Words matter, and the right one is priceless. Have written about ’Staging’ (vs ‘preparing’- several times, in fact), but today let’s re-think ‘de-personalize’.
‘What do you know about Home Staging?’ is how I start out my Home Staging classes.
‘De-personalize’ usually come up right away. Asking what that means, the answers come less quickly, are usually self-deprecating (‘No one else will appreciate my fine taste in ___’) or quietly sad (‘No one cares about, or wants to see my family’).
There is nothing constructive or positive about it. It’s sweeping and un-specific, finding fault without offering a solution, and sounds judgemental and arbitrary to the homeowner. YET I know removing personalization is a truth to getting a house noticed and sold. Well, at least a partial truth.
Very personal personalization in a property for sale is never a good idea-it distracts buyers, and can provide buyers with way TMI regarding the sellers and their circumstances, information that could be used against them. BUT-less really is less, and a flat, pale space void of warmth or character isn’t received well, either.
People sell for all sorts of reasons, but in buying-and yes, even in downsizing-there is always the desire for a better place, and hope for happiness. The secret to successful Staging in Westchester County is to attract, touch, and engage buyers in very real ways, in ways they do not expect. The Refreshed Home champions RE-PERSONALIZING a space, here are some ways how:
Clever looks for and demonstrates value:
Has the patio/deck looking good now, and keeps it in shape til the first snow: Patio furniture scrubbed and out, grill ready to go, even buying a fire pit to extend living space.
A desk in the corner of the family room-away from the TV< but near so a parent can multi-task.
Dresses up the garage or basement by cleaning and painting the cement floor
Aspirational points to all the things that could be, in this new house:
Kitchen accouterments that support visions of cooking adventures and healthy eating: specialty/vintage cookbooks, herb plants, colorful legumes in glass canisters
Good books add soul and character; who doesn’t want to be smarter, or yearn for more time to read?
Color-ordered closets with matching hangers: almost magical, a sophisticated, unexpected luxury
Whimsical adds delight. It makes people pause, smile, and feel good.
A live goldfish
A puzzle, or poker game in progress
Really cool-colorful, sexy or fun- toss pillows
Knowing who the buyer will be is the Realtor’s job; knowing how to attract buyers (and other agents!) is mine. Some sellers have a pool of suitable items, but many don’t; accessory shopping, and accessory rental have consistently been the fastest-growing segments of The Refreshed Home’s business. NEXT: Accessories and Home Staging: Little Things Make Big Things Happen.
Welcome back to Word of the Week! Using the same words all the time because they come easily are lost opportunities, each and every time.
When you use a truly right-but maybe unexpected-word, listeners really hear what you say. They can connect on a different level, and you elevate yourself, and the conversation.
I love the power of ordinary, but under-used, or forgotten words for SO many reasons; so for the New Year I am re-focusing on this series of powerful words and this Word of the Week is CONSTRUCTIVE.
Today, it was every sixth word used in press conferences to describe the deal-making machinations that were going on regarding the Fiscal Cliff. Spot-on in any negotiation situation, but PERFECT for the housing industry-think of all the parallels: Reconciling opposing needs and often strong beliefs, the mix of many personalities, MONEY, and delays (with simultaneous deadlines!)-so that each side is satisfied. CONSTRUCTIVE is common ground.
Positive and non-inflammatory, it’s a buffer word. Both neutral and a sign of engagement, it doesn’t tip anyone’s hand, or tell you anything specific, other than both sides are still talking, trying to work things out. CONSTRUCTIVE finds what is agreed-on, and builds on it.
An adjective, CONSTRUCTIVE is defined as ‘serving a useful purpose, tending to build up. Also-helping to improve, promoting further development or advancement’. It can dial things down, and it’s a great choice to bring sides closer to center, without sounding judgemental or prissy.
CONSTRUCTIVE keeps its eye on the prize, and focuses on completing a task-NO WONDER The Refreshed Home likes it so much!
After a bit of hiatus, Word of the Week has returned. SO many good, underused words out there, SO little time, so getting right to it, this Word of the Week is RESPONSIVE.
There are several reasons I like this word. RESPONSIVE is quick, and positive. There is focus. It’s also more thoughtful, then reactive.
