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Letters from the most recent issue of House & Home.

November 2016

Congratulations to House & Home magazine on your 30th anniversary. I wish to welcome you warmly, Ms. Hitchcock, on your new venture as Editor-in-Chief. I really enjoyed the celebratory November issue; it was beautiful, informative and entertaining. I loved Joel Bray’s favourite room pick, and Colette van den Thillart’s London living room captured my attention just as much as when I first saw it in the October 2014 issue. And I wish I could create a library bathroom in my own home as suggested by designer Brian Gluckstein — that would certainly satisfy my fondness for books. The affordable decor ideas in collaboration with Walmart were also especially well-styled (who knew Walmart could be an appreciable source for home shopping on a budget?). To close this email, my favorite space featured in this issue was Connie Braemer’s project (“Lofty Ambitions”) for its stance on balanced equilibrium — that look is also in tune with my taste in in home decor. Best regards. — Richard Kozlowsky 

I’m a senior citizen who greatly enjoys your magazine. When leafing through your November edition and being introduced to the staff of the editorial, design, art, and copy and features departments, I immediately realized what I missed during my professional career. Twenty-two beautiful women and four men compile your excellent magazine. Undoubtedly, it must be a real joy for the four men to work at such a fine workplace. — Tony den Boef

Nothing beats snuggling up on the couch with a cup of chai and my new H&H on a Sunday afternoon — raining or not! — Grace

Here we go again, H&H, the true north strong and free — and cruel. Shame on you for, once again, featuring fur and animal hides in your magazine (“Homecoming Queen,” November). How many coyotes were destroyed just so someone like Ms. Cattrall can loll about under fur throws, surrounded by oversized, fur-covered pillows? There are more humane ways to decorate one’s house, and for one to make a living (and, if not, then it is time to relocate). Ms. Hitchcock, as the new editor-in-chief, you seem to be taking the magazine in a backwards direction. As for me, H&H, we will be parting ways if this continues. — Lou Graham

Editors’ note: We are not advocating the slaughter of animals to decorate homes. The items featured on our pages are often “faux,” while others are vintage pieces. We don’t think throwing out old furs and hides is the answer. Do you?

October 2016

I love your magazine, but if I could offer one suggestion: Could you include more vegan recipes, or add commentary to the recipes on how to make them vegan? We love gourmet, too! — Kristina

Looking at the pictures of the cottage and the way it had been convinced us that this was a project we should undertake. In the spring of 2014 we purchased the south end of Home Island and set about restoring the cottage.  The old magazine has always been nearby to consult and look at and I can honestly say that there’s no way we would have purchased the property had my wife not kept the old issue. We’re now starting our second summer on Home Island or as my wife calls it, “her favourite place in the whole world.” — Steve Thom

September 2016

I was surprised to see that the “House & Home of the Month” in your September small spaces issue was a whopping 6550-square-foot “cottage.” Really? — Barbara Gleason Kyle

Jackie Glass did such a fantastic job on the trailer [featured on House & Home Online TV]. Don’t you wonder why the original design was not as incredible? Why all that brown when it could’ve been bright and white? Lower income housing can be stylish and uplifting thanks to IKEA and others. Thanks for the video. — Sally Vegso

I live in a 756-square-foot home and  was rather upset that you didn’t have any houses this size in your September issue. With all the recent hype on tiny homes and downsizing, I thought for sure you’d have at least one. I’ve lived in mine for 13 years and have loved every moment of it. I own two businesses which I run from home and have never found it too small. Being organized and practical with what you purchase can make any space comfortable and homey — even a small one. — Tania Plawke

I just picked up your September issue and am sitting outside on this gorgeous Labor Day Monday with a G&T, enjoying it so much that I think I’m going to subscribe. It’s very inspiring and I can’t wait to get to to work in my small space — we live in a semi-detached home — decorating, organizing and finally feeling proud to host parties and family again. (We downsized too early and haven’t felt good about the new space until now. With some of the ideas I see this month, I feel confident to actually take on the projects myself!) Thank you for the inspiration and excellent magazine. — B. Murphy

August 2016

I was disappointed to see such a negative headline emblazoned across the cover of the August issue: “Cottages to COVET”. Your magazine can allow us to enjoy beauty, study good design, and work at making our own homes lovely and enjoyable — rather than foster a competitive discontent. — Justine Taylor

