Credits: SIM Style

Photographers should be credited using one of the two following styles. Treatment should be consistent throughout an issue.
Photographer: Greg Scheidemann
Photography by Greg Scheidemann

In general, studio names are not listed.

Multiple photographers should be credited using the following style.
Photographers: left, Greg Scheidemann; below, Andy Lyons.



Copy editors
Field editors
Food stylists

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Credits: Copy Editors

(Staff CEs are in bold)

EJA: Liz Anderson
JMC: Julie Collins Bates
ERB: Erika Bjorklund
SXB: Steven Blaski
EAB: Elizabeth (Beth) Brinsfield
ASC: Andrea Cooley
NJD: Nancy Dietz
MD: Maria Duryee
AMG: Alyse Garcia
MLH: Mary Heaton
AI: Angie Ingle
AJK: Amy Kuebelbeck
MSL: Martha Long
SMM: Sheila Mauck
NJM: Nancy McClimen
JSR: Jennifer Speer Ramundt
AKR: Angela Renkoski

MHS: Mary Helen Schiltz
CAT: Carrie Truesdell (formerly Schmitz)


Copy editors
Field editors
Food stylists


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Book reviews

In BH&G copy Include title, price, and publisher website (not For example:

  • The new book by wholesale nursery owners Marietta and Ernie O’Byrne takes readers on a tour of their four-season garden in Oregon. It’s full of unexpected plant combinations in various microclimates to bookmark for your own garden. A Tapestry Garden, $35;
  • How to Window Box By Chantal Aida Gordon and Ryan Benoit “Who knew you could grow a bog in a window box? Every garden is full of possibilities—even if it’s only a few inches wide.” $15;

Book excerpts get a gutter credit formatted like so:


In SIM copy

Books treated as products with brief, captionlike descriptions should list, at a minimum, the author, publisher, and year published.

Book reviews should list, at a minimum, the author, publisher, publisher’s full postal address OR city/state only, phone number OR Web address, year published, number of pages, and price.

Additional information beyond these minimums may be included at the editor’s discretion. List in the following order:

At Home with Paint by Jane Smith; Typo Publishing, Inc., 12 Country Creek Rd., Pownal, VT 05261; 800/555-5700;; 1994; 224 pages; U.S. $29.95, Canada $41.95

Note: If only the U.S. price is listed, it need not be designated
as “U.S.” List only the dollar amount.

More on craft book reviews


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TYPEFACE for punctuation (added here 7.14.16)
Punctuation marks should be in the same typeface as the words they follow. Parentheses (see below) are the exception.
Master woodworker Jim DuBois, left, carved the corbels.

When an asterisk and another mark of punctuation occur together, the asterisk follows the punctuation mark, with no intervening space. The lone exception is a dash; an asterisk comes before a dash.

Use the serial comma.
Do not use the serial comma before an ampersand in heds/subheds.
Beef, Pork & Chicken
Soups, Stews & Chilis

Commas and appositives
An appositive is a word or phrase that explains or amplifies another element in the sentence.
example: Master woodworker Jim DuBois carved the corbels.
In this sentence, Jim DuBois is the appositive of master woodworker.
Writers often wonder whether they should set off appositives with commas.
• When the appositive is essential to understanding the name or term it modifies, you don’t need commas. The example above has no commas because there are many master woodworkers in the world; his name is essential information.
• When the appositive offers nonessential information, you should set it off with commas.
example: Her father, master woodworker Jim DuBois, carved the corbels.
Her father has already narrowed the subject down to one person. The information between the commas gives us more information about him, but it could go away without altering the meaning or structure of the sentence.

Commas and company names (added 9/14/17)
Do not use a comma before Inc., Ltd., and other business suffixes in a company name.

Commas and compound sentences (updated 4/16/20)
Use a comma between two parts of a compound sentence if each part could stand alone as a sentence.
Mellette divided her paper into four sections, and she placed a photo in each quadrant.
If it’s a compound imperative sentence with a conjunction (and, or, but), do not use a comma unless the second verb could be misconstrued as a noun. Do use the comma when an adverb joins the two clauses (then, still).
Select a rub-on and cut it out.
Select a chipboard letter, and glue it in place. (So it doesn’t read that the maker is selecting a letter and glue.)
Set a mood with one color, then accent it with another.