RESPONSIVE doesn’t pander, and it’s not about flattery, either. Meriam-Webster says it’s a reaction that is quick, appropriate and sympathetic-exactly how I want to be treated as a consumer. As someone who takes great pride in running a service-based business, this word represents most everything I want people to know about how I run my business.
Last, this was written while awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Sandy…I am hopeful few will find themselves in need, but ohso grateful for those who extend themselves, who put themselves in harms way, for the safety of others.
Communication skills are one of the things that set us apart in in life and business; vocabulary is one aspect.
Unexpected words elevate the message. They add interest and nuance, and help the message be heard more effectively.
I personally love using familiar, but under-used words; and new words, but only with a light hand, and if it reinforces the topic at hand.
But thesauruses can be predictable, or over-reach. Which is why I am so excited about finding this new (to me) online resource.
OneLook Reverse Dictionary lets you describe concepts, and it shoots you out 100 words to consider, in order of relevance, with links to its definition so you can see if it’s the fit you were hoping for. Words from other cultures, too…in my own searches for re-working my marketing materials Mensch, Fiduciary, Mahatma, and Saoi came up. Take a look, and be inspired!
The right word clarifies and elevates the message, as well as the speaker. Good speakers know the right words engage, and bond their audience to them, as well as their message. I have chosen SHEPHERD as this edition’s Word of the Week (click here to read others).
Have been contemplating this word for a while. It’s a powerful word, with many parallels to the relationships in the home-buying and home-selling process. SHEPHERD is both a noun and a verb, and I like both these applications.
As a noun, the original shepherds were focused, vital and duty-driven. Humbly, they did the tough and unglamourous stuff. Tedious and constant at best; difficult and dangerous at worst.
They were responsible, going face to face with whatever came along. Protecting those who could not protect themselves, they found the lost, while guiding the group, getting them safely to their destination.
As a verb, SHEPHERDING is a noble, yet under-appreciated skill. There is movement…transition, or passage. There is vision, compassion, and a sureness of knowing what is right involved in shepherding; faith, trust, calm and comfort replace fear, agitation and misgivings in the hearts of those being shepherded.
And if that weren’t enough, underneath it all is a kind heart, possessing a deep affection for those they are entrusted with. Anyone else good with that?
FAQs is an ongoing-series that revisits, and answers questions I hear most often, in 400 words or less (click here to read others)
At face value, Decorating and Staging are visual entities. But trust this Westchester County Home Stager and Decorator: they deal with a lot more intangibles than you may think. Helping my clients untangle and clarify the difference between COST, VALUE and WORTH adds perspective and confidence to their decision process.
Let me first share one of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein: “Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything that can be counted counts.”
I suggest my clients think of COST as something they actually choose to part with, to get something else. You make a trade that you think will benefit you. It’s temporary, a means to an end. COST could be money to pay for something, time or energy you give up to get something done. It’s qualities like privacy and freedom, in exchange for getting your house sold; or peace and quiet while you go through renovations, or updates in your house.
VALUE and WORTH are similar: both very personal, but different in degrees.
In my mind, VALUE is an advantage…a perception, a characteristic, it’s what makes something a good-or better choice. VALUE is the fufillment of a need, or a wish.
It can motivate, clarify a decision, or be the hoped-for result when COST is involved. Homeowners will remodel, or update their space so they can use or enjoy it more. Sellers understanding their potential buyer pool will highlight features that will appeal to the needs-or dreams these types of buyers will have.
WORTH, on the other hand is really a conclusion, even an action. WORTH takes value a step further, it’s a decision about COST vs. VALUE.
For example-a serious buyer would find WORTH, and choose to pay more for a home that was freshly painted over a similar home in need of a paint job…or the COST of an air conditioner -weighed against the VALUE of a good nights’ sleep on a steamy summer night would lead many to conclude it’s WORTH (like the credit card) was just PRICELESS!
There are so many effective words out there to choose from, but like our favorite jeans, out of habit, we can just keep reaching for the same ones over and over again.
Word of the Week series is not about overly scholarly, out of reach, or unfamiliar words; it’s about re-discovering words we all know, just may have forgotten about. Words with character, words with presence, words that add nuance. Words that can make us more effective communicators. Words that may become our new favorite words. This word of the week is COMPELLING.
