29 April 2010


 "some old HOGG-I don't know who."
along with other paper treasures, pear shaped objects
and African lacquer boxes.

don't we all have our heroes? mine tend to be less caped and masked- and more well draped, swagged or spoken. One, greatly admired, is MIN HOGG. Her WORLD OF INTERIORS  magazine is coveted by designers and design aficionados. Though she is no longer editor-WOI will always be hers. Imagine, when I went through The English Woman's Bedroom by Elizabeth Dickson, with beautiful photographs by Lucinda Lambton, and found MIN's 1985 flat. Yes, it was 25 years ago- and no doubt things have changed,( WOI published her London flat in 1996-i think, but have yet to get my hands on a copy), but still, it is MIN & the chapter on her flat is a treasure. She airs her original ideas about home, House Freaks (her words) and her craft.

What did MIN have to say? Amusingly ,MIN, as she writes about her flat- admits the cozy decorations Lambton photographed are now under major renovations. Sadly she sat in a rented one-pinning  away for home, longing for the beautiful bedroom-that was being sacrificed- in hopes of building improvements. Since the inception of WORLD OF INTERIORS in 1981, travel was mandatory for MIN HOGG. She, like many, found herself longing for the comforts of home-"pictures, sheets and above all bed-springs."

 MIN - a quick change artist with the headboard fabric,
switching it out often. Collecting textiles-an addiction-
Not to mention talking on the phone (2 phones sit to the right
of the bed) Dinner, staying at home nights find MIN
tucked IN &  command central is bed.

She goes on to "confess a chronic capacity to clutter things up," a habit starting in art school. She carried her clutter with her to "a secluded garden square within spitting distance of Harrods." Here she indulged in making her bedroom the centre of her living space. One potential inspiration for her digs was F.W. Elwell's The First Born- a painting she considers the definitive cottage bedroom.

for your own inspiration-
The First Born
(image from here), Elwell's painting is tucked into
bottom right(center) of some old HOGG"S frame in the
1st picture of this post

MIN also confesses to being a procrastinator-(we are sounding more and more alike ), but lacking a "half tester bed, no rose chintz, no suitable ottoman or rush seated chair-let alone a fresh faced young father by my side," the lady moved on!  

"The walls were painted one shade, the ceiling another, woodwork and doors a combination of all three. Although in no time the subtleties of my three toned room had merged into what looked like a single colour, I have never regretted that pink. Good by day and, with shiny pink card lampshades, good by night."

The dressing table is a long wallpaperer's trestle with shortened legs a gathered skirt in red and white striped sari cotton, made by MIN's Mom.

Clever, simple beautifully laid out bordered dressing table

MIN holds court, as it were, in her robe- television, telephones, a drink, newspapers, magazines and books are right at her fingertips- her writing of articles is done in bed too. She entertains here too-there are complaints-"but on the whole it is rather a lark. When the present building work is finished  and I can return home, far from branching out into a spanking new kind of decoration, I expect I shall put it all back exactly as it was."
today's MIN HOGG
image from here

From th Independent uk (1997)
Ms Hogg was quoted as saying that, "it's bloody hard to find exciting new houses in Britain." Yes, but magazine editors, all of them bloody fussy, are not easily turned on. "Oh dear, what a pity about those dreadful lampshades," they might say, when presented with snapshots of a proud home owner's sterling efforts in the interior design department. "Mmm, we might just get away with it with a bit of styling .
from a 2007 Telegraph uk story: "Given her reputation and noted expertise, it came as a shock to the interior design world when Hogg announced last November that she was resigning as editor of the magazine that she launched from these very rooms in 1981. Although the upmarket publication sells a modest 65,000 each month, its influence is enormous and its ideas and concepts are much copied."..."A visionary editor of the old school, Hogg always refused to have anything to do with focus groups or marketing ideas and her abrupt voluntary departure seemed as unlikely as the Queen Mother suddenly announcing she didn't want to be royal any more. Despite protestations from her Conde Nast bosses Si Newhouse and Nicholas Coleridge, Hogg - who says that she is in excellent health - was still determined to leave."
& just a note on World of Interiors, 2001 here
I find wonderful articles in CORNUCOPIA written by MIN HOGG, one of her favourite magazines
her Canary Islands house was published in WOI as well as that elusive flat-


  1. So fascianting, what a woman of her time , and I love the latest image of her! Love the dressing table.

    Art by Karena

  2. I was puzzled why she left the magazine. Maybe she simply wanted a change, after more than twenty-five years.

    Paige Rense at Architectural Digest also seems to have been there forever.

    I have bought WoI faithfully ever since I came to the UK in 2005. It is curious how little the magazine has changed over that time - a bit dangerous from a market-share point of view, perhaps, but admirable.

  3. World of Interiors is my favourite of all magazines...great post about Min Hogg, xv.

  4. Fondest memories of running to the corner kiosk in the city and buying INTERIORS and coveting every page like it was an expensive bar of chocolate.
    Savoring every bit!!

  5. I wonder what the thing was made her leave the magazine? She must have had the firm vision to keep it superior. It slips now and then with the choice in editorials. Sometime there are too many three leg chairs and off center cloths spread on a table full of crumbs and a single failing floral. I must look into the Cornucopiea.

  6. When Min was in disagreement with the Conde Nast big shots she wold stay in bed and refuse to go to the office until they came to reason, her reasons.They always did.

    Another anectode. Min was having lunch in a restaurant when she overheard a couple discussing the finals of their home newly decorated "Of course, we'll have WOI photograph it" Min drops an incidental "It's not that easy you know."

    Ah Ah, Min... I miss you so much...though Rupert Thomas could not be a more brilliant successor.

  7. She is extraordinary. Thank you for this peek inside her boudoir.



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