Could you please do a special cottage publication instead of monopolizing a whole magazine? West-coasters predominantly don’t have access to lake country like those in the East, nor can we afford to indulge (although I would love a cottage!). — Pat Grier

I was just looking through the recent cottage edition of House & Home and thought I’d drop you a line to tell you our House & Home story. In 2013, our family rented a cottage on Lake Joseph in Muskoka. Seeing how much my wife and four children enjoyed spending the summer there, we decided to look around for a property of our own. A good friend of ours who is a real estate agent took us to see a number of places. On the way to one particular property, he asked us to keep an open mind and imagine what the property could be. We pulled up to a cottage that was in complete disrepair. It had been partially renovated and then left abandoned for almost five years. The kitchen and all the bathrooms had been torn out. Walls were partially constructed and, worst of all, raccoons had moved in. Still, as we walked around the property, my wife and I found ourselves talking about what could be done and how, over time, it could become a great spot for our children to grow up. But with the summer over, we moved back to the city and partially forgot about the cottage. One night, my wife went down to the basement and started going through all of the old House & Home magazines she’d kept. I came downstairs said, “I thought you were going to throw all those old magazines out.”  Suddenly my wife announced that she’d “found it” and came over to me.  What she had in her hands was the House & Home issue from 2007 that featured Kenny G’s cottage on Home Island. As she showed me the pictures I realized that this was the same cottage that we’d seen that summer (my wife had felt she’d seen the property before and now remembered where). Looking at the pictures of the cottage and the way it had been convinced us that this was a project we should undertake. In the spring of 2014 we purchased the south end of Home Island and set about restoring the cottage.  The old magazine has always been nearby to consult and look at and I can honestly say that there’s no way we would have purchased the property had my wife not kept the old issue. We’re now starting our second summer on Home Island or as my wife calls it, “her favourite place in the whole world.” — Steve Thom

July 2016

Every once in a while on your “More or Less” page (July, for example) some of the prices have an asterisk beside them. My eyes quickly go to the bottom of the page — nothing. Am I missing something? — Helen Kabrien

Editors’ note: The explanation of the asterisk is located along the gutter of the “More or Less” page (where the pages are bound). The asterisk signifies that a price has been converted from U.S. or foreign currency and is approximate.

I was disappointed to discover that eight months after Elle Décor UK featured Lynda Gardener’s Australian home on its November 2015 cover, House & Home features the same subject on its July 2016 cover. Are your editors underestimating their readers’ global savvy, assuming they’ll be easily sold last year’s recycled cover stories? Whatever the reasons for recycling from other countries (lack of imagination, resources…), it doesn’t reflect well on the integrity of H&H editors or your ability to establish a leading creative edge. Instead, it smacks of a lazy cynicism, a provincial, backwater mentality and disrespect for your readers. — Mariza Teal

Why, oh why, do you think you have to include articles on homes in the US? Each month there is at least one story about an American designer or home. You have reached a new low this month with an article about a Cape Cod-raised designer living in New York, a stylist living in Australia, a couple in Connecticut and, the icing on the cake, a day trip in the Berkshires! There are many, many American publications out there. Please keep this one Canadian. — Olga Mondoux

I was so excited to get my July issue with the headline “Cottage Living on a Houseboat”. As a Lake Erie-raised girl now living in the US, I have long envisioned having a “summer home” on a houseboat. I sat down to read the article in anticipation of finding design inspiration for my floating dream cottage, and was disappointed that you didn’t include any photos of or details about the staterooms. We so rarely see alternative forms of housing in your magazine, and I think you did your readers a disservice by not including them. — Janie Manders Powell

June 2016

In your June 2016 edition, I saw a beautiful project that involved installing a bi-fold door and adding medallions (“Editor DIY”). We followed the purchasing of products and the installation to the letter. It looks beautiful. One huge problem: It’s completely non-functional! The medallions (the exact same as in the picture) are about 2¼ inches deep, but the door won’t even open halfway before they hit the door frame. The picture in your magazine shows installation on a framed door; the only way this works is with a frameless door. We spent around $175 Canadian for a non-functional door. Your instructions need to specify some of the details you happened to leave out. — Patty Lee

The photo of the rug featured on page 37 of the May issue was so beautiful that I cut it out and framed it. If only I could afford the real thing! — Karen Walker

I’ve had opportunity to read your magazine on many occasions, and wonder which section of the population it’s addressing. The homes and furnishings are outrageously expensive, and I wonder how many Canadians can afford anything close to what’s shown in H&H. I know some readers like to get ideas for their homes, myself included, but not at those prices. — Rosemary Mooney

Your online magazine is innovative and inspiring. — Shannon Kirby, @shannonkirbyint, via Instagram

May 2016

Regarding the “Display Artists” sidebar on page 91 (“Design,” March), how “innovative” of your American friend to use her mantels as “bases for fine art” and, please get over yourself, “expertly edited displays of objets.” How pretentious!

