The Refreshed Home, Defending Your Life, Er-House

Roger Mucci, an online pal from Active Rain created this contest for it’s members…inspired by the Academy Awards, he challenges members to pick their favorite movie, and draw a parallel between that, and some part of your business. There have been some great entries so far, but here is my choice.

In 1991 Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks starred in a sweet, wise, and poignant movie called Defending Your Life. Quick set-up: It’s modern-day LA, and  Daniel Miller (Albert Brooks’ character) meets a sudden demise.  In a blink, he finds himself riding on a tram, in a place that is a cross between Disneyland and Club Med. It’s Judgement City, where eveyone goes after they die.

The premise is we get numerous lifetimes to work past our defects, and evolve to our highest calling; and at the end of each lifetime, the life is examined, and one’s progress is evaluated. And oh yes, while awaiting his own evaluation, Daniel meets, and falls hard for Julia (Meryl Streep), who is also there to have her life evaluated. Despite the serious subject matter, it’s a clever comedy. REALLY.

Without giving away too much of the plot (seriously, you have to see this movie!) the parallels to home-selling, and to my  business are many.

Judgement City is the house being on the market-strangers evaluating it, is it good enough to move on (be sold)?  As Daniel is questioning, rationalizing, defending and agonizing over his various actions-or inactions-I see homeowners re-living their past decisions; as he is sweating out the process, trying to figure out what is the ‘right’ thing to do or say —you guessed it, sellers as they wait for offers, contemplate price reductions, or negotiate.

One of my favorite scenes is early on, where Daniel’s ‘advisor’, Bob Diamond (Rip Torn) acclimates Daniel to his new surroundings and the process, and explains the affect of fear-it strikes a chord, every time.

Meryl’s Julia is a wonderfully relaxed and evolved person. She is genuine, happy and at peace with herself. She enjoys most everything about every day, including one of Judgement City’s best perks-great food, that you can eat all you want and not gain weight. 

She is delightfully un-self-conscious, and not above giggling at herself. Last, she also cares very much for Daniel.  Sees the good, understands the fear, respects and accepts him, while allowing him to come to him own realizations.

This business brings out my inner Julia. On the days I don’t feel like Julia, I aspire to be like her, and to share that with clients… yes, even without the -all you-can-eat-without gaining-weight-thing. 

Most everyone thinks the main focus of Stagers and Decorators is on THINGS.  While there is nothing inherently wrong with THINGS-having them, or wanting them, they are just vehicles.  The Refreshed Home believes that for all that a home means, and does for us, there are larger considerations.

Genuinely good design does not exist in a vacuum, it has got to serve the people who use it and live with it. Sure, there are basic principles, but guiding someone to their best choices does not involve any one standard, one look, or a price point.  Like Julia, The Refreshed Home is big on what is real and what makes you happy; on peace of mind, and on getting past the THINGS that hold you back-so you can truly enjoy your space….like Julia is enjoying her pasta in this clip.