The much-anticipated relaunch issue of the beloved South African decor and design publication House and Leisure is now on shelves. The first edition by new publisher LOOKBOOK lays the foundation for an approach to ‘slow’ content that celebrates the lean-back pleasure of print. Following trends in niche publishing, the quarterly 240-page journal-style magazine takes on the look and feel of a collectible coffee table book. In addition to the increased page count and considered aesthetic, attention has been given to other details that make the experience of turning the pages of a premium printed publication so enjoyable, namely the paper. Different types of paper have been used throughout to emphasize the exceptional design and incredible photography on display in the different ‘chapters’, which include a 16- page lookbook shopping insert, and the real-life tactility and craft of print.
The theme for the first volume is ‘Escape’, making reference to a global desire for freedom after a year in various states of confinement, as well as the transportive quality one feels when escaping into the pages of a beautiful magazine. The appreciation of space, landscape and nature is explored through House and Leisure’s content pillars – decor, design, trends, interiors, architecture, art, books, food and wine, sustainability and greening, travel and tech.
“Our new direction is one of effortless living – celebrating a sense of place, and touching on the mood and emotions that our homes and surroundings evoke,” says Charl Edwards, House and Leisure’s Editor-in-Chief. “We’re interested in the feeling a space elicits, especially now in the context of the pandemic. Despite a new direction and look and feel, we are still honouring the legacy of House and Leisure, remaining true to what we believe the reader has come to love over the past three decades.”
While travel remains limited, readers can journey to inspiring homes and exclusive properties around the continent, including the reopening of the iconic Jack’s Camp in Botswana; the launch of Sussurro, a boutique beach retreat in Mozambique; Klein JAN, Michelin-star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s new restaurant on the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve; and House and Leisure’s cover star, Caracal, the latest addition to the Cabine du Cap property in the Karoo.
House and Leisure is created by LOOKBOOK’s creative and commercial team, which is supported by a wider network of respected writers, photographers and specialist contributing editors. LOOKBOOK was born of a passion for decor and design and a belief in the value of the editor’s eye to discern, curate and craft quality, niche content. Co-founded by entrepreneur Pieter Bruwer and creative director and editor Charl Edwards in mid-2020, the independent media company and creative content studio went on to announce the acquisition of House and Leisure in December 2020, after the 28-year-old publication’s last edition was circulated under Associated Media Publishing in April of the same year.
“COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work dramatically,” says Pieter. “New opportunities inevitably open up, but one needs to pay attention and remain optimistic about the long-term future. In a time when we’re craving a sense of stability and the familiar, and when screen fatigue is so prevalent, we have confidence in the longevity of print. But it couldn’t have been just any magazine – first launched in 1993 House and Leisure has a respected reputation and legacy and is strategically focused on the right niche,” he explains.
“With people spending more time at home, there’s been an increased interest in improving the spaces we inhabit. As a result, the decor and design industry has been one of the few that has not been as significantly impacted by the pandemic,” Pieter continues. “Through our content platforms, such as House and Leisure, LOOKBOOK has an amazing opportunity to make a difference in the South African creative industry by showcasing, spotlighting and supporting established talent as well as emerging artists, designers and creatives, many of whom come from marginalised communities. We believe such efforts have the potential to positively stimulate growth in our country.”
At a retail price of R130.00, readers can now purchase the first volume of House and Leisure online through www.houseandleisure.co.za or in-store from national stockists, including Woolworths, selected Checkers, Spars and Exclusive Books, and a range of independent retailers. To have the magazine delivered to their doors quarterly, readers can subscribe through www.houseandleisure.co.za and also gift a subscription to a friend. House and Leisure will be engaging with its digital audience through Instagram and Facebook.