I love this word!! Officially an adjective, because it is all about inspiring strong action I nominate it for verb status as well. it’s defined as “… evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way…not being able to be refuted…inspiring conviction. NOT ABLE TO BE RESISTED”. REALLY! How cool is it to be the one who has a COMPELLING point of view, or presents a COMPELLING option?
COMPELLING is THOUGHTFUL. It creates an intellectual discussion. What I really like about this word is that it’s about ATTRACTION…not persuasion, not coercion, and not hype. It brings others in. It is FORCEFUL, but NOT STRESSFUL.
COMPELLING affirms DUE DILLIGENCE has been performed. It intimates you are drawn to a certain action or conclusion by careful deliberations. Perhaps even against your emotional will? In fearful or uncertain times, that is a mightly powerful sentiment.
Came across this picture this week, and after the initial giggles-yes, the cold ocean waves of the Cape are always are on my mind this time of year-I really looked at this photo.
WOW, what an amazing illustration of an internal process .
Approaching the edge of something new, or a big decision, we are unsure. We retreat…dance around it…maybe do a one-eighty. Maybe a few times. We’ll observe, re-group, and re-approach.
Defined as inconclusive, hesitant, or lacking resolution, indecision doesn’t feel good. It’s psychic energy hitting a wall. Effort without movement or resolution. Unlike thoughtful consideration, or a quiet pondering-indecision is less about the decision, and more about the fear and uncertainty surrounding it.
Like a paralyzing fog, it rolls in and holds you captive, occupying your brain, making you feel miserable and stuck. Indecision is probably the #1 factor behind procrastination.
A truism in sales is that an objection is just a question that has not been answered yet. I would extend that, and suggest that in many cases, indecision is fear that has not been addressed. All that “HOME” represents, all the choices out there, and the current market have created a perfect storm of sorts for many homeowners. Helping clients sort things out, and see their choices clearly so they can get on with their lives is rewarding, and productive for both of us.
Acknowledging you are in it is the first step to getting out of it. After that, an activity to distract or shake up the mindset-like working out, or seeing a movie can help. Sleeping on it works for some. Looking for, and at the fear helps others.
Despite The Refreshed Home’s creative nature, I am a fairly analytical thinker. Asking clients ‘what is the worst that could happen?’ and have them either either write down, or verbalizing the scenarios deflates a lot of the what-ifs, while adding perspective.
As I get older, I am more and more aware of how fleeting , and precious time is. Time spent going round and round in that hamster wheel of indecision is time forever lost. Recalling a quote I read once by German artist, playwright, politician and philosopher at large Johann von Goethe is what nudges me out, every time:
Unusual words thrill me, but words that sound like what they mean have a special place in my heart. This Word of the Week comes courtesy of former Governor Ed Rendell, and his new book, A Nation of Wusses.
In the book, his point is that America’s leaders (politicians) have lost the guts to stand up for who they are-not acknowledging what they know to be true, because it will ruffle some feathers.
“WUSS” is a word that Rendell has a fondness for. In a TV interview, he explained….he had called the Philadelphia Eagles “wussses” when asked for comment about their cancelling a football game when there was a forecast of 11 inches of snow. His response was that this is what football was, you didn’t cancel if because of bad weather, that it was ‘further evidence of the wussification of America.’
Word of the Week is not (overtly) political, but the application is universal. Don’t we all know someone who tries too hard to be all things to all people? Who bends over backward to avoid the elephant in the room? Who sugarcoats because they can’t bear the unvarnished version?
Easier, softer ways may buy you time, or get you “A” job, but ultimately they do not get you the best results. As a Home Stager, I choose a kind way to pursuade a client why they need to take pack away the wall-to-wall photos of little Bobby and Susie (both, now in their 30s)… but if I ignore or dance around it, it’s just more pain, and one more conversation to have in a few months when the house is still unsold.
WUSS is a bold word, but not rash or reckless. It’s not a flattering word, and certainly not an accolade; more of a nudge or a goad, but perhaps a rallying cry. WUSS is used by confident people, who have a vison of greatness for the future, at a time when they believe it can happen…how cool is that??
It happens to us all…we’re busy, short on time, and like shopping on December 24th, we grab the first thing that makes sense and lets us get going.
