My consumption of home interest magazines seems to rise in direct
proportion to the level of activity I have got on with the decorating
and building trades. So, with a minor renovation project under way at
present, Campaign caught me at a pretty good moment.
Wallpaper, Homes & Gardens, World of Interiors (real hardcore house
pornography, this one) and Ideal home are pretty staple reading. So
what’s so special about Ideal home that the Periodical Press Association
named it as consumer magazine of the year?
Well, for starters, it has a nice balance of snippety style articles and
longer, more in-depth features. For a solid read with all the products
usefully sourced, there were articles on colour scheming, decorating
with seashore shades and filling your home with florals - although I am
now terribly confused as to whether we should be chucking our chintz out
For the grazing reader, you can enjoy a good laugh over the good ideas
section. Headed ’all you need is a little free time’, I have to admit
struggling to imagine who it was who had enough free time to ’cover coat
hangers with wadding and gently gathered fabric’, or ’simply hem
organdie to make a runner for your dining table’.
Back in the real world, the online bargains listing was useful and added
a touch of modernity, but the article on choosing the right video
recorder surely would have been more usefully devoted to selecting a DVD
The inevitable conservatory feature was nothing special but no doubt
hauled in the advertisers.
I thought the gardening sections were great. They had enough depth and
practicality to make you want to try things out, especially the gorgeous
campanulas feature, without being shallow and patronising to those who
know a little bit.
The ’Ideas for outdoor living’ article featured the dreaded word
’decking’ just a little too much for my liking, although all the range
of garden styles used were lovely.
I felt that promoting this section as a second free magazine, however,
was a bit optimistic given that it was only 32 pages long.
Finally, the cooking part. Easy to make, unusual salads, some simple
entertaining ideas that actually were simple and a feature piece on
Middle Eastern dishes. Yummy.
I thought the layout suffered a little towards the back of the magazine,
becoming interspersed with random ads. Part of the appeal of these
titles is the ads and I don’t think advertisers need fear a
concentration of messages, especially when the benefit of uninterrupted
features is so great.
Publisher IPC Southbank
Cover price pounds 2.20
Full-page colour ad pounds 10,450
Advertisers include De Beers, Laura Ashley, Neff, Brintons