Homes content expert Isobel McKenzie-Price, one the most successful Ideal Home magazine Editors of recent times, has joined Media 10, owners of the 109-year Ideal Home Show exhibition, as Creative Content Editor across the portfolio of five shows for 2017.
Isobel, a household name in the homes market, is renowned for her strong vision and creative innovation. She joins Media 10 with an unprecedented legacy of editorial expertise which includes overseeing the UK’s biggest-selling homes magazine, website and social-media following, including editing Ideal Home magazine at its peak. She brings her unrivalled experience and a deep understanding of the Ideal Home audience to the Show’s feature content.
This is the first time in the Ideal Home Show’s 109-year history that an Ideal Home magazine editor has brought their creative vision and in-depth knowledge of the Ideal Home audience to lead the editorial content of the live event itself, and marks another notable chapter in Media 10’s dramatic turnaround of the Ideal Home Show’s fortunes since it took ownership in 2009.
Media 10, the UK’s most decorated events company, is at the forefront of understanding their audience and delivering exemplary customer satisfaction time after time. Isobel will work closely with the event team, to further enhance the visitor experience and introduce new and exciting content and brand partnerships to the events.
We talked to Isobel about her vision for the show and found out her favourite place in the world and how she relaxes:
Media 10: You are one of the most reputable Editors in Britain. Would you tell us how you started your career?
Isobel: I’ve always loved reading and writing and was creating my own ‘books’ out of torn-up paper when I was seven. Every book had an illustrated cover, because I was also always drawn to visual media. My teachers tried to steer me towards news journalism, but I knew that just wasn’t right for me, because words alone weren’t enough for me as a creative tool; the immediacy and power of images is just so irresistible. The light only really switched on for me after I graduated with a degree in Literature and Art History, and realized that magazines were the perfect art form for my creative skills, with that combination of images and words. I think magazines are the ultimate performance art form – they have to be perfect for the mood the reader is in just at that moment when they read it. Read them again a month later, and something intangible will be gone. Things will have moved on. I love that buzz of perfecting something that will connect with readers you’ll never meet, and never know, and moving them to be inspired, excited and take a step they might never have taken without you giving them the idea.
Although I’ve spent most of my career working in homes, I started out in fashion – then I realized that the places people live in are so emotionally powerful, and the objects they choose for them tell a life story way beyond personal image. So I switched and just fell in love with design and decoration. I’ve worked across many lifestyle titles too, but homes is my real passion.
Media 10: Which piece of advice would you give aspiring editors to succeed in publishing?
Isobel: Understand your audience. And that means getting to know them yourself; you need to understand the reality of their lives, not a picture painted for you by statistics. You can never underestimate the power of listening to them talk about how they really live, their dreams and their everyday challenges. I’ve sat through so many research groups and it’s often the unexpected comment that becomes the key to unlocking a new need that you can serve. People will love your content if you keep it real and relevant, whether you deliver it via a magazine, video or digital media.
Media 10: Would you be able to share a little bit of your vision as Creative Content Editor for the Ideal Home Show?
Isobel: I’m so excited to be working on this year’s show! It’s a totally immersive homes experience unlike any other. The Ideal Home Show has been setting the agenda in home trends for over 100 years, and the secret of its success is it’s magical mix of ‘what’s now and what’s next’. You can come along to the Show and find a wealth of ideas for your current home projects, whether that’s a stunning new kitchen or a fabulous decorating scheme, in a unique hands-on setting where you can see and feel products before making that investment. You can grab ideas and advice from the top homes experts and celebrities, all sharing their tips and know-how in an interactive environment. That’s an amazing offering in itself. But the Ideal Home Show is also where you can see and touch the future – where else can you walk through a full-size three-storey apartment block packed with innovative ideas? Or see a revolving micro home that packs four rooms into one small space? This year’s vision is to bring visitors closer than ever before to the home trends that will shape the way we will live over the next 50 years. Things we now take for granted – electric kettles, dishwashers, TVs – were all part of the Ideal Home Show’s ‘Home of the Future’ forecasts in the 20th century; this year’s Show will include a Gadget Lab where visitors can try out the technology that will change the way we live in the 21st. Everything is here and hands-on - we want you to feel the “Wow’, up close and personal!
Media 10: What is your favourite space in the world?
Isobel: I still get a buzz out of seeing the roof of the new Kings Cross Station extension – just a beautiful piece of architectural poetry, curving and luscious. If I could be whisked away on a magic carpet for a day it would be to Haliewa Beach, on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii. I rented a cheap beach shack there with my kids once and it was pure paradise, intensely blue sea and lush greenery – and empty, except for a few turtles.
Media 10: How do you relax?
Isobel: I make bread – organic, sourdough, bagels, brioche, you name it - all by hand. I fell in love with great bread when I was living in New York; the US has the world’s best and worst bread. I’m planning to build my own brick oven, so I can take my baking outdoors.