TV design personalities Debbie Travis and Tommy Smythe enter podcasting space

The Sound Off Podcast Network, in collaboration with executive producer Sarah Burke, has launched Trust Me…I’m a Decorator, a new podcast from designers Debbie Travis and Tommy Smythe.

Both well-known television personalities, Travis has helmed numerous home makeover shows including Debbie Travis’ Painted House, Debbie Travis’ Facelift, and La Dolce Debbie, in addition to launching the Debbie Travis Home Collection, among other ventures. Smythe appeared on television alongside HGTV star Sarah Richardson for two decades,  and now runs interior design business TOM Design Studio.

Their foray into podcasting is an extension of a weekly Instagram series begun out of boredom during the pandemic, with Smythe in Toronto and Travis in Tuscany, where she’s now primarily based.

The podcast will go beyond decorating, discussing travel, relationships, food and health and wellness, featuring special guests along the way. It will also pick up on themes from Travis’ 2018 book, Design Your Next Chapter, in which the veteran host explores her decision to take the leap to leave television to buy a rundown, 13th century villa, renovate it into a 14-bedroom hotel, and begin running retreats where visitors absorb the Italian philosophy of Il Dolce Far Niente, which translates to “the sweetness of doing nothing.”

“It’s that journey, that bridge that people have to take, of say leaving a bank you’ve worked at for the last 20 years and jumping in and starting something new,” explained Travis in the podcast’s debut episode. “And it’s terrifying for most people.”

“What we want to bring to a listening audience…I mean there are millions of podcasts out there, there are so many…we really want to bring those next chapter stories and people we know who have done this kind of thing with their own lives,” Smythe expressed to Travis in the same episode. “So, every book you’ve written, every show that I’ve done, every magazine column I’ve written, every aspect of what you and I have done over the course of very rich lives, in terms of being very creative people, being motivated, motivating others, will hopefully creep into the various episodes of this podcast so we can further share in a new format.”

Smythe said they also hope to engage listeners with their own stories of reinvention.

The podcast’s first guest is American author Frances Mayes, best-known for her 1996 memoir, Under The Tuscan Sun, the basis for the 2003 feature film of the same name, starring Diane Lane.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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