Ideal Home Show – A Brief History
Ever since we first got involved in the garden furniture business some twenty odd years ago, the Ideal Home Show has heralded the serious start of the season for selling outdoor furniture. We’ve spent countless hours, even days, pacing the halls with the sole intention of making people’s summer’s better with whatever happened to be the latest in garden furniture design. But what of the Ideal Home Show itself? Can you imagine life before it?
Ideal Home Show Origins
Originally called the Ideal Home Exhibition, the Ideal Home Show was the brainchild of the Daily Mail newspaper all the way back in 1908. Right from the start, it was conceived as an annual event to be held in London’s Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The Daily Mail ran the show up until 2009 when it sold the Ideal Home Show to an events and publishing company, Media 10.
State Of The Art
The Ideal Home Show was a place to display all the latest inventions for the modern home and to showcase the latest housing designs. For many years, it included the Ideal House Competition, where designs for such a property were considered with the winning plan being erected at the following year’s event.
In the inaugural exhibition, there were sections dedicated to “phases of home life” such as construction, decoration, furniture and furnishings, food and cookery.
At this time most of the visitors would have rented their homes but as mass production methods were bringing about much social change, people began to dream of having an ideal home of their own. In the 1910s-1920s, people were enthralled by the full size ‘Tudorbethan’ houses and gardens that were constructed. In the 1920s several crowned heads of Europe designed the gardens which were lit by special gas lamps to give the effect of day light.
The association with new inventions and gadgets really began in the 1930s when many products were launched at the Ideal Home Show for the first time such as the electric kettle, the vacuum cleaner, the toaster and the Teasmade (!). After the Second World War, the show continued showcasing the very latest in fitted kitchens and open plan living.
Royal Visits And Celebrities
Her majesty the Queen has visited the Ideal Home Show eleven times and celebrities as wide ranging as Eric Morecombe and the Rolling Stones have also attended (none of these have bought rattan garden furniture from us however!).