Features 35 Flipping Out
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Features 35 Flipping Out

In Issue 35

Flipping Out

 


The third season of Bravo’s hit series, “Flipping Out” returns with everyone’s favorite obsessive-compulsive house-flipper, Jeff Lewis. The economy has taken its toll on his business, but if anyone can figure out a way to flip things around and go from chaos to clarity, it’s Lewis, one of Los Angeles’ most colorful creative renovators and real estate speculators. I was happy to be part of a phone interview with Jeff Lewis and his assistant Jenni Pulos that was filled with laughs and honesty.

 

What do you do when you can’t flip a house?

 

Jeff: I was paralyzed last year when I realized in this economic climate I could not buy properties to flip. After much soul searching I went back into design and remodeling which means I have to work for other people, which is really not my favorite thing to do.

Jenni: Jeff’s coping skills are really being put to the test.

Jeff: Yes, that’s true, and I have had a lot of therapy.

Jenni: Actually I have had a lot of therapy also. The only guy I am really dating these days is my therapist.

 

What are your plans for the near future?

 

Jeff: Currently there is no financing in the larger homes so I am going to start picking up as many small properties as I can and then flip them into larger ones.  Basically I have to get back to my roots. Until I get to that, my clients are benefitting from all the tricks I have learned over the years. A lot of people are dressing their houses up to sell rather than renovating them.

 

You seem to have a family dynamic with your staff. Do you feel that way?

 

Jeff: Well I have a small office, only 6 employees so its important that people get along and personalities mix together. As you have seen from the show we have a lot of employee turnover; sometimes by my doing and sometimes on their own. But we are a close knit group and we do hang out socially.

Jenni: There really is no choice but to become a family.

Jeff: Jenni and I even share a computer and a desk.

Jenni: After 7 years I should have my own desk.

 

It seems like people’s perception of you has changed. Do you agree?

 

Jeff: After season 1 a lot of people disliked me and after season 2 a lot more people understand me. I am a perfectionist, but at 6:30 I make martinis and we have fun.  I don’t like being the bad guy, but nice only gets you so far.

Jenni: You will see this to be true more this season. By the way, I have a lot of respect for Jeff and how much he puts into his work.

Jeff: When I got sick this season and Jenni had to take over I think she gained a lot more respect for me and what I do.

 

Do you like what you see in yourself?

 

Jeff: It’s a work in progress because I never really like what I have seen. I am in a quest to be happier.

Jenni: Reality has put a microscope on things that would not normally play out so quickly.

Jeff: Having the crew around also puts me more on edge because they bang into things and bang my walls, and as I said earlier, I am a perfectionist.

 

Some people think the show and what you do is unethical. What would you say to those people?

 

Jeff: We take homes and make them much better. We are not doing swap shop work and trying to con people.

Jenni: Watch this season and see how much Jeff saves his clients money.

 

What’s the biggest argument you guys have had?

 

Jenni: Watch this season!

Jeff: I think it was last season with the camera situation. It was definitely the biggest hurdle we ever had to get over. I did what I had to, but I definitely understand why she felt betrayed.

 

Are you paid for the show?

 

Jeff: Yes, I am paid quite well.  I would not do it otherwise. I am certainly not into the fame or notoriety.

 

Are either of you dating anyone?

 

Jeff: I am dating someone now. The relationship is young but it is going quite well. I think because of my personal growth I am drawing in a different type of man.

Jenni: As I said before I am dating my therapist…LOL!

Jeff, are we going to see your new beau on the show this season? Jenni are we going to see any of your dates?

Jeff: He is not comfortable with the cameras, and besides it has nothing really to do with the show, so I keep that separate.

Jenni: You see me talking about all my failed dates.

Jeff: The show is really about the workplace, and not outside of it.

 

Define the perfect guy.

 

Jeff: A smart guy with a sense of humor.

Jenni: I want a guy who is interdependent and wants to be with someone, not one that has to be with someone. Oh yeah, and a good sense of humor.

 

Catch Jeff and Jenni and the whole crew in the third season of Flipping Out every Tuesday at 10pm on Bravo.

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