When we walk around Ikea, I always stop to admire the little display rooms, those mocked up apartments, kitchens, bedrooms. So perfect. Everything has its place and nothing out of place.
They are fictions from a magazine, not real rooms. Despite the thousands of people that pass through each room, where is the detritus of living? Where are the projects-in-progress, the scattered papers, the book left off the shelf? Where are the snacks left on the kitchen bench, the notes by the telephone, the random photos of life? They are hotel rooms before the arrival of their guest.
Yet I find myself wanting those tiny rooms, where the furnishings are complete and not a neverending quest for the perfect item. Rooms without clutter, despite the fact that I am a source of that clutter. Miniature houses with a minimum of space to look after. Is a simpler life a happier life?