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Aug 19, 2014

Feeling less than sweet on your home, sweet home? Make sure not to miss television design personality, Tommy Smythe, at the Toronto Fall Home Show, appearing Saturday, September 20th at 2pm. Tommy recognizes that it's overwhelming for homeowners to tackle decorating one room, let alone every room in their house or apartment! In his presentation, Smart Solutions for Every Room in the House, he'll show you fabulous options for every space and budget.

Tommy's contagious enthusiasm and fun-loving approach to decor and renovating have made him an international design world favourite. Known for his warm and personal mixture of fine art, vintage, antique, and modern furnishings pulled together with cutting edge colour sense, Tommy never lets it all feel too serious. "If it's not fun, it's not worth doing!" - and that's his final word on style!

But before you see him at the show, enjoy our interview with him below and get to know the man behind the glasses.

TOMMY SMYTHE



Toronto Show Manager, Tina Holmes (Tina): Describe your design style in five words or less.
  • Tommy Smythe (Tommy): "Young Fogey."
Tina: What is your favourite room in your home and why?
  • Tommy: "Whichever room houses my books is always my favourite place to be. Many years ago my mentor, JS Manuel, advised me that every time I get a paycheck I should buy a book. I now have over a thousand books at home. Strangely, I don't think I've had a thousand paychecks..."
Tina: What is one item in your home you couldn't live without?
  • Tommy: "My fireplace. I love winter. Love it more with a fireplace."
Tina: What is your design/decor pet peeve?
  • Tommy: "I cannot, and will not, tolerate knock-offs. Authenticity is a religion for me. And like any religion, it takes discipline, focus, and it's constantly tested."
Tina: Most memorable career moment to date?
  • Tommy: "My first cover story for House and Home magazine was a very special moment. Like many designers, I consider print media coverage to be a true mark of success - print has been struggling in recent years, but I believe in it still. There is no online experience that compares to holding a magazine or a book in your hands. I'm very proud to be a columnist and frequent contributor to House and Home." 
Tina: Any embarrassing on-the-job moments you'd like to share?
  • Tommy: "Oh there have been so many! I fail constantly. Taking risks and having the courage to experiment are the life-blood of good design. There's a solution to every problem. This isn't surgery...it's just decorating. A sense of humour helps to take the sting out of mishaps too."
Tina: What are your personal mantras?
  • Tommy: "Leave the world a more beautiful place than it was when you found it. And f*** 'em if they can't take a joke."
Tina: What famous figures inspire your designs/career?
  • Tommy: "The list is LONG...but a random sampling includes: Billy Baldwin, Albert Hadley, Geoffrey Beene, Sister Parish, Horst, Ralph Lauren, Patrick Kelly, Oscar Wilde, David Hicks, Jean Michel Basquiat, Julia Child, Fran Lebowitz, Mark Hampton, Bill Blass, Yves St Laurent, Keith Haring. And of course the people in my life, (some of whom are famous because they are so inspiring to others), I'm fortunate to have befriended and whose lives and work are of constant inspiration to me. To say nothing of the vast wealth of good advice that springs...Sarah Richardson, Christie Smythe/Andrea Lenczner, Marilyn Denis, Lynn Crawford, Rick Mercer, Thomas O'Brien, Heather Clawson, Samatha Pynn."
Tina: Where do you get your inspiration?
  • Tommy: "See above. And travel - as much as I can afford. I want to die broke having seen in ALL."
Tina: What is your "small space" tip?
  • Tommy: "Edit."
Tina: What is your favourite app on your smartphone or iPad?
  • Tommy: "Instagram. I'm passionate about it. My IG feed is fun-filled and inspiring and occasionally funny - just like my life. See you there!" 

Catch Tommy at the Toronto Fall Home Show on Saturday, September 20th at 2pm. Make sure to bring a pen and paper - his tips are so valuable you'll want to take notes! And remember, grab your tickets to the show online now to get the best deal. We can't wait to see you there!


Special thanks to Toronto Show Manager, Tina Holmes, a.k.a. @TinaLovesPinot, for helping us get the inside scoop on Tommy.

Toronto Home Shows "We've got you covered"

Toronto Fall Home Show (Sept 18-21, 2014)
GTA Home & Reno Show (Feb 13-16, 2015)
National Home Show (March 12-22, 2015)

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