trying to figure out what to do with. Thank you for the fabulous idea! — Marianna Vecchio-Zimmerman

Great idea, I have some passed down and had no idea what to do with them. — Sandy Boudreau

Oh yes. I have some my grandmother and mother made. Very good idea. Will do this for sure. — Carol Burnell

Butter's Coconut Cake Recipe I can promise everyone.... it was good. @butterbakedgoods really does it up right! - Pinecone Camp

Can't wait to dive into the December 2014 issue of House & Home. What fun it is to be inspired page after page! — Melody Dover @melldover

Whew. Just renewed my @HouseandHome subscription for another 2 years. I almost let it lapse — that would've been awful. #CantMissAnIssue — Kayleigh Platz @write_girl

Nice to see @FeistyChef featured in @HouseandHome October 2014 issue for her Roasted Pumpkin Soup @TheCanteenNS Must try. — Renee Fournier @HalifaxRenee

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