But wonderful words are all around us. Words that add dimension and clarity. Words that elevate the conversation, and make for better communications. I love the power of a good word, and that was the inspiration for this series.
Word of the Week has been a regular feature for some time, but fans (and DONNA-you know who you are!) will know there have been several weeks without one. Part of it was issues with IT (and TIME), but for the most part, these last few weeks I have been living today’s word: TRANSFORM.
I love this word, and it’s derivative, transformative.
It is a verb with chops: “To make, or undergo a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character”.
It’s CHANGE, but TRANSFORM focuses on the subject-the personal experience-rather than the predicate-the change, or event of change- itself.
TRANSFORM is uber-personal, and can be both an internal process, as well as an exterior manifestation.
It sounds magical-and thanks to Hollywood, it’s pretty much seen as a positive force in most demographics…evil Decepticons excluded, of course.
TRANSFORM is a PROCESS. Helpful to remember, as ”during” doesn’t often feel magical-in fact, it can feel downright crappy. During troubled, stressful or difficult times, it’s a great word, a really helpful reminder, to TRUST your instincts, and to be CONFIDENT in your pursuits.
TRANSFORM I think is best evaluated, most understood and appreciated-in hindsight.
To me, TRANSFORM is about HOPE and PROMISE going in, PATIENCE during, and GRATITUDE on the other side. And FOR TODAY, am so glad to be on this other side! Have a great week everyone, and (DONNA!)-see you next week with a new Word of the Week!
The Refreshed Home is all about making a space work better for the people who use it. Together we make good plans and wise decisions, so you can get on with your life. If your space, your stuff, or your mindset is holding you back, read on-or, better yet, call me and we’ll talk.
A well-chosen word will engage your audience, and allow you to communicate more effectively, and economically. This is an exciting prospect, so every week I pick, and ruminate about a normal, average word that I think is under-appreciated, this week’s word is BELIEF.
BELIEF is an umbrella word: it encompasses opinions, thoughts, hopes, fears, wishes and superstitions. A belief can come from experience, gossip, tradition, information or instinct.
It’s a conviction, an acceptance, a certainty. A belief can be inferred from another’s’ actions, or passed down from another generation. In polite conversation, it’s a way to differentiate another’s opinion from fact.
But at the end of the day, it’s a personal, internal entity that guides external actions.
Some realities may drive a belief, a belief is not necessarily tied to a result, or a reality, in many cases they just exist: Because the NY Giants won the last two Super Bowl matchups with the NE Patriots, one might be led to BELIEVE that Eli Manning is the best QB in football today. Unless one was from Boston, that is. Or Green Bay. Similarly, BELIEVING the health benefits of eating dark chocolate puts it on par with having a salad will not make it so, no matter how fervently I might believe it can.
Respecting the right to an individual’s belief system is part of MY belief system; but in business, remember: I am typically called into a job because someone’s belief is not working out so well: No, buyers will not be impressed by your vintage red flocked wallpaper…maybe lime green is the color to go for in PILLOWS, not the sofa….yes, spend the money to get a LICENSED electrician to install that new lighting….
What if I found out that their mom-who recently passed away-always loved red flocked wallpaper. Or perhaps they didn’t think lime green in pillows would add enough pop. Maybe their son’s friend is ‘handy’, and they don’t know the law, or how to say no?
Knowing, and understanding the ‘whys’ behind these beliefs allows you to understand the their actions, the first step to helping clients find solutions that will work.
A singular word can be very powerful. Doesn’t have to be extraordinary, either. There are SO many words available to us, sometimes we don’t hear them anymore. That’s one of the reasons I do this series, to focus on all that a single word can be. The word I’ve chosen this week is QUIET.
Instinctively, the first images that come to my mind are harried parents, or a library. Both cases admonishments, a forced condition. But today I’d like to ruminate about QUIET as A CONCIOUS CHOICE.
In a career-in a life-heck, in a WORLD where you get ahead by the number of connections, and degree to which you are connected to them all, QUIET would seem to be counter-productive. It’s hard to turn off the noise, and slowing down the flow of adreneline feels awkward.
Years ago I was having a conversation about meditation…actually, I was doing most of the listening, I just didn’t get it. Still remember the look on her face when I said based on her description, didn’t see any difference between that and sleeping!!
