Just when you thought it was safe to breathe...the sixth season of Bravo’s docu-series Flipping Out returns at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Demanding designer Jeff Lewis continues to be more centered on interiors than house flipping, but he still manages to turn the lives of everyone around him upside down. As Lewis wrestles with a growing business, new staff members, crazy clients and a renovation of his own, his life is becoming a mess so big not even his faithful maid, Zoila, or trusty assistant Jenni Pulos can clean up. We caught up with his frenetic self on a recent conference call:
What’s up with the newest cast member Andrew?
Did you ever see that movie, The Talented Mr. Ripley? This is part two reality version. In that, you know, we had him in our house for like three or four months before we realized he really wasn’t who he said he was. So that was a little concerning and scary.
The show has changed a lot. You started out flipping, now you’re doing design work. Throughout that, you’ve kind of mellowed.
After you watch this season, I think you’re going to probably change your mind on that. I think it directly relates to my stress levels. I took on a lot this past six to eight months and it really affected me and I think that there’s a lot of flip outs. I felt very out of control and I think it has a lot to do whenever I take on too much risk or – and I just have trouble dealing with too much stress. I actually think that I kind of regressed.
You once told Andy Cohen his office looked like an upscale dorm room that “lacked sophistication.” When did you develop that level of confidence?
I don’t know if it’s confidence because I actually am a very insecure person. So, I think it’s almost like a lack of some sort of filter. And I just feel compelled to tell people the truth and I just can’t stand phonies. Like, if you ever get a compliment from me, I mean it. Now, does that get me in a lot of trouble and are there consequences? Yes. But, I just prefer to live my life in an honest way. Andy – the things that I criticized him about... there’s a very immature quality to him, which also makes him extremely fun and charming and likable.
You kind of took on a role as wedding planner for Jenni. Is that a talent you could see yourself pursuing, maybe even doing a spinoff show instead of ‘Interior Therapy’?
Let me tell you something. I became a wedding planner not by choice. I was concerned. Jenni had taken on so much and there were so many decisions that were being made that were just wrong, that I stepped in and I think I did a good job at getting things organized and changing the direction and it turned out to be a really beautiful wedding. [But] I never want to go through it again. If Gage and I ever can legally get married, we’ll elope because Jenni has ruined me basically for any wedding from here on out.
How is everything going with your boyfriend Gage [Edward]?
We bought this house and we undertook a humungous remodel that required 2,500 decisions, at least. We butted heads; he wanted one thing and I wanted another. It’s amazing how much stress a remodel of this scale would put on a relationship, but it did. Financially, I swear to God, it’s like every time I turned around it was another $5,000 here, $10,000 there and $12,000 there, just when I think the budget was under control. I took it out on Gage and I blamed him, even though it was 50 percent my fault. I can see why couples break up over this stuff.