Sunday Scrapbook: If My Life Were An Ikea Store

I love Ikea. For those of you who don’t have an Ikea nearby, it’s basically a Swedish-based home furnishings and decor store (with a few cinnamon rolls thrown in) that gives you the ability to have very modern design at very affordable prices (we’re talking lower than a K-Mart blue light special). It’s a leader in environmentally-friendly business practices and has been named one of the top 100 companies to work for by Fortune.  Our huge area store feels like it’s having a grand opening all the time even though it’s been open for six years– still filled with customers, still long lines to check out. But in spite of all its sleek, inexpensive stuff, don’t the Swedish titles for everything sometimes bug you? I mean, at Ikea, it’s not a laundry hamper, it’s “Peva”. A measuring cup is “Fläckig”; bathroom mirrors, “Tranby”.  Which is all fine and good, but after awhile, especially if you’re tired and cranky from having kids in tow when they’re too old to go to Småland (that’s Ikea-speak for the in-store play area), it can all come across as a little snooty, a little bit much.  It’s like “let’s make our products seem fancier than they are by putting strange titles on everything, and remind everyone a billion times over, WE’RE SWEDISH, DAMMIT, AND WE’RE COOL– TOO COOL TO CALL A TOILET BRUSH  A TOILET BRUSH WHEN WE CAN PUT “GASGRUND” OR “LILLHOLMEN” ON THE TAG! (And who knows what those words really mean? They could all be playing one big joke on us doofus Americans– “Lillholmen” might just mean …well, you fill in the blank…) I guess it’s all just marketing genius, though, as Ikea is the largest and most successful furniture store in the world.

But still, sometimes I want to tell them to take their SLOM and shove it up their HEMNES.  Like one recent morning when I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before, and Andy got up early and drank all the brewed coffee before he left the house and I had to reach for our $3 bag of  BRYGGKAFFE MELLANROST and brew my own. ‘Hah!’ I thought. ‘I’ll brygg your kaffe all right, and then I’ll go see if my teenager has cleaned up her Krapandstuf (bedroom)…’

Wait…what if everything in my life was Ikea? Might look something like this:

                                                          (my dogs)

                                                                  (my desk)

                                                           (my 206,000 mile minivan)

                                           (my husband, the salsa lover)

                                                 (my darling daughters)

For more fun with Ikea, check out the “Swedish Furniture Name Generator” at
.  It instantly converts any word to Ikea-speak– and even generates a furniture drawing and item number to go with it!  Also, for an interesting look at the real why and how of Ikea names (almost as fun as learning about the hidden Mickeys at Disneyland), check out the section titled “Product Names” at

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