About Better Homes & Gardens

Who We Are

Better Homes & Gardens launched in 1922 in Des Moines, Iowa, as Fruit, Garden and Home by Edwin Meredith, who wanted a product that door-to-door magazine salesmen could offer the woman who answered. For one hundred yearsBetter Homes & Gardens has been stimulating creativity, delivering know-how, and sharing fresh ideas that you can make your own. We power your passion to live a better, more beautiful, and colorful life.

Better Homes & Gardens is a go-to resource for home ideas, food and recipes for everyday and special occasions, and garden know-how that can't be rivaled. Our early magazines dealt almost exclusively with garden topics, but as the years—and our name and logo—progressed, we've been busy adding to our encyclopedia of home helpers. We built a first-of-its-kind "taste-testing kitchen" in 1928, and by the 1970s, we had over 7 million magazine subscribers. We erected a half-acre test garden in the middle of Des Moines, Iowa, in 1998, and in all the years between filled our pages with ideas for elevating everyday living.

Beyond the page, Better Homes & Gardens continues to be a trusted brand for readers around the world, across various platforms. With over 13 million followers across social platforms, a newly launched podcast, The Better Buy, and the second largest licensed brand in the world (License Global), BHG is a leading authority on all things home. In addition to a robust real estate presence, our 20+ year collaboration with Walmart continues to offer a wide range of products (more than 3,000 items!) and in April 2022 we launched our first-ever collaboration with "Fixer to Fabulous'" Dave and Jenny Marrs.

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Our Team

Emily Manchester headshot

Emily Manchester

VP & General Manager

Emily is the Vice President and General Manager of Better Homes & Gardens and has been with the brand since January 2022. Previously, Emily operated as the Editorial and Strategy Director for several home brands at Dotdash Meredith, which included The Spruce, The Spruce Pets, The Spruce Crafts, and MyDomaine. She was a part of the team that launched the original Spruce site in 2017. Over the span of her career, Emily has worked on both editorial and SEO teams and has nearly a decade of experience in digital publishing. After work or on the weekends you may find her (re)organizing her kitchen or bedroom or trying new recipes that can be made with fun ingredients from Trader Joe's.

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Headshot of Food Editor, Sheena Chihak, RD

Sheena Chihak, RD

Associate Editorial Director

Sheena Chihak is the Associate Editorial Director at Better Homes & Gardens. When she's not writing about food, looking at food, or editing food content for work, she's probably eating (or exercising to keep it balanced). She can't say no to cheese, pie, whiskey, wine, kumquats, or a killer salad. Her go-to dinners are casseroles, skillet meals, or salads that let her put multiple food groups into one dish. Her food choices, and life choices for that matter, come down to variety and balance. Add butter and veggies, put in hard work at the office and travel somewhere new, work out regularly and get a massage. A registered dietitian, Sheena earned her dual B.S. degrees in dietetics and journalism from Iowa State University.

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Photo of editor Lauren Phillips

Lauren Phillips

Associate Director of Special Projects, BHG

Lauren Phillips is the Associate Director of Special Projects at Better Homes & Gardens. She has worked at The Spruce, Real Simple, and Coastal Living, among other publications, and has more than 5 years of experience working in print and digital media as a writer, editor, researcher, and fact-checker.

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Caitlin Sole headshot

Caitlin Sole

Senior Home Editor, BHG

Caitlin is the senior digital home editor at Better Homes & Gardens, where she covers all things home, including decorating and interior design, cleaning and organization, paint and color, home improvement, and more. She is a writer and editor with nearly a decade of interior design education and expertise. She has vast experience with digital publishing, including SEO, photoshoot production, video production, eCommerce content, print collaboration, and custom sales content. Caitlin graduated with a bachelor of journalism, with an emphasis in magazine editing, as well as a minor in textile and apparel management from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also received a multicultural certificate. Caitlin regularly attends trade shows and industry press conferences for market research and continued education.

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Sarah Martens headshot

Sarah Martens

Senior Food Editor, BHG

Sarah Martens is the Senior Editor overseeing food at Better Homes & Gardens. She has been with the BHG brand for over 8 years. A foodie to the core, Sarah loves to cook and try new restaurants. Sarah started her career in insurance, but ran a food blog on the side, Dine Des Moines. Previously, Sarah oversaw all holidays and entertaining content for Better Homes & Gardens where she was the go-to source for new craft trends (she's the mastermind behind marbleized Easter eggs) and sharing stories about traditional and emerging holidays.

