MEDIA CHOICE: BEAUTIFUL LIVING

A glance along the shelf of glossies in any newsagent reveals a plethora of home interest titles, all bursting with articles guaranteed to make the average home owner feel distinctly unworthy. The homes featured are all interior-designed down to the last tasteful detail. Woe betide any enthusiastic DIY punter who dares to run a turp-stained finger down the list of stockists; items are often designer or antique.

A glance along the shelf of glossies in any newsagent reveals a

plethora of home interest titles, all bursting with articles guaranteed

to make the average home owner feel distinctly unworthy. The homes

featured are all interior-designed down to the last tasteful detail. Woe

betide any enthusiastic DIY punter who dares to run a turp-stained

finger down the list of stockists; items are often designer or

antique.



Beautiful Living seems at first glance to offer little that is different

from its well-groomed competitors. The format is familiar, the tone

suitably ’90s’ (buzz words such as downsizing and ’Feng Shui abound).

The title of the publication conjures up nauseating images of

gingerbread and step-by-step stencil guides, but once past the cover,

the content of Beautiful Living is interesting and very readable.



For someone like me, the proud owner of a newly converted Victorian

flat, the possibilities for decoration are boundless. What I need,

however, is a home interest magazine with accessible ideas which do not

require me to have a degree from St Martin’s college, or a night-school

French polishing certificate.



The magazine should offer realistic solutions, inspiration, affordable

stockists and a modicum of aspirational style. Beautiful Living offers

all these and more, in an approachable format.



The press release states that the aim of the magazine is to reach people

who see ’beautiful living as sexy’. A rather unlikely but oh-so-90s

mission statement which I could (thankfully) see no evidence of in the

chatty style of this magazine.



The content of Beautiful Living brings nothing particularly new or

radical to the home interest area but it does offer a more

lifestyle- than designer-led editorial than its stablemates.



There are several effective room makeovers which are always a draw,

enticing the reader into a world of possibilities. Nothing quite as

radical as those featured in BBC2’s Changing Rooms, but with results

which I’m sure the residents would enjoy living with.



Beautiful Living does not succeed in making home decoration sexy, but

that’s not a bad thing.



It is more bedside- than coffee-table chic; not for leafing through and

dreaming of a lottery win, but for turning to when the magnolia starts

to fade. Isn’t that what a home decor magazine is all about?



Publishing company: H Bauer

Frequency: Monthly

Expected circulation: 150,000

Target audience: 25- to 55-year-old women (core 35 years)

Cover price: pounds 2.20

Group advertising director: Ian Scott



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