2011 Best New Journal Award – presented by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals

Call for Articles – Special Issue (Vol. 5 Issue 2 – 2014)


The guest editors Patricia Lara-Betancourt (Modern Interiors Research Centre, Kingston University) and Emma Hardy (Geffrye Museum) invite contributions to the journal’s 2014 special issue Seductive Discourses: Design Advice for the Home.

This issue will examine the role of design advice for the home, recognising its significance in shaping contemporary and historical perceptions and representations of the domestic sphere.

Understood as a culturally and historically framed genre, the discourse on the design of the home expanded quickly in the second half of the nineteenth century with the dissemination of design ideas through books, magazines, department stores and exhibitions offering advice on topics related to furnishing, decoration and home management. In the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries the genre has adopted new media and technological platforms including television and the digital and virtual world with its array of websites and blogs, showing the adaptability of this narrative to diverse modes of mediation and representation. While this material seems ubiquitous today and has been highly influential in shaping perceptions of the domestic sphere, it has proved problematic as a primary source for those hoping to study ‘real’ domestic spaces and practices. The sometimes all too obvious gap between the tastefully furnished, efficiently managed  homes depicted and our own everyday domestic experiences raises questions about who and what domestic advice is really for.

Through the examination of domestic advice, we invite contributions addressing the following issues and themes, among others:

–       advice as mediation
–       domestic advice in the digital world
–       advice as representation
–       the model home
–       analysis of textual and visual narratives, and other methodologies
–       authoritative voice: interior decorators, designers, architects, amateurs, journalists
–       domestic advice as a gendered discourse
–       the publisher’s role
–       advice, advertising and product placement
–       advice as design reform / ideology
–       the consumption / reception of domestic advice
–       international exchange of advice

The editors welcome submissions of articles addressing the topic of design advice for the home, broadly defined. Submissions reflecting the latest research on the interior from historians, practitioners and theorists are particularly welcomed. Principal articles of 5,000 words, including notes and references, with 4-6 illustrations are invited, and should be sent as an attachment to by 31st August 2013.

Further details of the Journal, including Notes for Contributors, are available at:

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