Home BlindnessWhen we no longer see the flaws (or strengths) in our homes, we reach a state that the Swedes call “home blind.”

Home BlindnessWhen we no longer see the flaws (or strengths) in our homes, we reach a state that the Swedes call “home blind.”

“Home blindness exists in the murky realms of abstraction, somewhere between tacit knowledge and the past tense”

The old adage that chores pass unnoticed until they cease to be done neglects those segments of the home—certain surfaces or corners, perhaps even entire rooms—that remain untouched and untidied, shielded from scrutiny by some sort of force field or invisibility mirror.

Drawers, by their very nature, get full; things, as they tend to do, pile up. “Oh, it still works if you…”, one might say about a door handle that requires an elaborate, secret handshake to open. Or, “You get used to it” is muttered to excuse the rattle of an AC vent, as if it were a particularly interfering aunt about whom people say, “Take no notice—that’s just her way.”

The Swedes use the word hemmablind to describe this phenomenon, which translates roughly to “home blindness.” It means adapt...

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