Beyond readers’ design queries the magazine provided guidance on housing evacuees and contacts for women to support to the war effort from fire fighting to the Land Army. Food and thrift became the focus with the appointment of home economics guru Mrs D.D. Cottington Taylor (think Mary Berry with a Marcel wave). On celebrating the magazine’s 21st birthday the editor announced the introduction of good comfortable fiction and inspirational features of psychological value, for “read we must – it is one of the few forms of relaxation left to us”. House stories increasingly focussed on politicians and military figures as a sort of interiors propaganda. The horrors of war prompted a nostalgia for the past. Readers took comfort in ye olde cottage interiors and the much-maligned Victorian style enjoyed something of a comeback. Hot H&G topic:Which style to embrace – Jacobean Revival or European Modernisme?

Key influences in the 1930s

Discover more of the history of Homes & Gardens In the Zeitgeist

Growth of suburbia. Where will it end?

Headline news

King Edward VIII abdicates (sitting on a Parker Knoll chair).

Lifestyle moments

The National Trust’s Country Houses Scheme of 1937 allowed owners to donate their properties to the Trust and still to live in them. Cue decades of house-snooping and cream teas in the orangerie.

Household essential

By the early Thirties, half of UK households had a radio as their primary source of news and entertainment. The BBC launched the Empire Service (now the World Service) in December 1932. The first royal Christmas message, delivered by King George V, was one of the first broadcasts.

Who knew?

Princess Margaret’s birth in 1930 inspired the newspaper horoscope. The popularity of the Sunday Express’ reading for the new princess led to a weekly column making predictions for all of its readers. ‘The stars’ were born.