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Viveka Neveln Headshot

Viveka Neveln

Senior Garden Editor, BHG

Viveka Neveln is the digital garden editor at Better Homes & Gardens and a degreed horticulturist with broad gardening expertise earned over 3+ decades of practice and study. She has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing for both print and digital media. Before moving to Des Moines, Iowa in 2019, she spent 14 years serving as an editor for The American Gardener magazine, published by the American Horticultural Society in Virginia. She holds a B.S. in horticulture from Iowa State University and an M.P.S. in plant pathology from Cornell. Viveka loves getting people excited about the botanical world and feels happiest with dirt under her nails.

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emily vanschmus headshot

Emily VanSchmus

Editor, BHG

Emily VanSchmus is an editor and writer who covers home decor, holiday inspiration, party ideas, and all things related to home. She has a degree in journalism and graphic design from Drake University, and has eight years of experience at Dotdash Meredith. In addition to writing and editing, she produces photo and video content for the brand, collaborates on social media strategy, and writes gift guides and commerce content centered around holiday inspiration. She’s a firm believer in celebrating all occasions, big and small, and believes the Christmas Tree should always go up November 1.

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Casey Oto headshot

Casey Oto

Visual Editor, BHG

Casey Oto is the digital visuals editor at Better Homes & Gardens, collaborating with the social, editorial, design, video, and product teams to create and produce visual content. She's worked in media and photo since 2009 for brands like Hearst, Condé Nast, and M.Shanken Communications. Casey graduated with a double BFA in photography and imaging & art history from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

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Paige Dorn headshot

Paige Dorn

Associate Social Media Editor

Paige Dorn is the Associate Social Editor at Better Homes & Gardens. She joined the BHG team in 2022, and before that worked for Dotdash Meredith overseeing Pinterest strategy for their home brands, such as BHG, Real Simple, Martha Stewart, and Southern Living. Prior to joining Dotdash Meredith, Paige worked as a marketing coordinator at a small e-commerce business. There she oversaw branding, graphic design, website design, social media, and online advertising for three different online retail sites. She has several years of experience with print and digital media and most social media.

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Bryce Jones

Bryce Jones

Associate Editor, BHG

Bryce Jones is an associate editor for Better Homes & Gardens and specializes in covering all things lifestyle. Bryce got her B.S. in journalism from Iowa State in 2020 and her MSJ from Northwestern University in 2021, graduating summa cum laude at both. During undergrad, she wrote and edited for her on-campus fashion and lifestyle magazine and worked as an apprentice for Dotdash Meredith brand Midwest Living magazine. She also belonged to the journalism honor society Kappa Tau Alpha and played in the symphony orchestra as a non-music major scholarship recipient all four years. While at Northwestern, she completed her master's project on social media's impact on ADHD diagnoses in women. Bryce recently began her freelance writing career with lifestyle publications like Cosmopolitan and The Knot, and she has worked as an editorial and production assistant since graduating.

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Editorial Policy

Our goal is to provide accurate, reliable, credible, engaging, and balanced information online for our readers. Our editorial content is produced independently and without influence by any advertiser or commercial supporter. We source our stories with information experts and they are written by experts in their fields. Online content is defined as text, articles, photos, graphics, audio, video, blogs, user-generated content (UGC), and links.

At BHG, we aspire to provide the highest quality content produced by humans, for humans. It is against our guidelines to publish automatically generated content using AI (artificial intelligence) writing tools such as ChatGPT.

Content Integrity

We are committed to the quality and trustworthiness of our content and editorial processes. Our team of writers, editors, and photographers rigorously researches and reviews all content on an ongoing basis to ensure it is up to date, accurate, and puts the needs of our readers first.

Original illustrations, graphics, images, and videos are created by internal teams, who collaborate with experts in their fields to produce assets that represent diverse voices, perspectives, and contexts. Periodic review by editors as well as by Anti-Bias or other Review Board members as appropriate, ensure the quality, accuracy, and integrity of these assets. Photos and videos are not edited in any way that may cause them to be false or misleading.

We correct any factual errors in a transparent manner and strive to make it easy for our readers to bring errors to our attention.

Read our full integrity promise including our policies on accuracy and corrections, fact-checking independence and impartiality, and originality here.

Fact Checking

As part of our commitment to content integrity and accuracy, Better Homes & Gardens has a team of experienced fact-checkers providing a vital layer of review on key articles. Each of our fact-checkers is carefully chosen and vetted for their research skills, journalistic integrity, eye for detail, and subject matter expertise. They confirm all statements of fact, statistics, and other data with reputable sources to ensure that the information in our articles is accurate and up to date.

