Lotta Jansdotter was minding her own business, designing textiles, writing some sewing project books, raising a family... and some publisher decided to really cash in on her popularity by taking fans into her home.
I imagine her reaction. "My HOME? But I don't really do anything special with it. It's usually a mess. All my furniture is from IKEA. It's where I go to relax, it's not some kind of temple of style, and I am not a supermom."
"It'll make you a lot of money..."
"Okay, well I suppose I could tidy up a bit..."
I respect her other work, and do not require the people I respect to be across-the-board perfect. I resent this book for presenting this very forced vision of her as a homemaker to emulate. It has luscious photos and high quality paper, like a coffee table book, but the content is so mundane it's laughable.
One page shows how she has used space efficiently in her "tiny" 3-bedroom NYC apartment by putting up shelves on a wall. One of the handmade projects you can do is make a mobile out of the fuzzy beige floor protectors you put on the bottom of furniture. It is the ugliest mobile I have ever seen, so unnecessary and certainly not built to endure the test of time, but it is, I suspect, something Lotta had to come up with quickly and that was not in her home before the idea for this book came up.
Another idea that receives much page-space is that of putting drab flowers in glasses, and much is made of the fact that the flowers do not necessarily need to reach above the walls of the glass. No, indeed, they can be small and just thrown in there to cower weirdly at the bottom, and that can be beautiful. I want to go out and grab some purple clover and throw it in a drinking glass and put it on the table and see how long it takes my husband to say, "Honey? What the hell is this?"
And as if it wasn't enough for her to keep things clean and crafty, she should also be a great cook. So they put in recipes. On tear-out perforated cards no less. Because we all keep our recipes on little cards in index boxes, right? No? Damn, I could have sworn... No, the real reason the recipes are on perforated cards is to dupe poor readers into keeping this waste-of-paper of a book because hey, can't return it once the cards are punched out!
All in all, I like some of Lotta's other books, but I really don't give a crap what the inside of her house looks like, especially if it's as boring as this. It is honestly worth getting out from the library just to laugh at.