Commas and dates
Use commas to set off the year in a complete date (month, day, and year).
The museum will open April 14, 2007, in Minneapolis.
When you don’t specify a day, you don’t need the commas.
The museum will open in April 2007 in Minneapolis.
The same goes for seasons. You don’t need commas to set off the year.
The museum will open in spring 2007 in Minneapolis.

Capitals after colons
If the word begins an independent clause (one that could stand on its own as a sentence), cap it. If it does not, lowercase it.
correct: The design yields a dramatic result: a dining area bathed in warm, golden-red sunlight every evening.
correct: The design yields a dramatic result: The dining area is bathed in warm, golden-red sunlight every evening.

Colons and prepositions
There’s no need for a colon between a preposition and its object, even when the object is a phone number or a Web address.
incorrect: Call our grammar hotline at: 800/472-6626.
correct: Call our grammar hotline at 800/472-6626.
incorrect: Find more great style tips at:
correct: Find more great style tips at

See Dashes.


Use ellipses (option-semicolon, with a thin space on either side) to indicate omission WITHIN quoted material. There is generally no need for ellipses at the beginning or end of a quote, because most quotes are simply snippets of longer conversations. Ellipses can be distracting, so use them sparingly. It’s often preferable to use partial quotes or paraphrase instead.
full quote: “The choice was obvious: The slate tiles, which we imported from a quaint little quarry in Micronesia, provide just the look we were after—sleek, but not cold.”
correctly edited quote: “The slate tiles … provide just the look we were after.” (It’s OK to drop the text at the beginning and end, but ellipses are needed to show that we’ve dropped text within the quote itself.)

In rare cases, ellipses may be used at the end of a quote to indicate speech that trails off.
correct:“Maybe tar wasn’t the best surface material for the patio,” Betsy said as rescue workers freed the last party guest. “It’s just that it was so economical …”


Opening and closing parentheses should always be the same type style. If the type inside is roman or a mix of italic and roman, make the parentheses roman. Italicize parentheses when the type inside them is entirely italic. Make the parentheses bold when the type inside them is entirely bold.
The two found inexpensive accessories at their favorite secondhand shops (where they scored the oversize shoe chair).
Don’t forget about dogwood (Cornus spp.), fragrant and staghorn sumac (Rhus aromatica and R. typhina), and fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii and F. major).
Pink phlox and purple obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana) contrast with yellow and white snapdragons.

When you use parentheses, make sure the rest of the sentence—grammar, punctuation, and context—makes sense without the parenthetical information.
incorrect:Jake (and his three horticulturally inclined daughters) spend all winter dreaming up garden plans. [Subject and verb don’t agree.]
correct:Jake (and his three horticulturally inclined daughters) spends all winter dreaming up garden plans.
incorrect: This fabric repels even the toughest stains (tomato juice, red wine, blood.) [There’s no end punctuation.]
correct:This fabric repels even the toughest stains (tomato juice, red wine, blood).

Don’t use initial caps or periods for a complete sentence embedded parenthetically in another sentence.
incorrect: They desperately wanted a place for family meals (The house has no dining room.) and a media room.
correct: They desperately wanted a place for family meals (the house has no dining room) and a media room.

When a complete-sentence parenthetical falls at the end of a sentence, it’s best to break it apart.
acceptable: He’s a champion bargain hunter (his favorite trophy is a $3 armchair).
preferred: He’s a champion bargain hunter. (His favorite trophy is a $3 armchair.)

In many cases, the sentence works just as well without parentheses.
correct: Jake and his three horticulturally inclined daughters spend all winter dreaming up garden plans.
correct: This fabric repels even the toughest stains: tomato juice, red wine, blood.
correct: He’s a champion bargain hunter; his favorite trophy is a $3 armchair.


Coined words: Use quotation marks around coined words.
They used brass tacks for this “spectackular” project.
It was a “spooktacular” Halloween party.
In the context of Facebook and Pinterest, like and pin are no longer considered coined words so do not need quotation marks.

