Pulos: Ironically, I think we’ve gotten closer. Our friendship is better than it’s ever been because we had to bond during this time, to not only help these people but also if we had to come up against them when they didn’t want to make changes.
Lewis: We had to be united in this project. It really did strengthen our relationship. And, you know, it was a long shoot. It was six months. And I think we became closer during this whole process.
Pulos: I do, too. And I think Jeff was forced to grow as a designer. Ten weeks, ten different canvases. We had to implement these people’s things. And what you’ll see in these reveals is you see people’s things staged when we come in, and then you see them placed in the home after Jeff has come in and redone it and it’s beautiful.
How much time did you have to figure out what you were going to do with these people’s homes?
Lewis: A lot of people in this genre… they pre-prep. Meaning they know what house they’re doing and they have months to buy furniture, wallpaper, window coverings. The day that we moved in is the first day that I saw the house. Here’s the problem: I have to furnish that house in about 48 hours. Everything I buy has to be in stock. Try finding a dozen dining room chairs in stock—I was driving all over the city looking for these things.
Considering how stressful that must have been, you actually seem more calm and centered on Interior Therapy. Have you changed that much from the demanding boss we’ve seen on Flipping Out?
Lewis: I don’t think I’ve really necessarily changed. I think maybe you just get to see a different side of me. In my day-to-day life I’m juggling anywhere from a dozen to 20 clients. But when I’m forced to sit at one place for a week and just focus on one family alone, then, of course, my guard comes down. You’re going to see me less stressed because I don’t have to worry about the other 11 clients at home.
And, really, because it’s focused on five days of shooting with one family, you’re going to watch me get to know the family, the family get to know me, and then you see a different side of me. When you spend so much time with one group, you do become connected and you do start to care. Now I’m not going to say I liked everybody, but there were a few families that I really was rooting for. These people had problems—it wasn’t just about the design. And I really became like a champion for them, and I really cared about them.
Some of them—not all [laughs].
Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis debuts Wednesday, March 14th at 9pm on Bravo. Photos: Tommy Garcia/Bravo