Ideal Home Exhibition

Ideal Home Exhibition

Since the very first Ideal Home Exhibition in 1908, the event has been a showcase for new accessories for the modern, 'ideal' home. Sponsored by the Daily Mail newspaper, the bi-annual exhibition has encouraged Londoners to keep up with new developments in interior design and technology.

Wareham Smith, Advertising Manager of the Daily Mail, founded the Ideal Home Exhibition with the intention of using it to publicise the newspaper and to raise advertising revenue. The paper and the Exhibition were designed to attract the middle classes, particularly clerks and women with a certain amount of disposable income. The Exhibition reflected their requirements and aspirations, offering labour-saving devices and fashionable furnishings. To add to the exhibition's prestige, the event was regularly patronised by visiting royalty and celebrities of the day.

The first show was held at Olympia and comprised 12 sections dedicated to different 'phases of home life' such as construction, food and cookery, furniture and decoration. There were various demonstrations and associated contests, including the Arts and Crafts competition and the architects' competition to design the 'Ideal Home'.

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