Jeff Lewis has been designing, remodeling, and building homes for more than two decades. One major difference from others in his field is that much of Lewis’s professional process and the drama that can come with working on a home has been filmed for our viewing pleasure over the past 15 years.
Lewis, 52, first made a name for himself in both the home design industry and the reality television scene with his hit series Flipping Out, which ran on the Bravo cable channel from 2007 until 2018. These four years later, Lewis has returned to television, where he continues to work around Los Angeles providing the desired “nips and tucks” to his famous celebrity clients’ homes on Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis, which is now streaming the entire first season on Amazon Freevee.
On his new reality series, Lewis works on the homes of stars like Anthony Anderson, Fortune Feimster, Ashlee Simpson Ross & Evan Ross, Lamorne Morris, Roselyn Sanchez, Wilmer Valderrama, Melissa Rivers, and Mira Sorvino. So, in what ways is Hollywood Houselift different from the setup on his previous series Flipping Out?
“The show today is a little bit more project-focused and client-focused,” Lewis tells me about Hollywood Houselift. “There is a little bit less pressure for me to expose my personal life to the level that I did in the past – that to me is a relief. Yes, there is some of my personal life, but it’s really client and project-focused.”
Speaking of his personal life, Lewis took on his most important project in 2016, when he decided to become a father to daughter Monroe via a surrogate with his now ex Gage Edward. So, how exactly has life changed for Lewis since becoming a dad?
“When you have kids, your whole day becomes consumed and revolves around the kid,” Lewis continues. “For me, I like that my priorities have shifted. I feel like I have a purpose. I’ve joked about it before – until then, all I did was think about myself. I really do feel like I have someone I am working for. I am building multiple businesses for my daughter and to secure her future and to secure our future. It has really provided this purpose that I never thought I would have and it’s incredibly rewarding. I think my daughter is recognizing that both her dads work very hard to provide and although she is a bit spoiled, she is understanding we work for these things. They’re not just given to us.”
Another difference for Lewis with Hollywood Houselift, compared to his former TV life, is the size of his team. These days, his core home designing group of associates include his Jeff Lewis Live SiriusXM radio co-host Megan Weaver, Tyler Meyerkorth, Andrew Coleman, and Lewis’s reliable sidekick Shane Douglas.
When discussing with me the benefits of his Jeff Lewis Design company now focusing on a smaller number of a clients, Lewis says, “I could probably service five clients at a time by condensing my office and really focus on those five clients. The problem is when you have a small business and you have 20 clients, no one’s ever really happy because you can’t ever properly service anyone when you have 20 clients. When you have five [clients], you can give them the best possible service. Rather than looking at the gross numbers, I was looking at the net, so even though I grossed less money now, I net more.”
With Hollywood Houselift finding its home on Amazon Freevee, which rebranded last April from IMDb TV, it has joined the endlessly expanding trend of video streaming options available at our fingertips today. Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, the co-heads of content and programming at Amazon Freevee, expressed with me their satisfaction surrounding the public’s response so far to Lewis’s reality series on the new streaming platform:
“Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis brings equal parts drama and comedy into our unscripted slate through Jeff’s stunning interior design work balanced with his brutally honest, and often hilarious, perspective on home renovations. The show has exceeded our expectations and we’re lucky to have Jeff and his loyal fanbase as part of our Freevee family.”
With all 10 episodes of the first season of Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis now streaming on Amazon Freevee, I was curious how Lewis looks back on this whole season one experience and if he has any interest in returning to design more celebrity homes with a possible second season.
“I feel like I’m in the right place at the right time and I feel very fortunate that this opportunity was presented to me when it was,” Lewis continues. “I would like to see this go several seasons. I love the show, I’m happy with the show, people seem to be enjoy it. Amazon has already asked the production company for a budget for season two, so I thought that’s pretty encouraging. I’m pretty confident that they would greenlight it for another season.”
As Lewis looks ahead with Hollywood Houselift, his Jeff Lewis Design company, and Jeff Lewis Live on SiriusXM, I asked the evolving businessman what advice he would give to his former self, the Jeff Lewis who was first starting his Flipping Out series in 2007, unaware of the fame and the life experiences that would soon follow for him.
“That’s a really good question. I’m just trying to think if I would do anything different. I feel like I’ve learned so much over the past few years. Unfortunately for me, I have to see myself on TV in front of a national audience to get the lessons I needed to learn. I’m one of those people that kind of have to experience it myself to learn the lesson. I had some issues and I learned a lot about myself and I grew up during those 11 years of Flipping Out. I don’t know if I would do anything differently. I don’t know if Jeff Lewis was evolved or self-aware enough. I had to go through all of that to get where I am today, so I don’t think I would have even listened to myself. I was going to have to go through it all anyway.”