Monday, December 18

Ideal Home Show

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The Ideal Home Show formerly named the Ideal Home Exhibition is an annual occasion in London, now held at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The show was arranged by the Daily Mail newspaper in 1908 and continued to be run by the Daily Mail up until 2009. It was then sold to events and publishing company Media 10 who will proceed to run a downsized and shorter adaptation of the show at Earls Court until the exhibition centre itself is eradicated after the 2012 Olympics, the shows future and a new venue after that time have yet to be decided .

Its ambition is to bring together everything associated with having an “ideal home”, such as the state of the art inventions for the modern house and show casing the most up to date housing designs. A regular attribute of the show for many years was the Ideal House Competition where designs were invited and the winning schemes constructed at the exhibition the following year.

The first exhibition was held in 1908 at the Olympia exhibition centre, with subdivisions faithful to “phases of home life” such as construction, food and cookery, furniture and decoration. Demonstrations and contests included an Arts and Crafts competition and a competition to design the “Ideal Home”. Wareham Smith, advertising manager of the Daily Mail, founded the exhibition as a marketing event for the newspaper. It was regularly visited by celebrities and royalty.

1908 – The First Ever Show
The inaugural Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition was started by The Lord Mayor of London at Olympia and the Daily Mail explained that you would see: “Streets of a town lined with hundreds of bright little buildings of varying shape and design – red roofed cottages, brown bungalows, and gaily coloured pavilions – and moving between them endless lines of interested visitors.”

Visitors queued to observe the furnished houses including mac and mac interiors and to explore a landscaped garden. Stands became rooms with all the wares attainable for sale – offering the opportunity for people to see the latest designs for luxury living.

In 1908 90% of the populace rented their home. It took over 3000 men a week to erect the first Exhibition.

The 1920s & 1930s

Technological developments gathered pace throughout the 1920s and 1930s and fresh products were frequently displayed in demonstrations at the Show. The event became a principal position for the housewife to survey the latest in household technology.

Throughout the 1930s building was Britain’s major industry, and the suburbs began to expand. Mortgages were becoming more practicable and more people than ever before bought their first home.

The Daily Mail was committed to the drive for greater efficiency and for one year in 1921 it even renamed the Show the Daily Mail Efficiency Exhibition. In 1937 the BBC broadcast television for the first time.

The Second World War meant that the Exhibition was {suspended|deferred|delayed|halted] from 1940-1946 but from 1947 onwards it continued to develop, culminating in a colossal attendance in 1957 of almost 1.5 million people. The Show continued to ‘Educate and Entertain’ throughout the decades and in 1953, the Coronation year, it even featured a two thirds scale replication of the state coach.

The first microwave oven was introduced at the Show in 1947. In 1957 the British housewife still spent an average of 70 hours a week on housework

The 1960s was an era of forward-looking fashion and the first man on the moon, yet the most fashionable house style of the era was Mock Georgian. The disco decade of the 1970s heralded in a new look for interiors featuring chrome and smoked glass and the Show reflected fads in all the latest house designs and interiors.

The last Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition to be held at Olympia was in 1978

Corner baths and conservatories charmed the eye in the 1980s and new technology was still very much in evidence. Through the 1990s, a new shopping experience was developed for the Show, with entertainment high on the cards and a mission to provide everything for the home in one place.

In 1997 a rainforest was created and visitors could experience a tropical rainstorm every hour from the shelter of a tree house.

In 2008 visitors could take a trip down memory lane and see some of the peaks of the last century in the Century Street.

100 years have lapsed since the first Exhibition and the event is now the largest Home Show in the world.

In September 2009 the show changed hands for the first time in its history, after being sold by The Daily Mail to Media 10.

The 2010 Ideal Home Show won the award for Best Consumer Show over 2,000sqm at the Industry AEO Awards.

The 2011 Ideal Home Show takes place from 11 to 27 March at Earls Court Exhibition Centre.

On their 2008 album CSI:Ambleside the British band Half Man Half Biscuit released a song entitled “Took Problem Chimp To Ideal Home Show”. It contains sardonic lyrics about an imaginary visit to the Ideal Home Show Exhibition.


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