Product Testing

Our team is constantly on the lookout for the latest products and brands to help you create a home that brings you joy. Whether we're scouring the internet for the best deals of the day, assessing new products in one of our three testing labs, or getting expert tips and suggestions on the best items for your home, our editors choose each product that we recommend with care.

We strive to be honest about the products we feature, highlighting what we love but also where we think they could be better. While we purchase most of the products we test ourselves, occasionally we receive items for free to test or sample. We never promise a positive review in exchange for a free product—we wait until we've tried it to decide if it's worth recommending to you. If you buy a product through a link on one of our pages, we may earn a commission through your purchase.

Diversity Pledge

BHG.com believes that individuals deserve respect, representation, and opportunity. We work daily to create content that elevates the voices of talented creatives and experts. We believe in telling personal stories and sharing the unique products behind those creatives and experts. Our goal is to constantly grow and evolve, and we strive for excellence as we help you make your home better every day.

We are committed to diversifying our contributor network to amplify BIPOC and LGBTQ+ voices, from writers and sources to illustrators, photographers, stylists, and freelance staff who work on our brand. We strive for inclusivity in our editorial coverage and are regularly updating our style guide to avoid problematic terms. We are regularly updating content such as old recipes and legacy home and garden guides and tours through a lens of cultural sensitivity.

Better Homes & Gardens Magazine

Better Homes & Gardens launched in 1922 as Fruit, Garden and Home. The magazine offered informative articles, cooking techniques, and contests. In 1924, the name changed to Better Homes & Gardens, and it was considered one of the "Seven Sisters" women's service magazines.

cover of BHG August 1924

Throughout the decades, BHG has branched out to cookbooks (the New Cookbook, affectionately called the "Red Plaid Cookbook," was first published in 1930 and has sold approximately 38 million copies), special interest publications, real estate, television shows, and more. The brand has been one of the most popular media outlets throughout the 20th century. Better Homes & Gardens is published 10 times a year with a rate base of 3 million. It was recently awarded the 2021 FOLIO Eddie Award for Best Consumer, Home & Living magazine for our Stylemaker issue. In a recent survey conducted by Furniture Today, BHG was named the #1 publication by respondents across all age groups who cited magazines as their greatest source of design inspiration.

Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen

The Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen has been in continuous operation for nearly 100 years (since 1928), developing and testing recipes for home cooks. One goal of the early “Testing-Tasting Kitchen” was to nudge the American public into a more scientific era of cooking, which included an overhaul of how recipes were written. Then and now, the BHG Test Kitchen champions a style of recipe writing that leaves nothing to chance to ensure recipe success. Today, all the cooks are trained food professionals with degrees in food science, food and nutrition, culinary arts, or dietetics. Together, the team tests more than 2,500 recipes each year.

green building in test garden
Jason Donnelly

Better Homes & Gardens Test Garden

The Better Homes & Gardens Test Garden has served gardeners nationwide since 1998 by providing garden-tested, firsthand information about plants, gardening methods, garden styles, projects, and ideas. Our learnings in the garden inspire articles in print and online and the plants are featured in our photography and social channels — check out our social feature “What’s Blooming?” on Instagram and TikTok for an inside-the-Test-Garden look at what’s flourishing. 

Within the 22 different garden spaces are hundreds of perennials, trees, and shrubs, plus a changing palette of annuals and bulbs. To test plants and offer fresh ideas, the garden changes every year. Arbors and trellises are replaced with new designs; old plants come out to make room for new ones. The Test Garden holds plants that are not yet available from nurseries or garden centers; if these plants prove to be good performers, BHG is ready to tell you about them when they first come to market. BHG’s former garden editor Mark Kane had the original vision for the garden, and since its very first day, the BHG Test Garden has been helmed by Sandra Gerdes and she’s been running the show for 25 years.

Our Editorial Teams

Our editorial and leadership team is comprised of experienced editors and experts in their fields including food, home design, gardening, and more. At Better Homes & Gardens, we hope to fuel your creative ideas and help you bring them into reality. 