Common expressions: Do not use quotation marks for common expressions or familiar quotations and figures of speech.
The turkey, roasted for Thanksgiving dinner, was done to a turn.
They had not yet begun to fight.
He nailed him to the wall.

(Note: Use such expressions sparingly; most are trite.)

Mottos: Use quotation marks around someone’s motto. If it is within a quote, set it in italics.

Product names: Do not use quotation marks around product names, including paints, wallpapers, etc.

Single quotes: Use single quotation marks rather than double in main headlines, in sidebar headlines, and preceding niche caps.

“So-called” expressions: Quotation marks usually are not needed for words or phrases used with such words as termed, called, so-called, and known. Quotation marks are often used if so-called is omitted.
The so-called cups were made by folding leaves.
They fashioned a “cup” of folded leaves.
Vinca minor, also called periwinkle, makes a good groundcover.

Technical terms: Use quotation marks around technical terms in their first use or words with special meaning in a context that may be unfamiliar to the reader.
Over-the-counter markets all quote prices according to a system of “bid” and “asked.”

Unusual context: Use quotation marks around words used in an unusual context or to mean something other than their usual meaning.
Dusting is the only care your ceramic “pets” will need.
Too many schools “cure” their shortages by using unqualified instructors.

Also see the Titles section of the BHGStylebook.


Inside: Put the period or comma inside closing quotation marks, except in botanical names.
See Chapter 2, “Furniture Styles.”
“You get what you pay for,” as the old saying goes.
One of her favorite plants, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, graces the walkway.

Outside: Put the semicolon or colon outside closing quotation marks.
He made cookie “stoplights”; he put red, yellow, and green gumdrops on logs of dough.
Make cookie “stoplights”: Put red, yellow, and green gumdrops on logs of dough.

Other: Put the dash, question mark, or exclamation point inside closing quotation marks when it applies only to the quotation and outside closing quotation marks when it applies to the whole statement.
In Chapter 2—“Landscaping Your Yard”—you’ll find additional information about planting for privacy.
He asked, “Will we make our deadline?”
Didn’t he say, “We’ll make our deadline”?

To set smart quotes (curly quotation marks) as your default, see the InDesign Tip in Style on the Go, Issue 111.


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Titles of Works

(updated 1/22/19)

Use italics (or opposite typeface) to identify whole works:
• blogs
• books
• CD-ROM titles (not software programs)
• collections of poems and long poems
• magazines
• movies
• museum and art exhibits
• musical compositions (long)
• newsletters
• newspapers
• plays
Her favorite play is She Stoops to Conquer.
• podcasts
• quilt names
• records and tapes
• ships
• TV shows
• videotapes
• works of art

Use quotation marks to identify parts of works:
• articles
• brochures
• episodes of blogs, podcasts, and TV shows
• essays
• magazine stories
• pamphlets
• parts of books, chapters
• poems (short)
• sidebars
• songs
• speech titles

Capitalize, but do not italicize or put in quotes, the names of board games, catalogs, columns, computer/video games, fabric collections, software, video series, wallpaper books, and YouTube videos.
The designer chose wall coverings from the Raymond Waites Manor collection.
Order from the Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel catalog.
Laura used bold prints from the Gardenia collection by Henry Glass & Co.
Joanna and Camille are regular designers for Scrap Lab.

(added 4/16/20) Names of Instagram pages are not set in italics. Different brands can handle the presentation as desired; most put the site in parens like so:
Designer: Sue Smith (Instagram @happyplacequilting)
Dan shares a daily message on his Instagram page (@dansmessages).

See also Capitalization: Websites and Capitalization: Headlines.



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Generally, a possessive is formed by adding an apostrophe and an s to a word that does not end in s, and only an apostrophe to a word that does end in s.

