The Association of Magazine Media


Editor-in-Chief Stephen Orr Creates Reimagined Content and Design for Next Generation of BHG

DES MOINES, IA, January 14, 2016 Better Homes and Gardens, the leading lifestyle brand reaching 40 million readers a month, unveils a redesigned look with its February 2016 issue, on newsstands January 19. Pioneered by new Editor in Chief Stephen Orr, BHG’s new content and design builds upon the brand’s heritage with a modern, updated aesthetic and editorial point-of-view.

“Like a good house, our magazine has been blessed with great ‘bones’ for years,” says Orr, who took the helm at BHG in July 2015. “We’ve taken the best of BHG’s signature features and made them more appealing and inspiring for our audience. The February issue offers a new spin on the food, home and lifestyle content that our readers love, and BHG will continue to evolve in future issues.”

Visually, the magazine features several new typefaces; includes updated layouts and section openers; and showcases new photography and illustration treatments. Orr’s monthly editor’s letter, for instance, features photos shot exclusively on a smartphone, captured by Stephen and other members of the BHG editorial team.

In addition to visual changes, readers will find new behind-the-scenes moments inside the magazine, including a more noticeable presence of editor faces and personalities. Updated editorial will also highlight BHG’s flagship resources including the test kitchens and test garden, which have been central to BHG’s nearly 100-year history of trusted recipe and content creation.

“It’s very important to highlight Better Homes and Gardens’ amazing heritage,” says Orr. “We have so many resources that often get hidden because they’ve been around the magazine for so long. Now we’re bringing those treasures into our pages. ‘Test Kitchen Confidential’ and ‘From the Test Garden’ tips, for example, will be sprinkled throughout food and garden features every issue.

More editorial updates include:

  • A reimagined food section with positioning towards the front-of-the-book and featuring new columns, including Cravings, focusing on a specific indulgence; How to Cook, delving into a new classic recipe each month; and Fast and Fresh, highlighting quick, healthy meals. Full recipes will appear in the Kitchen Cookbook at the back of the magazine.
  • A new health columnThe Health Nut – capturing a first-person experience from BHG’s Health and Features Director as she tests out a new wellness trend each month.
  • A newly designed front-of-book highlighting market trends, product picks, and “stylemaker” interviews.
  • An expanded “I Did It!” section with step-by-step how to’s.
  • A regular Throwback page to close out the back-of-book, featuring a stylized room photo from a retro issue of BHG, and offering modern-day product picks to match.

According to Orr, the redesigned BHG reflects reader demand for a more transparent magazine experience in today’s changing media landscape, giving consumers access to the people behind the product. Updated content is also aimed at today’s audience of connected readers with a “millennial mindset,” who may range in age, but value entrepreneurship and constant reinvention at their core.

“Readers will find increased coverage of makers and entrepreneurs who have created businesses out of their passions for the home and garden,” says Orr. “Our February cover girl, Jessica Alba, is one example of a busy, working mom with an already-established career, who created an empire in the lifestyle space through her dedication to ethical manufacturing and sustainability.”

To inspire readers across platforms, an entrepreneurship “hub” will be added to the recently relaunched, in addition to an increased in-book focus on home-based enterprise.

Senior Vice President and Group Publisher Chris Guilfoyle says, “We are thrilled to introduce our updated product to the marketplace. Stephen and his team have worked tirelessly to create a stunning omni-channel experience that resonates with readers and creates tremendous opportunities for marketers and advertisers. We are confident that audiences will become even more engaged with BHG’s content across all platforms.”  


Better Homes and Gardens serves, connects and inspires readers who infuse color and creativity into each aspect of their lives. Reaching 40 million readers a month via the most trusted print magazine, the brand also extends across a robust website, multiple social platforms, tablet editions, mobile apps, broadcast programs and licensed products. Better Homes and Gardens fuels our reader’s passions to live a more colorful life through stunning visuals, a balance of substance and surface, and a blend of expert and reader ideas. Better Homes and Gardens is published 12 times a year by Meredith Corporation, with a rate base of 7.6 million.

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Lauren Doyle / Better Homes and Gardens / 212.551.7087 /

Patrick Taylor / Meredith National Media Group / 212.551.6984 /

Thursday, January 14, 2016