The Making of the Modern British Home explores the impact of the modern suburban semi-detached house on British family life during the 1920s and 1930s - focusing primarily on working-class households who moved from cramped inner-urban accommodation to new suburban council or owner-occupied housing estates. Migration to suburbia is shown to have initiated a dramatic transformation in lifestyles - from a `traditional' working-class mode of living, based around long-established tightly-knit urban communities, to a recognisably `modern' mode, centred around the home, the nuclear family, and building a better future for the next generation. This process had far-reaching impacts on family life, entailing a change in household priorities to meet the higher costs of suburban living, which in turn impacted on many aspects of household behaviour, including family size.
This volume also constitutes a general history of the development of both owner-occupied and municipal suburban housing estates in interwar Britain, including the evolution of housing policy; the housing development process; housing and estate design, lay-outs, and architectural features; marketing owner-occupation and consumer durables to a mass market; furnishing the new suburban home; making ends meet; suburban gardens; social filtering and conflict on the new estates; and problems of 'mis-selling' and 'Jerry building'. Peter Scott integrates the social history of the interwar suburbs with their economic, business, marketing, and architectural/planning histories, demonstrating how these elements interacted to produce a new model of working-class lifestyles and 'respectability' which marked a fundamental break with pre-1914 working-class urban communities.