H&G in the Twenties

Jazzing it up between the wars

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The Twenties did not exactly roar onto the pages of Homes & Gardens. Until mid-decade, issues were filled with ubiquitous Windsor chairs arranged either side of a brick fireplace. For hints of Jazz Age decadence one had too look beyond the interiors to features like ‘Your Pets And The Law’ which having warned of unruly hounds, went on to discuss the keeping of monkeys as being “by no means so rare”.

Prosperity was in the air as house building boomed. With 200,000 new properties popping up every year, especially in suburbia, the magazine wrote about the challenge of naming your house and what sort of garage door would go with your first car.

As the British Empire enjoyed its last hurrah, the magazine took a look at homes overseas from Ceylon to Uganda. For those not posted to the tropics, one could at least build a sunroom or try the new fad of ultra-violet baths.

Closer to home, the magazine got over its suspicion of Continental design and finally embraced European modernism. This was spurred on by the growth of cinema and the cult of celebrity. A feature on floodlighting your garden had an especially cinematic touch. Style-wise pink, purple and red were back in vogue and the fridge was the hottest gadget.

Hot H&G topic: How to manage with only 
one maid (yes, really).

PICK OF THE POOCHES

Advice on the keeping of pets was a hot topic in the 1920s, with suggestions for the ideal canine companion featuring no less than five times. Best in show included…

  1. Cocker spaniel
  2. Airedale terrier
  3. Bull terrier
  4. Cairn terrier
  5. Bedlington terrier

KEY INFLUENCES IN THE 1920s

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Discover more of the history of Homes & Gardens

In the Zeitgeist

  • Women get the vote. At last…

Headline news

  • The Wall Street Crash.

Cultural radar

  • The International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts was held in Paris. It was Art Deco’s coming out party and a whopping 
16 million visitors saw the show. Design would never be the same again.

Lifestyle moments

  • When John Logie Baird switched on the box in 1926, his invention the television was met with awe and fear.

Household essential

  • The cocktail shaker – from gimlets to sidecars, cocktails were all the rage in the Twenties, bringing a shot of 
glamour to households everywhere.

Who knew?

  • Chanel NO.5, Coco’s iconic 1921 fragrance, wasn’t its fifth incarnation. It was named after her lucky number…

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