QUIET is a DISCIPLINE. Talk and activity fills time and space, and QUIET is about LISTENING, and BEING OPEN. Open to others, open to ideas, or just open to whatever is waiting in the wings, that you might not have noticed because your head was full of noise.
Professionally, I know I can get to the heart of the matter with someone sooner when I am quiet…people tell you the most amazing things when you let them!!
Sometimes quiet is confident, but sometimes it is fearful, but I think it is always about suspending your inner noise, and having trust or faith is someone, or something outside yourself. At the very least, QUIET brings me back to center.
It’s not an accident that this word came to me today, during this special, solemn and joyous shared holiday weekend of Passover and Easter.
In my personal life I am not a big joiner of group activities. Partially because my schedule doesn’t really permit it, but sometimes I just really like doing things myself.
One of my semi-annual rituals in recent years has been helping physically prepare my church building for the Easter and Christmas holidays. Now, because I’m a decorator, you might be thinking I’d be placing flowers and hanging wreaths and such. It’s be a logical guess, but it’d be wrong.
Father Tim works with Mary Ann and Catherine Amodio (of the most amazing third-generation Amodio’s Flower and Garden Shop fame) and their staff, to make the magic happen. Me? I vacuum after. YUP.
After the church is fully and beautifully decorated, I show up and vacuum. The mindless, repetitive motion, as well as the white noise of the vacuum clears my mind, while making conversation all but impossible. This ‘quiet’ time in this beautiful peaceful space takes me out of the stupid stuff every time.
IF you are observing anything this weekend, I wish you a glorious time of it. If you are not, may you find and enjoy some quiet on your own. And as always, thanks for reading.
People seem to remember more of what you say, and are even more interested in it. I love the sense of novelty, and the power words like this add, and this week’s word is FOLLY.
Heard at a to-the-trade forum at last week’s Architectural Digest Home Design Show; it came from Miles Redd, an NYC Interior Designer by way of Atlanta. The topic was the influence travel has on design, and since his most memorable trips were to England, it was a perfect word-I was immediatley transported.
Almost impossible to mumble or butcher the pronunciation, there is a crisp, yet light-hearted bounce to it.
As entertainment (Ice Follies, Folies Bergere) it’s a wink and a nod to the theatrical: the glamorous, the over the top, the silly and ridiculous-this was where Miles was coming from.
But it’s also an offhand disapproval; a dispassionate dismissal. A civilized, genteel-sounding put down, you’re humoring someone’s fantasy. It’s a noun, and defined as both silliness and foolishness, a lack of sense, understanding or foresight, even madness.
In mid-evil times, a Folly was an allegorical character in plays and artwork, a young man, usually looking like a Jester on tarot cards.
BONUS! It’s also a useless but showy, over-designed, highly decorative structure. Quite common in 18th century English gardens, on the grounds of many castles in Europe…and Westchester McMansions of the 1980s-HA!
What I really like about this word is that it’s a great way to register your opinion without it being a body-blow…in fact, it’d be a great choice when you have to disagree, and need to de-sensitize the situation as well. As in, it’d be pure folly to expect top dollar for your property without doing all you can to properly prepare it for sale.
The right word makes me hear things differently, and remember them better. That’s why I started this series, to bring words already on our radar screens into better focus. (Click here to see the others)
I was at a community meeting earlier this week, and the speaker used this word several times in describing a process of gettinggood things done, and it really resonated….so Word Of The Week is ALIGN.
It’s a verb in the truest sense, and most of the definitions are just as short and straightforward as you’d hope any process would be.
Essentially, it’s putting/arranging things into their correct order. Parts (components, PEOPLE! thoughts) are adjusted so the proper and best orientation (position, RELATIONSHIP! result)- is achieved.
It’s PROACTIVE. It looks at and considers all the elements, and the focus is on how they can WORK TOGETHER. Big, loud, or “tradition” does not figure in here, BIG-PICTURE and BALANCE does.
It COORDINATES different elements, many working parts of some sort. It’s a STRATEGY TO SUCCEED.
There is NO JUDGEMENT, just OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT so a pre-determined GOAL or IDEAL is met.