@HouseandHome just received the March issue! Love Nam Dang-Mitchell’s gorgeously lux elegance & the NYC brownstone just as I dreamed it to be. — Jacinta Zolob, @JZolob, via Instagram

Such a pretty cover on the March @HouseandHome mag. Love this kitchen. —David MacLellan, @prepit, via Twitter   

Paris is the City of LIGHT, not “lights” (“View,” May). The term “ville lumière” is actually meant to mean “city of enlightenment” in terms of culture and learning and has nothing to do with the street lamps. Mon dieu. — Tracy

April 2016

About Suzanne Dimma’s Valentine’s Day reflection (“Editor’s Page,” February). You just felt as if you were there. Cherish those very special bunkie memories! So well written. — Marlene Lackner

I was just re-reading the “Editor’s Page” of the June 2015 issue. How refreshing to read, “be realistic about how you live.” I see all these beautiful pictures in the magazine and always wonder, “Could I live like that?” I read the articles and see the beautiful pictures and feel inadequate that I can’t do all of it. It sure is nice to have the validation that I don’t have to do it all. — Lyse

March 2016

I must congratulate you on your January issue! I’ve been a reader in the past, but unfortunately have strayed. Your features in the past were too modern for my taste and way too expensive! — Patricia Phillips

February 2016

Lynda, I look forward to seeing your new jewel-toned velvet sofa (“View,” December)! I have always loved the look of an elegant statement sofa, and hope to see more examples in upcoming issues. — Michelle Delloch

I loved the article “In with the New” in your January issue. It was great to see a warm and modern flare to design. All too often, “modern” gets a bad rap for being cold and bare, whereas I found this home to be the opposite: the colours, warm wood and accents were so beautiful. — Madison Dalzell

I really enjoyed reading about the new trends of 2016 you featured in your last issue (January). As an artist, I find that art-driven decorating is an essential approach I have used when dressing a room: find a piece of art, and build your room from the textures and colours found in the painting or photograph. — Erik Paige

I’m a huge fan of House & Home and of course Lynda Reeves! To me, Lynda is pure design genius and a Canadian interior design icon. I have a hobby business doing designer cookies (Amber’s Creative Cookies), and was so inspired by the many holiday front doors in the December issue. Thank you for
the inspiration! — Amber

It is not helpful to list the source of something as a store. Store merchandise comes and goes. Please list the designer, manufacturer, or something that will enable people to actually find it. Sometimes you do this and it is very helpful, but other times you don’t. — Sandra Bernstein

Note from the Publisher and Editor: For the product-based stories we produce, you will find designers and manufacturers included wherever possible. For our feature homes, we rely on our homeowners and designers to share their sources with us.We encourage you to contact these retailers for more information.

January 2016

As a British viewer, I love the online TV section of your website. Some of the features are really inspirational, and so well done. However, reading some of the blurb this week I came across “favorite” and “color.” Is H&H adopting American spelling now? It’s bad enough that “Christmas” has become “holiday” in North America, but this seems a new departure, or is Canada bi-spelling as well as bi-lingual now? — Russell Hogben

I’m an avid reader of both the English and French versions of your magazine. But, being fully bilingual, I can’t help but notice the poor quality of translation of the French version — especially the titles. Essentially, I find that the “punch” your titles have in English falls completely flat in French. No effort appears to be made by the translators to spin the French version. A successful translation of a title keeps the meaning and plays with words to achieve the same slant. For example “Weekend Living” from the July 2015 issue was translated to “Vivre à la champagne,” which has a much more rural connotation and completely loses the leisure aspect of the original title. While I am not a translator, and I realize deadline pressure can impact the quality of work, your French version could benefit from snappier titles that respect the original intent of the English author. — Andre Mercier