BHG.com Editorial Staff

SVP & Group General Manager, Home & Design Mélanie Berliet
General Manager Emily Manchester
Associate Editorial Director Sheena Chihak, R.D.
Senior Editor Lauren Phillips
Senior Editor, Home Caitlin Sole
Senior Editor Sarah Martens
Editor, Garden Viveka Neveln
Social Editor Jennifer Aldrich
Associate Social Media Editor Paige Dorn
Visuals Editor Casey Oto
Assistant Editor, Home Emily VanSchmus
Editorial Assistant, News & Special Projects Bryce Jones

Executive Director, Video Cait Knoll

Better Homes & Gardens Magazine Editorial Staff

Vice President, Editor In Chief Stephen Orr
Creative Director Jennifer D. Madara
Executive Editor Oma Blaise Ford
Managing Editor Greg Kayko

Home Editor Amy Panos
Style & Design Director 
Jessica Thomas
West Coast Editor/Gardens 
Miranda Crowell
Senior Editors 
Katy Kiick CondonMonika Biegler Eyers
Associate Market Editor 
Lauren Bengtson
Editorial Apprentice 
Halee Miller
Test Garden Manager 
Sandra J. Gerdes

Food Editor Jan Miller
Senior Editor Emily Teel
Editor Katlyn Moncada
Assistant Editor Erin Hooker

Features Editor Diana Dickinson
Health & Features Director 
Amy Brightfield

Design Director Stephanie Hunter
Deputy Art Directors 
Jarret EinckLori Sturdivant
Associate Art Director Maggie Goldsmith
Senior Graphic Designer
Libby Petersen
Photo Editor 
Holly Pruett

Copy Chief Angela K. Renkoski
Senior Copy Editors Erika Bjorklund, Martha Coloff Long, Madelaine Jerousek-Smith
Production Editor Cindy Murphy

Recent Press

Our editors share valuable insider tips and tricks every day. Here are some of our editorial team's latest features in national media. For press queries, you can reach us at  bhg.press@dotdashmdp.com.

LIVE with Kelly & Ryan: Spring Gardening Tips

The Today Show: Shop These Award-Winning Products for Cleaning Your Home

The Washington Post: How to replant tulips and mulch madness. Your garden questions answered.

The Today Show: Dolly Parton is the latest cover star of Better Homes & Gardens

CBS Sunday Morning: Better Homes & Gardens marks 100 years

Domino: This $279 Walmart Bouclé Chair Made Us Do a Double Take

The Today Show: Products that give back to breast cancer charity: Self-exam butter and more

Good Morning America: Everything under the sun to maintain that healthy glow

PEOPLE.com: ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ celebrates 100 years with cake covers from Ina Garten, Padma Lakshmi and more

Entertainment Weekly: The biggest pop culture moments of 2022

Apartment Therapy: Better Homes & Gardens color of the year will inspire you to think pink

Business of Home: Stephen Orr wants to make a home magazine for all of America

The Associated Press: Simple steps toward reducing waste this holiday season

Live with Kelly & Ryan: Go Green Week: Composting 101

Des Moines Register: No ‘mussy, fussy’ in the Better Homes and Gardens’ Test Garden, just thriving plants

About Dotdash Meredith

BHG.com is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family, an operating business of IAC.

Dotdash Meredith is the largest digital and print publisher in America. From mobile to magazines, nearly 200 million people trust us to help them make decisions, take action, and find inspiration. Dotdash Meredith's over 50 iconic brands include PEOPLE, Better Homes & Gardens, Verywell, FOOD & WINE, The Spruce, Allrecipes, Byrdie, REAL SIMPLE, Investopedia, Southern Living, and more.

Dotdash Meredith Press 

Read about Dotdash Meredith and our family of brands in the news.

Meet Our Senior Management Team 

Learn more about the Senior Management Team team behind Dotdash Meredith.

Terms of Service

Better Homes & Gardens is a Dotdash Meredith brand, owned and operated by Dotdash Media Inc. and its affiliates. Access to and use of the Site is subject to our terms of service (“Terms of Service”).

Read our Terms of Service.

Privacy Policy

We take online privacy seriously and we respect the concerns of our community of users. We may collect information, including personal information, directly from you if you choose to provide that information. In addition, when you access the Site, we and our third-party partners may automatically collect certain information about you and your visit, including personal information, using tools such as cookies, web beacons and other similar technologies. We may use the information gathered on the Site for various purposes, including responding to inquiries and to serve content and offers to you based on your interests and online activities.

Read our complete Privacy Policy

Contact Us

Do you have something you'd like to share? Whether you have a comment, need help, or have an idea to share, we look forward to hearing from you: bhgeditor@dotdashmdp.com.

You may also mail us a letter at: Better Homes & Gardens, 1716 Locust St, Des Moines IA 50309