Design at Home: Domestic Advice Books in Britain and the USA since 1945. Series: Directions in Cultural History (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014).

Domestic advice literature is rich in information about design, ideals of domesticity, consumption and issues of identity, yet this literature remains a relatively neglected resource in comparison with magazines and film. Design at Home brings together etiquette, homemaking and home decoration advice as sources in the first systematic demonstration of the historical value of domestic advice literature as a genre of word and image, and a discourse of dominance. This book traces a transatlantic domestic dialogue between the UK and the US as the chapters explore issues of design, domesticity, consumption, social interaction and identity markers including class, gender and age. Areas covered include: the use of domestic advice by historians; relationships between advice, housing and the middle class; links between advice and gender; advice and the teenage consumer. Design at Home is essential reading for students and scholars of cultural and social history, design history, and cultural studies.

Learn more about Routledge’s Directions in Cultural History series here


  • Reviewed by Prof Stefan Muthesius (2014) Interiors 5 (2): 265–268.



2014: AHRC Image Gallery, £4k for Designing Domesticity: Visual Techniques in Domestic Advice Books in Britain and the USA since 1945

2007/8: AHRC Research Leave Scheme: £15k for Designing Domesticity

2004/5: Design History Society 25th Anniversary Research Award: £1000 for Designing Domesticity