When teeth are aligned, they-to their roots-brought to CENTER, to establish a solid foundation for long-term oral health. When wheels are aligned, they maintain the best contact with the road, and ensure optimum performance from the vehicle.
When people are invloved, there is TIMING and TRUST to consider. ALIGN CALMS and DE-SENSITIZES. It changes the focus. Same-league baseball rivals UNITE for the All-Star Game every July…more immediately for bragging rights, but bigger prize is home field advantage for the winning leagues’ team in the post-season.
The Refreshed Homes’ solutions for staging clients ALIGNwith comps, the Realtor’s pricing and marketing plan, the local market, and the sellers’ needs, goals resources and expectations.
ALIGN, for the most part FINDs A MIDDLE… but it is not weak, or compromised. STREGNTH comes from a conciously balanced core, where all energy is directed FORWARD.
Lastly, I think ALIGN involves CHOICE. At the end of the day, nothing is taken; a decision is made to do what it takes to move to the GREATER GOOD.
I like this word so much I could not wait until Saturday to share it! Have a great week, and see you next Saturday for a NEW Word Of The Week!
The Word Of The Week series came about because sometimes it is just so effective to have a different or unexpected word to say, or to have a refreshed meaning breathed into an old favorite.
This week’s word is CONFIDENCE.
Regular readers know I’ve had a lot of changes going on in my life lately…some circumstances, some people, some thinking processes. It created some doubt and uncertainty.
Confidence is the result of experience. It is sure, but not boastful or arrogant. You own confidence. It is cellular, not topical. It is willing to ask, and to try.
Confidence knows what it can do, but keeps its eyes open as well. There is an element of peace and self-acceptance in confidence. It’s very personal, it knows it is the best it can be. Often I ‘discover’ I have become confident about something in my life after the fact, when I speak or act differently than I have in the past.
Furthermore, confidence cannot occupy the same space as fear or anxiety.
In recent weeks have found confidence is a lot quieter than I used to think it was.
In fact, I think the more you have it, the less you have to talk about it.
I love the power of the right word.This series came about because time and time again I noticed how well the ’right’ word conveyed an economy of thought, while saving your from a bunch of wrong, and mediocre words. People seemed to ‘hear’ things differently-BETTER! It also clarifies and elevates things in my own mind.
The Word Of The Week is RE-CALIBRATE. From the verb CALIBRATE, it’s a powerful, and extraordinarily scientific word. It’s goal is PRECISION and ACCURACY. It is MEASURED and SPECIFIC; there is nothing casual or fleeting about it.
One web definition is ‘to make fine adjustments’, another is ‘ the act of checking or adjusting the accuracy of a measuring instrument’. My favorite-and most compelling is ‘ adjust (experimental results) to take external factors** into account or to allow comparison with other data’.
CALIBRATING involves HONEST APPRAISAL, then A GOAL. It looks at and evaluates all the elements, conscious that their WORKING TOGETHER , each at their peak, is critical to the SUCCESS of the whole.
All in all, you are acknowledging the need for change, and the desire to be the best. It is about moving forward, towards something bigger and better. By extension, RE-CALIBRATE means you are doing it again; it also signals your commitment to it being part of your long-term plan.
Usually there is a time-out involved. In the late 70′s and through a good part of the 80′s, the GM plant here in Tarrytown was pretty much round-the-clock, save for the occasional…well, they called it re-tooling. Things wore out. Changes and improvements were implemented to keep up with market demand and expectations. See where I’m going here?
Our brains are the new assembly lines.
My brain is the most valuable commodity I have access to. My business is not ‘small’. My thought process is every bit as precise, even mechanical as that assembly line.
Success in these times-for both my clients and my business-depend on the components of my business being just as finely attuned to each other as any well-made, manufactured, tangible product.
In the last few months, as the refreshed home entered it’s fifth year, I became increasingly enamored of this word. Encouraged by feedback and results, I am making changes to take me to the next level, everything from a new business vehicle, to updated marketing and websites and improvements.
I remind myself, as well as my clients that re-visiting, and further defining/refining is always uncharted territory, it can feel vague and uncertain. Factor in the afore-mentioned **external factors of this market, and OHYES, you’ve got real stomach-acid potential. BUT-with RE-CALIBRATION on our side, be reassured it is part of the process, and we will all be better for it.
