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Where There's a Moat, There's a Way
Lisa and Adam are a newly married couple who live in Beachwood Canyon in a castle...complete with moat and armor. Adam’s father Chuck built the castle in the mid-1970s. His father died five years ago, and everything seems to be in medieval time warp. Adam is king of this castle. Jeff describes it as "an eleven thousand square foot sh—box."
One man's treasure has not benefited from years of neglect. Taste is subjective, and Adam's late father Chuck and Jeff are worlds apart. Tasteful and tacky are in the eye of the beholder. Nothing in this residence has passed the Jeff Lewis Taste Test. The Princess Room, once occupied by Adam's sister, like most of the house is worn and sad. Adam is the last one living in what was once his family home. Lisa is frustrated by Adam's unwillingness to update or change in any way. He talks about his emotional attachment to the house and as a person "change has always been hard."
This brings Lisa to tears understanding how much pain this causes him. Jeff's frustration increases with Adam's reluctance. He is geared up for an all-out attack on what he sees as a dilapidated disaster. Jeff sits them down with a minimum of patience. "You need a space for both of you... more of a normal life for a newlywed couple."
Zoila sees the moat and says it reminds her of a cartoon. It seems no one but Adam has anything good to say about this tribute to the Middle Ages. Lisa says she is a big fan of change and wants to close this chapter and start a new one. Jeff tells Zoila she has a week to clean the house and delights in her horror. Frank the contractor is speechless "but not in a good way."
Jeff says it is because he cannot believe he is seeing so much bad taste crammed into one space. With every new discovery I can't help thinking I am on the set of Game of Thrones. "Living in clutter is not OK it ...it kinda will eat you alive," says Lisa, who feels liberated by donating. The sounds of renovation rock the castle walls. Lisa's cheer "moving on ... moving on" is heard along with Adam's, "If I look I'm gonna get sick."
Jeff's sister-in-law Carrie, a top real estate agent, is brought in to help them price the house. There is a disagreement regarding the value of the property. Carrie thinks it's just the land value and that isn't currently what it was. At some point Jeff has to give his opinions of this place a rest. Negativity just makes it harder to visualize improvement. "Downer" is not an ideal start point. Adam and Lisa have had enough of Jeff's criticism. Feelings were hurt and this is discussed while we go shopping for the new space. Lisa wants a full-length mirror and threatens Jeff with a Jerry Springer smack down when he wavers. She needs it to check out her dance moves and gives us a demo. I cannot resist joining in on the action.No more brown on brown as Lisa is a colorful personality and Jeff wants the house to reflect her. Lisa tells Jeff she wants Adam to sell the house and move on... planning their future and family. Jeff thinks the remodel will be a step in that direction. Adam is letting go of many of his father's possessions. Keeping Chuck's memory alive is not about things. Zoila finds the house in general and the large suit of armor in particular scary. The penis sculpture belonging to Adam's dad sets off Jeff's internal alarm. Adam stands firm -- the wooden schlong stays. Clearing out the clutter, Adam begins to see the problems he is facing. "I didn't realize how bad it was."
Donating his dad's clothing, Adam feels will help him "release part of him in the house."
"I am starting to understand I can let go." That is something we thought we would never hear when we started. Thirty seven years with one house is something Jeff admits he does not understand. Jeff realizes he has been "too harsh ... mishandled the situation ... made too many quick snappy judgments."
Needed Mood Alteration: Time to Put on a Show. Lisa, Zoila, and I costumed to the max. This house has everything… We bust some moves. When the audience puts their hands over their eyes, is it a bad sign? Jeff thinks we should take our shameless act on tour. Their outdoor deck, with a gorgeous view, is where Adam gets a deserved apology from Jeff. "I felt bad that I hurt him... I should have waited a few days before I made all my judgments." Adam was gracious and focused on how Jeff and I brought up issues that helped. Jeff tells him these are things he and Lisa can discuss further at the hotel. Lisa sings with one of her two dogs as they depart.
At the hotel Adam tells Lisa he is now thinking of selling the house. When they return for the reveal, I think they should be blindfolded. Lisa gets her mirror and there is wallpaper on the ceiling. "I love this floor. I honestly love the room. I love the new room!" Music to Jeff and my ears.
Lisa does a handstand ... we chest bump and frighten the dog. Don't miss this one!
NEXT WEEK ON INTERIOR THERAPY
When a child rules the roost, design goes out the window.