Jeff Lewis is a real-estate investor who flips houses in L.A. He is demanding. He’s a perfectionist. He’s impossible. He’s insane. But boy, is he talented. I love to see how he transforms these “tear downs” so they look like a million bucks (and cost even more than that!).
I think part of my fascination with it is that I worked for a “Jeff Lewis” once when I was a designer’s assistant. I know what it’s like to work for crazy creative geniuses who think they can scream, yell, and curse at you one minute and demand your love and loyalty the next. Has anyone else had a boss like that?
I would never want to work for one of these kinds of bosses again, but by golly, it sure is entertaining to watch one on television!
Here are some examples of the homes he has renovated on the show (I took most of the photos while watching the show, so they’re not high quality, I’m afraid). This is the house he’s been living in so far this season (referred to as “Commonwealth”):
Rooms from the “Valley Oak 1″ house, which is probably my favorite:
It’s really amazing to see how he transforms these broken-down houses completely. But what I may enjoy even more is his crew of employees. I can really relate to his long-suffering “executive assistant” Jenni since her job is so similar to the one I had for my Jeff Lewis:
In that photo from the opening montage you can also catch a glimpse of her husband Chris, who got promoted from “Trash Guy” last year to “House Assistant” this year. They audition for acting roles whenever they can get away from work long enough.
Then there’s the ever-patient and level-headed Ryan Brown, who is Jeff’s business partner (that’s him on the right):
Zoila, Jeff’s live-in Nicaraguan housekeeper may be my favorite, though:
Did you see the second episode this season when it was Zoila’s birthday and Jeff refused to give her the day off? “Who will do my laundry? Who will cook my breakfast?” he wanted to know. “Didn’t you get Christmas off?” (No, he wasn’t kidding.)
Ryan taught Zoila (whose English isn’t very good) to say, “Bite me, Jeff.” But she couldn’t get it right. She would say, “Don’t bite me, Jeff!” or “Are you biting me, Jeff?” Love her.
Jeff has to have everything a certain way in his house. For example, his assistants have to keep the exact number of Coffeemates lined up in a row in the fridge at all times with the labels facing forward. There is a certain number of each item that must be stocked. Look at all these olives!
I’m afraid I’m not doing this show justice, but if you enjoy watching interesting characters interacting with each other, it sucks you in. A new episode is on every Tuesday night. Tonight Jeff has a surveillance system installed in his house to watch his employees’ every move–because he’s paranoid like that.
They say he’s a kinder, gentler Jeff Lewis this season–are you buying it?
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