Recently, the Words Of The Week have been principled, substantial words: Advocate, Ungapatchka, Trust, Ask, Engage…(click here to see them all) it’s time to mix it up, and have some smiles, so this weeks’ word is SWOON.
SWOON is fun to say. Try it in a normal tone, with a straight face. OK, now try it again. See what I mean? Can’t say it without engaging your whole face. Sometimes other parts, too. Sounds better that way.
The original meaning really surprised me: in the 13th century it was to faint, to lose consciousness; or to enter into a state of hysteria, or ecstatic rapture.
Back then,intense religion, superstitions, or things like bad living conditions, including poorly ventilated structures, voluminous and restrictive clothing of the time may have all had a hand in nudging excitement and emotion across the line to lightheaded-ness, and collapse. Imagine, what if a couple of too-tight corsets and some bad cod was really what got the ball rolling in Salem MA!
Today SWOON has a positive connotation. It’s demonstrative and emotional. A few steps beyond being happy, but not soover the top that you scare children.
Yes. A short burst of no strings attached, unconditionally HAPPY and EXCITED that leaves suspicion and cynicism at the door. For the moment, a SWOONER is totally engaged in being happy.
SWOONING makes you feel good. It’s also fun to watch a SWOONER; and best of all is to be SWOONED-UPON, or SWOONED-ABOUT. Maybe that should be the refreshed home’s new tag line, Prepare to Swoon?
I love how Google images puts current culture perspective on things. Search for SWOON and top of the page you get a Brooklyn street artist, a serious Kate Spade pump, various baked goods and lots of Twilight characters.
In design, you do your best to read the client. Taste is so subjective, but it is your job is to come up with something unexpected, that they will immediately love. HA! Think about that, almost as hard to do as saying SWOON with a straight face! But it happens, and I love it!
On this magnificent, light-filled February day, what is SWOON-WORTHY in your life?
Welcome back to Word Of The Week, where random thoughts are shared about a word that has resonated for me during the week. This week’s word is ADVOCATE.
From the early 1300′s, the Latin advacare to summon, to call to one’s aid; originally legal counsel. It’s a strong, substantial, grown-up word. Both a noun and a verb, it involves speaking for, and acting to protect the interests and welfare of another.
An advocate is CONFIDENT , and PRO-ACTIVE. They are more PASSIONATE than a spokesperson, and more LEADERSHIP-ORIENTED a supporter. It will takes doing a task well to a more personal, even on-going level. Advocates rarely punch a clock.
As an advocate for my clients, I navigate waters with contractors and vendors, even their in-laws and nosey neighbors!
Being an advocate is often part of the job, like your CPA handling funky notices from the IRS. Sometimes it is a directly paid position, usually in the government-like a consumer advocate. Politicians can advocate for a certain cause, that would be part of their platform; advocates that are paid to influence legislation are called LOBBYISTS.
Most advocates I believe, walk among us, unnoticed during everyday life. Everyday heros, they are volunteers who by their words and deeds help create, and support a better life for different segments of society. Every day of the week, volunteer EMTs and firefighters save lives, and property.
In our lifetime others have created events, images and organizations that have become institutions: think telethons and walk-a-thons; a library of colored ribbons, each with a cause; M.A.D.D, Special Olympics, and Susan G. Komen.
Advocate is a great word to show someone how much you care.
I love the right word. And I am absolutely crazy over this one. UNGAPATCHKA.
In fact, can’t believe I didn’t choose this for the inaugural word for this series.
One of my customers introduced it to me many years ago. Yiddish, it means exactly what it sounds like. Too much of anything, in an un-pleasing way. Inappropriate, over-the-top, not necessary. Even boring. Channeling Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (while ruling on another matter), you know it when you see it.
Often done well, and entertaining in a specific time and place, it’s way outdated in another. We’ve all seen this done in different applications.
the refreshed home is all about getting things done in the most direct way possible, but prefers there to be some smiles along the way. ENJOY, but if these ring a little too true, we should talk soon.
First, SNL’s beloved Phil Hartman as a lovable chef with issues.
Then this delightful clip, originally posted on a really funny blog, Jewish Humor Central pretty much nails it.