When I moved into my first apartment, my default source for furniture and appliances was the great IKEA. With its quirky yet functional layout designated to ensure that we walk through every single display and compile a list of things we want and need, IKEA is probably one of Sweden's greatest exports for the young and financially challenged home dweller. The simple and clean aesthetic of its products is probably what draws me in the most - that no matter where I live, I will always find something that matches with my surroundings in some way, shape, or form.

Recently, I noticed that the IKEA I go to opened a food mart near the entrance which sells native Swedish foods. The packaging for these mimic the same streamlined look and feel that I've grown to associate with the country of origin. Created by the Stockholm Design Lab, the purpose of the design was to evoke a sense of what and how meals in Sweden are presented and eaten, bringing a resurgence of interest to the overall Swedish culture, and providing a glimpse into the personalities of the Swedish people.

Some might say that this is indicative of a very stark and cold society. I say that done right, minimalism is never spartan, but honest and pure.