Spotlight on…Jane Akers, deputy editor of Ideal Home and Style at Home

Jane Akers, deputy editor of Ideal Home and Style at Home

Deputy editor of both Ideal Home and Style at Home Jane Akers tells leading interiors PR agency Homestyle PR how she juggles both jobs and why preparing Christmas features in July can be fun…

You’re deputy editor of both the iconic Ideal Home, which launched in 1920, and Style at Home, one of the new kids on the block, how do the magazines differ?

There’s more craft in Style at Home because a lot of our readers like to make things themselves or recycle and revamp pieces. Ideal Home readers’ budgets tend to stretch slightly further so we can include a few more expensive pieces! But both feature loads of inspirational decorating ideas, the best homewares on the market and expert advice.

Both offer readers plenty of stylish ideas but where do you get your inspiration?

Before each season starts, we get to see an exclusive preview of the new trends and latest products from all the high street retailers, which inspire our features. We also like to stay in touch as much as possible with our readers via research groups, social media and through our own social circles to understand what they want from their homes and decorating schemes to make sure we’re delivering!

Which is your favourite part of each magazine and why?

I just love the real homes! There’s nothing better than having a nose around someone else’s house and seeing how they’ve decorated and how they live. I also love the property transformation features – seeing how innovative people have been in reworking and extending their homes is really cool.

real home feature

What was your first job in the world of glossy magazines? And what was your career path to your current role?

After starting in contract publishing [also known as consumer magazines] and freelancing for a few years, I got a job as senior sub on Woman & Home magazine at Time Inc, then I moved to Ideal Home as deputy chief sub, Homes & Gardens as managing editor, Country Homes as deputy editor and now I’m back at Ideal Home and Style at Home as deputy editor … Anything with ‘home’ in the title, basically!

What’s a typical working day like for Jane Akers at Ideal Home/Style at Home Towers?

It’s very busy! I have my fingers in lots of pies these days so one minute I might be commissioning and editing features, the next I’m compiling and writing my own features, or working on advertorials. Sometimes, in between press shows and meetings, there feels like there is hardly any time to get anything else done – but I can’t complain, I love my job. There’s so much variety in the work I do and I get to see so many beautiful homewares everyday!

Which room has become the most important part of the home?

The kitchen, undoubtedly. It’s become much more than a room – it’s a space for living. I edited the 36-page Dream Kitchens supplement that comes free with the May issue of Good Homes and it really plays on the idea of the kitchen as a versatile space for modern needs.

What should we be looking out for when it comes to high-summer looks for our homes?

Big trends at the moment are green, global with lots of lovely geometrics on soft furnishings, and pops of colour from pastels to more bolder hues. Colour really is making a comeback – hooray! Coastal is also a perennial favourite – it’s such a gorgeous, classic summer look.

What would you be if you hadn’t worked as a magazine editor?

My favourite TV programme of all time is The West Wing and if I had discovered it earlier (too busy watching Location, Location, Location and Grand Designs, clearly), I think I would have trained as a speech writer.

And how do you spend your down time?

I love being in my lovely flat in Earlsfield [south-west London], either pottering around outside in the garden, cooking up nice meals for friends or redesigning my rooms with new accessories or furniture! At the moment, I’m sorting out a home office because I’ve never really had one before!

Soon we’ll be in the creative madness of Christmas in July, doesn’t it feels strange working so far ahead?

It does, but you get used to it! Although I’m totally out of sync – getting excited about Christmas in July is a strange feeling –  you can’ t help it when you see all the new ranges! In fact, we’ve already seen a few bits which is great because we’re starting to think about Ideal Home’s Complete Guide to Christmas – our annual one-stop-shop for everything you need when it comes to decorating and entertaining at home this Christmas!