Friday, October 22, 2010

Interior design shock

At some point in history, US and Sweden went their separate ways in at least one field. That is the field of interior design.


While door handles are more common in Sweden, here in the States knobs are widely favored. They work just as well, and the generic American door knobs look nicer than their Swedish counterparts. Maybe if we had the really nice, old fashioned swirly kinds of handles.

Vacuum cleaners

Maybe not technically interior design, but close enough. Remember what the vacuums always look like in American movies? They actually are like that in real life too! Unlike the Swedish one, where it's the mouthpiece doing the vacuuming, the American variety's "mouth" is actually located underneath the main body itself. It's hard to reach corners and any surface smaller than the vacuum, but you can always use the hose. It works quite well, apart from being complex enough to fall apart now and then (the big glass thingy in the middle likes to fall out).

Typical American vacuum on the left; ditto Swedish on the right.


The American toilet is a completely different animal. To flush a Swedish toilet you push a button (or in some cases pull it upwards) located on the top of the toilet, smack in the middle. American toilets have a lever instead. Now, I don't mind the lever. What I do mind is the water level. It is just too high. Assumably it's high in order to avoid ugly marks, but what about the risk of accidental touching? Maybe that's why Americans are so fond of hand sanitizers.

Also when you flush, the water just swirls. There's no big crazy splash like on Swedish toilets. This is annoying, because that splash helps clean the bowl, and the toilet brush.

Carpet vs tile 

I think this varies a lot between different parts of this country, but here in Florida carpet is pretty popular. That is, a fitted carpet, wall to wall carpeting. Most people I know in Sweden consider that both impractical and ugly. Carpet tends to be light here though, and it actually looks good. It's really comfortable, too, kind of like having a huge bed all over your apartment. It doesn't matter if you don't have a big enough couch when you have people over, they might as well sit on the cozy carpet.


  1. American toilets are ridiculous. Only now have they begun to get options like flush control (one way for solid waste, the other for liquid, to conserve water, of course). But people are resistant to the fact because they immediately think "Low Flow" toilets that can't flush their matter effectively without leaving marks.

    ...maybe if they ate more fiber and went more regularly, it would no be a problem.

  2. I think our toilet is especially bad. But yeah, marks take two seconds to clean anyway!