Singular Plural
Brooks Brookses
child children
lunch lunches
sheep sheep
Sussex Sussexes
lady ladies
man men
passerby passersby
Singular Possessive Plural Possessive
Brooks’ Brookses’
child’s children’s
lunch’s lunches’
sheep’s sheep’s
Sussex’s Sussexes’
lady’s ladies’
man’s men’s
passerby’s passersby’s

Add an apostrophe to a word that ends in an s sound.
for old times’ sake
for conscience’ sake
for appearance’ sake

Add an apostrophe and an s to a foreign name ending in a silent sibilant.
Descartes’s invention
Des Moines’s schools
faux pas’s

Add an apostrophe and an s to the last word of a singular compound noun.
the Governor of Maine’s
the attorney general’s

Use an of phrase to show possession when both a plural and a possessive are involved in a compound noun.
RIGHT: the decisions of the attorneys general
WRONG: the attorneys general’s decisions

Indicate common possession by making only the last item in a series possessive.
Teddy, Peggy, and Nancy’s home

Indicate individual possession by making each item in a series possessive.
Teddy’s, Peggy’s, and Nancy’s homes

The following possessives should be written as singular per Web. 11. (updated 11/21/14)
baker’s yeast
printer’s ink
writer’s cramp

The following possessive should be written as plural per Web. 11. (updated 11/21/14)
confectioners’ sugar

Consider that in some cases words are not possessive but rather descriptive. In those cases, no apostrophes are needed. See descriptive words for more detail. (added 12/3/14)


Descriptive words

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BH&G Plant Name Style

Common names

Most stories don’t need to include a botanical name. Just use the common name and add the cultivar if we have it.

  • ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum
  • ‘Little Spire’ Russian sage

Some plants have the same name for common and botanical uses; all these should be lc Roman.

  • aloe
  • heuchera
  • coleus
  • lisianthus
  • hosta

Botanical names

When needed in a story about plantings or a more technical story, we can give both botanical and common names. This will be needed only when mentioning a special, unusual plant.

  • Holywood (Guaiacum santum)
  • Christmas heliconia (Heliconia angusta)

The genus and species names may be followed by:

Subspecies: a naturally occurring, distinct variant of a species, indicated by subsp. in roman type. This is a higher division than “variety.”

  • Prunus lusitanica subsp. azorica

Varieties and forms: minor subdivisions of a species, differing slightly in their botanical structure. Indicated by var. and f. in roman type.

  • The pink variety of the Pacific dogwood is Cornus florida var. rubra.

Hybrids (or crosses): naturally or artificially produced offspring of genetically distinct parent plants. Use a Dimension X to indicate hybrids.

  • Viola x wittrockiana

Cultivars: selected or artificially raised, distinct variants of species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and hybrids. Cultivars will not come true from seed, so are usually propagated asexually by cloning. Denoted by single quotes, capped, no ital. If punctuation follows the cultivar name, the punctuation is placed outside the single quotation mark:

  • Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’
  • Echinops bannaticus ‘Albus’

Also, it is possible to have a cultivar of a variety:

  • Berberis thunbergia var. atropurpurea ‘Chenault’

Mix, Series, Strain: Multiples of a single cultivar. Put in single quotes as we do cultivars.

Trademarked plants

Put in single quotes as we do cultivars.

  • ‘Black Nebula’ carrots Stay dark even after cooking. ‘Silver Queen’ okra An heirloom variety from long ago.
  • With so many varieties of tomatoes to choose from, it’s hard to pick one. For hybrid varieties, grow ‘Better Boy’, ‘Big Beef’, ‘Pink Girl’, and ‘Celebrity’.

World Wide Web

Website addresses

Ideally, website addresses should be kept entirely on one line. In practice, this is not always possible. If it is necessary to break a website address, do so before a form of punctuation, such as a hyphen or period, or after a slash (/). Do not add a hyphen at the end of the line. This should help readers avoid misreading the address.

In body copy, captions, and other running text, drop the “http://” or “www.” before a website address unless the site will not load without it. Put the address in a typeface opposite that of accompanying text (for instance, italic type within roman copy) so the reader comprehends it at a glance. If the website address is in parentheses, put the parens in the same typeface as the address.
For instructions, visit the Carpet and Rug Institute’s website at
Check out
EBay ( is a great source for hard-to-find items.
The Stencil Artisans League shares information about techniques at
Illustrations lead browsers through suggestions at

In display type (cover blurbs, folios, heds, etc.), opposite typeface is not necessary.

