Knowing the price of everything but never the value of anything…

I think a lot of people, when they have kids especially, lose their minds a bit. It’s inevitable, really, as we get older we usually start making more money and can afford the things we wanted while still working our way up. Of course there are exceptions, the ones who grew up with money whose only struggle in life was to choose between their two favorite colors of any brand name bag they were eyeing at the time.

But for the most part we all sit and look up interior decoration ideas online, watch shows that inspire us and motivate us to make our homes more cozy. What we rarely realize while watching these shows is the amount of money that is thrown onto that project. Most of us have a finite amount of money and if we were to decorate our homes the way that media thinks we should we would be indebted for life. A nice vase for $5000 on a cute antique table worth $150000. It’s a pleasure decorating this home, the interior designer says. No prices are ever mentioned, of course, and it was all a bargain at some auction. And auctions are for the most part public, so I check the prices because I’m curious about what kind of a bargaing we’re talking about.

A bargain to me is something I get for less than my monthly income. A vase for $5000 is, to me, not a bargain and it sure isn’t a steal – as it was referred to in this particular show.

I look over at my IKEA couch and can’t help but wonder what the designers would say about it. How they would laugh and think “by God this place simply cannot be fixed up”.

I read a lot about interior design, it fascinates me – the combinations and the many styles that add up to one coherent look. But lately I have been kind of bored. Every interior designer does the very same thing, in Sweden anyway. It can be summed up with one word: KLONG.

I can’t remember if it was the “Äng/Meadow” vase or the “Gloria” candlestick holder that made its way into everyone’s home first, but it is everywhere. Paired up with the SKULTUNA candle holder “Feather” and/or “Celestial” preferably on a tray with some other knick knack that’s dictated by ELLE HOME.

I grew more and more weary of seeing the same decor in home after home. Page after page of the same items placed in different locations around the house. It got tiresome, that déjà vu of the same color schemes and items that were losing their charm with every turn of the page. MISSONI on every pillow and towel, the boring and boho- friendly zigzag pattern. A round SVENSKT TENN vase with the seasonal bouquet, on a Bruno Mathsson piece of furniture.

So I started wondering if the children’s areas were any better. Maybe I could get ideas for Erik’s play areas if I took a gander at what there was out there. And that’s when it hit me, when I opened page after page of white. A sea of white and gray, of aesthetically pleasing children’s toys in unison colors that all just blended into the crisp white walls.

What kind of a hell is this, I thought to myself. What happened to uniqueness, to ideas outside of the boring magazine frame. Is no one their own anymore? Sheeple.

It seems that to fit in you need to blend well with the wall, stay under the radar or go batshit and be above the radar. But maybe I’m dramatic for no reason, the middle is always scrutinized. I refuse the damn Svenskt Tenn bullshit, the seventies were stylistically fucked up if you ask me. I hate the color schemes, the patterns and the quirkiness that has now been reshaped to fit a more mainstream look. It’s been toned down, washed out and boxed so that it fits your wallet but leaves no space for life.

I’m done watching clean children sit on hardwood floors, afraid to spill and make a mess. Children playing in ball pits that look like something from a Mario Bros nightmare. I’m protesting the clean, sleek look as much as I am protesting bringing back the old crap we threw out and promised to never take back in. You keep your GANT satin sheets, I’m putting the cheapest ones from IKEA on. Granted the bottom sheet is satin, here too, but that’s because my mother made our bed (due to a herniated disc and sciatica).

I am done trying to look like one of the Stepford Wives. I am not you and honestly, neither is about 75% of you. You can keep your catalogue homes and your botoxed, filler- faces with those sun feather eyelashes and gel nails paired with hair extensions and any Gucci/Louis Vuitton- bag. I’m done. And terrified.

I need a cup of coffee and a cigarette, and maybe a ton of chocolate. I need to step outside of this situation and decide the direction I want to take our home in. But I promise you one thing, and one thing alone – it won’t look like something out of a magazine. It won’t be a museum, in stead it will be a home for me and my whale of a boy. Nothing else would ever do.

Look at him happily resting in cheap sheets.

Campbell of Sweden

Days of thunder…

I was worried, so yesterday we went in to the delivery room to check if everything was fine. Pudgy the whale had been unusually calm for a few days and for a baby that twirls more than a prima ballerina that was a deviation from the pattern and needed to be checked. 

Sure enough, as per usual, as soon as the midwife touched my stomach he started tumbling about and kicking. Which made the midwife chuckle a bit and pat me reassuringly on the shoulder. But, ever the professionals at the Karolinska hospital they still did a CTG scan which further confirmed that Pudgy was doing just fine and that he was in fact a douche since he kept kicking the paddles off of him.
But, I’d rather have him be a douche than still. But he took it upon himself to show just how well he was doing because for the rest of the day it was kicks upon kicks, twists and turns and punches everywhere. You know – to make sure that we knew just how well he was doing and how little he appreciated being touched by someone.

Outside of that the days are pretty calm, we’ve settled in to the new apartment. I keep adding and subtracting things, keeping busy and doing as much as is humanly possible before Pudgy makes his entrance into the world.


The kitchen is finally set up, as of last night. 


The living room is done too, even if I keep adding and subtracting a lot in there still. What needs a little bit more work is the bathroom and the hallway. The bedroom is still being shaped and moulded to fit my wants and needs. And we’ve (read Sean) even cleared our storage unit to fit everything that we don’t use.

It’s really shaping up to be a great place, but we still have to fine tune some details. Which is probably not that strange since we’ve officially lived here since May 1st. And I currently look like a whale myself.


But all’s well that ends well, it’s been said, and I firmly believe that to be true. So, now we continue our waiting and it’s 3 weeks at the most. The due date is Friday the 26th of May, and if we go over it will be an additional two weeks before they induce labor. I’m hoping he’ll find his way out before having to be evicted from his very first real apartment.

Oh, and we’ve settled on a name for Pudgy. His real name will be Erik, but his stage name will remain Pudgy the whale.
Mrs. Campbell