It’s very disappointing that you should show a wonderful idea of the botanical mural only to find out this is not available in Canada. Yes, it can be ordered online, but involves duties and the inability to view in person before purchasing. You should not be teasing your subscribers with something inaccessible — you are a Canadian magazine, and as such, should offer up Canadian products. — Eva Blitz

December 2015

Your October issue was the best ever. I couldn’t believe it; I thought I was reading a different magazine. The variety, the colours, the interesting places… it felt more like Vogue Living. This is what I am looking for when I buy a magazine; it makes me fly away, seeing the world and what’s out there. I was over the moon. — Brigitta Lorenzen

The last magazine I received from you was very disappointing (November)! I sure hope you next one will be a Christmas one. The article on page 69 irritated me with all the “luxe”/“glam” etc. Thanks. — Suzanne 

Love these #dogfriendly #decor tips [on H&H online]. I’ll soon have a beautifully decorated home… all that’s missing is the puppy! — Dena Gouweloos, @denagouweloos, via Twitter

Oh my goodness finally made these #blackenedbrusselsprouts [from the October issue] thxs @HouseandHome they were Delish! #brusselsprouts — Pgal, @justpgal, via Twitter

So many beautiful things and ideas! I love @HouseandHome magazine! — Allyson J. Elizabeth, @ajeteed, via Twitter

November 2015

I recently picked up your magazine after a long break from subscribing. It was so disappointing! As I read the long lists of name-dropping by Lynda Reeves, I wondered why an editor would allow this to be printed. I think you are relying on your stars (Suzanne Dimma, Lynda Reeves) to carry the magazine, which is a huge fail since all that comes across is snobbery and a privileged aesthetic. It may be time for a fresh perspective. — Alison

About the Ikea kitchen, I realize photos have to be staged, but silly staging makes me angry. Putting artwork beside the steam of the stove and kettle, and layering decorative cookbooks where all the mess of spoons and bubbling sauces would occur, just makes the whole kitchen seem like it isn’t meant to be used. The disrespect shown to the art by placing it in such a vulnerable position is what annoys me most. I’m sure those items would be replaced with utensil holders and knife racks as soon as the cameras leave. — M.D.

I am loving the #returntodecorating @suzannedimma @HouseandHome #octoberissue. So happy the embrace of pattern, texture & layers is back! — Julia Black, @JuliaWBlack, via Twitter

100% #kitchenenvy. Thanks @houseandhomemag for the unrelenting inspiration to rip everything out of my home, and make it a masterpiece. Best kitchen feature, to date. #design #modernfarmhouse #contemporary #style #micdrop #thereisnothingbetter #wantit #needit” — 12heatherm, @12heatherm, via Instagram

October 2015

Loving the new online House & Home… great job. Bright, clear, informative. Wow. — Deborah Richardson

So impressed with this new site! Congrats, House and Home; you managed to outdo even yourself (no small feat). I LOVE IT!! — Nat

I love my subscription to your magazine. Though my place is fully decorated occasionally I can sneak in one of the ideas. One of my favorite things to do is to sit with a cuppa coffee and read your magazine on a weekend morning. — Cheryl

I first started subscribing to your magazine in the ’80s and discontinued my subscription in the early 2000s owing to a layout showing fur. After struggling with a competitive magazine for a few years, I finally came back to you. You produce the better product. However, even after a decade an a half of animal rights enlightenment, I see once again, in the August issue, a layout with real fur used as a throw on a sofa (“Decorating”). Have you no concept of the amount of suffering and pain is lying on that sofa? Shame on you. — Norma Webb

Could we have an “All Canadian” issue? With the dollar so low, I would love to see Canadian sources for fabrics, furniture, et cetera all across Canada (please don’t forget about the prairies!) — Carol Corenblum

Love this [DIY roll-up mattress] (“Editor DIY,” July) — will have a go — the mattress looks nice and very handy for little people staying over, if you are short of beds! Lynn Kilvington, via Facebook

Awesome tiny home featured in @HouseandHome! No space is too small to be functional. #tinyhome #tinyisthenewbig [“A Small Rustic City Cabin,” H&H TV] Sarah Chmielewski, @dancnart, via Twitter

LOVE this! @houseandhomemag special edition “Ask a Designer” reviews how much a magazine feature kitchen really costs. This is so smart. Can’t count the times someone asks for a luxury kitchen with a minimal budget. As my grandfather used to say “champagne taste on a beer budget” good job #houseandhome — Ashley Saywell, @saywellinteriors, via Instagram 