Capitalization in website addresses

Treat Meredith websites as brand names by capitalizing before an extension (such as .com or .net) as appropriate. In body copy, captions, and other running text, they should also be set off in an opposite typeface.

Non-Meredith websites should be all lowercase through the extension.

Web address information of Meredith websites following an extension (separated by a slash) is not case-sensitive; for readability, cap each word, including articles and prepositions, after the slash.

Web address information of non-Meredith websites following an extension (separated by a slash) may be case-sensitive and should be lowercase/capped as indicated by the owner of the site.

In display type and other graphic treatments, key letters of Meredith website names can be emphasized with a type treatment other than caps—weight, size, or color, for instance.

Sentence capitalization rules always apply: The first letter of a sentence is always capitalized, whether it’s the t in the, the m in Meredith, or the e in eBay.

Capitalize names of sections within a website.
Click on the Bath Estimator to price flooring and cabinets.
You can save your work using the Projects Folder feature.

For capitalization, punctuation, and type treatment of blog names and podcast names, see Titles of Works.


In redirects in home design, garden, and food titles, avoid punctuation at the end of a URL. (added 9.17.14)
incorrect: For all downloads, go to
correct: Go to for all downloads.


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1. Use ™ or ® on Meredith trademarked names but no others. (The ™ notation means we are seeking or plan to seek trademark protection for that title. The ® notation means trademark protection has been granted.)

2. Use generic terms instead of trademarked names when possible.

3. Use trademarked names
• for products whose generic names are not easily interpreted or sufficiently informative.
• when needed for the reader’s understanding of what the product is, what it does, or how it’s used.
• for products that are unique (no other product can be substituted to achieve the same result).
Super Bowl is a good example of a unique product that is trademarked (by the National Football League, which vigorously defends its mark). Editorial use of Super Bowl is OK; commercial use of Super Bowl is not OK. (added 11/20/14)
correct: “At your Super Bowl party, enjoy mango mousse and play Advertising Bingo. Download our bingo PDF here.”
incorrect: “At your Super Bowl party, enjoy mango mousse and play Super Bowl Bingo. Download our bingo PDF here.”

We could get into trouble if our PDF was labeled Super Bowl Bingo because the bingo PDF is a product, which makes it a commerical use, not an editorial mention. A better option would be to label our PDF Big Game Bingo, Football Bingo, or Advertising Bingo instead.

4. When using trademarked names, capitalize them. Do not use trademarked names in boldface, italics, or all caps (unless they appear in a copy block of such).

5. If possible, include the generic term with the trademarked name on first use. Call the product by its generic term in the rest of the article.

6. Italicize Better Homes & Gardens when referring to the magazine but not when referring to the brand.

Sources for information on trademarks and corresponding generic terms:
1. Meredith Corporation Trademark Manual and Legal Department—for Meredith Corporation trademarks.
2. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (unabridged)—for correct spelling of long-standing trademarks and descriptions of products they represent.
3. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database—for recent trademarks, their correct spellings, and their accurate generic terms.


Common trademarks
Meredith trademarks

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Suffix -ed

Use -ed in a compound adjective when you’re describing modification to an existing object:
walnut-stained cabinets
a granite-topped buffet
The cabinets and the buffet were there before the stain was applied or the granite was placed.

When you name an integral quality, however, don’t use -ed:
nine-pane windows
a barrel-vault ceiling
There was no window until the panes came together. The ceiling was built as a barrel vault; it wasn’t built flat and then vaulted.

Note that this rule applies to compound modifiers. A single word in a similar construction often requires the -ed:
paned windows
a vaulted ceiling

Although -ed is dropped in many adjectives according to BHG style, several decorating words retain the -ed in order to maintain clarity. For example: striped, checked, and dotted. However, if used as a noun to describe a fabric or wallcovering, use stripe.
The curtains are available in a stripe or a check.

*No -ed (added 5.5.14)


Problem rules and words
Easily confused words
Suffix -ed

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