Media Profile: On the real home front - Julie Savill, editor, BBC Good Homes

The problem with home interest magazines is much the same as the problem many of us have with our homes themselves - there is just too much clutter. There are already an amazing 21 titles in the sector after all. But then clutter is not something the launch editor of the 22nd, called BBC Good Homes, is ready to embrace quite yet.

The problem with home interest magazines is much the same as the

problem many of us have with our homes themselves - there is just too

much clutter. There are already an amazing 21 titles in the sector after

all. But then clutter is not something the launch editor of the 22nd,

called BBC Good Homes, is ready to embrace quite yet.



But then that’s because editor Julie Savill is an enthusiastic

minimalist.



Launching this week, the first issue of the glossy monthly will have 140

pages and is aimed at the ’thirtysomething’ ABC1 woman. However, unlike

the existing titles, BBC Good Homes aims to choose its ever-so-tasteful

objets, not from humble artisans operating out of expensive rural

co-operatives, but simply from high street stores. Much of the material

will even come from DIY giants such as B&Q and Homebase.



’Modern interiors are becoming simpler and cleaner. While magazines like

Elle Decoration and Wallpaper capture this look and can be absolutely

beautiful they are simply too expensive for most people,’ Savill points

out.



’Our readers are going to be too busy with their families and jobs to be

able to spend months tracking down some rare object, even if they wanted

to. The homes they will be living in might be architecturally

undistinguished - they might be terraces or on estates - but they want

their interior to stand out, and that is where we will come in. People

will find they can save money and get the result they want by being very

hands on.’



Savill herself certainly practises much of what she preaches. So far

this year, she has gutted and replaced a kitchen and several fireplaces

at her home in Essex, but then she does have a considerable head start -

her husband is a builder. And the minimalism, it seems is more

aspirational than actual.



’I do have a tendency for my own homes to get a bit more cluttered,’ she

charmingly admits, ’but what I share with my thirtysomething, mostly

female, readers is a life that is more centred on the home than it ever

is in your 20s. And because you are doing more entertaining at home,

it’s natural that you will want to show it off.’



The magazine will have many of the staples of home interest titles such

as room features and product news, but even though materials will be

from the lower end of the price range, there will be no stinting on the

production values.



’Ninety-five per cent of the magazine will use originally-commissioned

photographs,’ says Savill. ’Editorially, we will try to stand out by

looking at issues with a little more humour.’



But the magazine claims the ace in its pack will be a close relationship

with the BBC’s hit TV series Changing Rooms. The first issue, for

example, will contain the first half of an exclusive programme

information factfile.



Savill is aiming for a circulation figure of 170,000, and its hard to

doubt her resolve to get there. In her last job, for example, she helped

to steer BBC Homes and Antiques to eight successive circulation rises

and sales of more than 200,000.



HIGHLIGHTS

1986

Deputy homes editor, Woman

1988

Deputy homes editor, Me

1991

Homes editor, Best

1994

Deputy editor, BBC Homes and Antiques

1998

Editor, BBC Good Homes



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