September 2015

How unfortunate that House & Home has done an article most summers lately on a Nova Scotia residence, but is actually still stuck in Toronto. It’s become a bit of a joke, as one knows before even seeing it that it will be about Toronto designers or the Toronto people who use them, and it will be in Chester with credits for most of the products being a business in Toronto. While Nova Scotia is a small province, it does have an amazing number of wonderful houses surprisingly situated outside the village of Chester and surprisingly unlike Toronto cottages or homes. Have an adventure! Leave Toronto and have a look at the real Nova Scotia. — Carole Collins

Completely agree with Jeanne F. in your July issue’s RSVP: “trad” is irritating! — K.G.

I was pleased to receive my latest edition of House & Home. Love it. I was recently recycling 10 years worth of your magazine due to lack of space (plus the fact that my shelf was buckling under the weight). I couldn’t help but notice the difference in the size of the magazine — they’re much thinner now. Why? I do miss Cameron McNeil’s articles on revamping areas in the home. And I’d like to see more articles about Western Canada, rather than cottage country in Ontario. These so called “cottages” are mansions compared to the cottage my family used to go to on Nine Mile Lake in the Muskokas. All the same, I do love your magazine and look forward to receiving it each month. — Dorothy Carney

@lyndareeves LOVED this [View column] so much! What a relief — #BeautyisBack #interiordesign #Decorating — Eric Ross Interiors, @ERossInteriors, via Twitter

Two of my fave things: #houseandhomemag and #woodlake #okanagan #BC — Kerry Clynes @kkclynes, via Instagram

August 2015

After subscribing for a few years I must say that it’s rather disappointing to see the limited diversity represented in your magazine. Although it’s obvious that you target a certain demographic, and that many of the portraits represented are for advertising purposes, I still feel that if you are truly “Canada’s Magazine of Home and Style” you should acknowledge the design efforts, ideas and contributions of people of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Many of those individuals most likely own homes that they have proudly decorated and designed. — A. R.

Soaking up more inspiration & ideas in [the] latest special edition @houseandhomemag #summerstyle #projectbackyardmakeover — Heather Pitcher, @HEATHER_J_PITCHER, via Instagram

Loved the July issue @HouseandHome So nice to see the page on @hopsongraceTO — 2 smart cookies with a gorgeous business. — Lisa Tant, @LisaTant, via Twitter

July 2015

How unfortunate that House & Home has done an article most summers lately on a Nova Scotia residence, but is actually still stuck in Toronto. It’s become a bit of a joke, as one knows before even seeing it that it will be about Toronto designers or the Toronto people who use them, and it will be in Chester with credits for most of the products being a business in Toronto. While Nova Scotia is a small province, it does have an amazing number of wonderful houses surprisingly situated outside the village of Chester and surprisingly unlike Toronto cottages or homes. Have an adventure! Leave Toronto and have a look at the real Nova Scotia. — Carole Collins

I was pleased to receive my latest edition of House & Home. Love it. I was recently recycling 10 years worth of your magazine due to lack of space (plus the fact that my shelf was buckling under the weight). I couldn’t help but notice the difference in the size of the magazine — they’re much thinner now. Why? I do miss Cameron McNeil’s articles on revamping areas in the home. And I’d like to see more articles about Western Canada, rather than cottage country in Ontario. These so called “cottages” are mansions compared to the cottage my family used to go to on Nine Mile Lake in the Muskokas. All the same, I do love your magazine and look forward to receiving it each month. — Dorothy Carney

June 2015

After subscribing for a few years I must say that it’s rather disappointing to see the limited diversity represented in your magazine. Although it’s obvious that you target a certain demographic, and that many of the portraits represented are for advertising purposes, I still feel that if you are truly “Canada’s Magazine of Home and Style” you should acknowledge the design efforts, ideas and contributions of people of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Many of those individuals most likely own homes that they have proudly decorated and designed. A. R.

Just wanted to say how lovely it is to flip through House & Home when it arrives in my mail each month. I like to have my own copy that takes me on a fantasy home tour whenever I need to relax. It’s like going on an imaginary vacation looking at all the well-decorated, neat, colourful and stylish homes. — Margie

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 mentioned…love 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 houseandhome.com. 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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