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What makes the living area Debbie Travis’s favourite room

Debbie Travis’s living room, photographed Dec. 11, 2012.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

British-born TV personality Debbie Travis has made a career out of designing other people's homes, often completely transforming them. Although her own is in Montreal, her work often takes her to Tuscany (where she is building her own hotel) and Toronto (where her projects have included a new line of Christmas decorations for Canadian Tire). When it came to decorating her downtown-Toronto pied-à-terre, she started with an empty, white space and ended up with a vibrant oasis. The biggest change, says the married mother of two, took place in the living room, which has become her favourite part of the condo. "I love the living area, as it makes me feel young and vibrant. It lifts my spirits every time I enter it."

The wallpaper

"I added an amazing wallpaper designed by my idol, the British designer Tricia Guild, under the label Designers Guild. It is a flocked fuchsia damask patterned paper on a gold background – how delicious is that? I had something similar in my dining room in England when I was a little girl. I hated it then, as it gave me the willies when I rubbed my hands over it, but now I adore it."

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The lamps

"These are Lucite, made by Kartell. And they add to the airiness and lightness of the room. The only heavy things here are the grey couch and chair, which I found in a store in Vancouver's Gastown. They ground the room."

The rug

"This Elte rug is the biggest mistake in the room. It looks great, but it's a big fat noodle rug that sheds constantly. It is a disaster for anyone wearing black pants."

The coffee table

"I love the coffee table, which sits on three-inch legs. I got it at B&B Italia. My kids constantly make jokes that I couldn't be bothered to put the legs on, but the idea is that it floats on the rug. It also provides a great flat surface for [displaying] my Christmas decorations."

The side tables

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"Glass tables are a great way to create airiness in a bright condo. I found these at B&B Italia."

The Christmas trees

"A great alternative to an evergreen for the holidays are pre-lit artificial trees – and now they come in fashionable colours such as purple and fuchsia. I love these because they match my wallpaper."

The wood panelling

"I suspended wood panelling from the ceiling to lose a bit of the [condo's] boxiness. I decorated it with oversized Christmas balls in the season's hottest colour, purple, [a key] part of my collection for Canadian Tire. I continued the idea by hanging more balls on ribbons in front of the window."

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About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a features writer for The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the best-selling Paris Times Eight and Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (Greystone Books). More

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