‘Everyone desires to make his home as comfortable, tasteful and convenient as means will allow; and it will be the endeavour of this magazine to help towards that end.’ So began the first issue of Our Homes and Gardens in June 1919. Priced at one shilling, Britain’s first home-interest magazine struck a positive note as the nation pulled back following the end of the first world war and the loss of over one million of its citizens.
The magazine reacted to the changing domestic circumstances of middle-class households where servants were now in short supply. Luckily there was also an explosion of labour-saving devices, thanks to the expansion of the electricity network and the merits of electric irons, telephones and gramophones were discussed at length, as were ways to disguise them from view. Styling tips included decorative uses for paisley shawls and how to make a humpty (a sort of fire-side pouf).
100 years on, and Homes & Gardens is still proudly reflecting a changing world. We’ve taken the opportunity to explore the archives and chart the life and times of our iconic brand, and look at our key influences over the years.
HOMES & GARDENS IN THE 1920s
Our first decade saw us handling both classic decorating dilemmas (How to Decorate a North-Facing Living Room) and some issues more of their time (Mistress and Maid Fallouts, Shopping for Fireside Bellows).
Read more about H&G in the 1920s
HOMES & GARDENS IN THE 1930s
As war broke out across Europe, we served up advice on how to ensure you never missed an issue, and had tips for Clarice Cliff collectors.
Read more about H&G in the 1930s
HOMES & GARDENS IN THE 1940s & 1950s
Post-war, the Homes & Gardens view was that anything British was great – but anything from elsewhere was not to be trusted. Queen Elizabeth II was a frequent cover star, and this was the era that open-plan living took hold, a hot look from 1951.
Read more about H&G in the 1940s and 1950s
HOMES & GARDENS IN THE 1960s & 1970s
In the swinging Sixties, we translated the huge fashion movement to homes, and charted the rise of Scandi designers like Arne Jacobsen. As we moved into the more austere 1970s, articles included the intriguingly titled, ‘You Can’t Keep Your Daughter Off The Pill, Mrs Worthington‘.
Read more about H&G in the 1960s and 1970s
HOMES & GARDENS IN THE 1980s & 1990s
In the decades where more was, ahem, more, Princess Diana was our style icon and we celebrated bold, bright and colourful design. Things got serious with an article that explored ‘How To Tell if Your Child is on Drugs’ by Alan Bestic, while at the other end of the spectrum, we published a masterclass on ‘Creative Fruit Made From Festive Remnants’.
Read more about H&G in the 1980s and 1990s
HOMES & GARDENS FROM THE 2000s TO TODAY
In the present day, our design world is defined by pattern, Scandinavian design (as it was in the 1960s) and the digital world. So it’s only fitting that we celebrate our 100 years with the launch of the Homes & Gardens website. We hope that you will be frequent visitors.
Read more about H&G in the 2000s
Right, we’re off to enjoy a well-deserved slice of birthday cake and a glass of something bubbly. Here’s to another 100 years.