On Bravo’s “Flipping Out,” DIYer/designer Jeff Lewis was known as the real estate-savvy rehabber with a plan to fix up houses and resell them for big bucks. The fallout from the real estate market meltdown means the slightly OCD Lewis is now more into redoing spaces for clients to actually live in. That process often involves brokering design deals between husbands and wives, kids and parents, etc., a process he documents on his new show, “Interior Therapy With Jeff Lewis” (Wed., 9 p.m., Bravo).
Is bad decor a sign of a bad relationship?
Decor can be a good reflection of where someone is in life. I can walk into a house and tell if someone is depressed. If things are neglected in their house, they are usually neglecting something else in their lives.
What do you do to help people make their spaces and lives better?
It sometimes takes shaming or shocking people out of their unhealthy slumps. Sometimes it takes convincing people to clean up their mess for their kids.
The show implies there is often a decorating imbalance in marriage. Why is that?
Well, there needs to be compromise in interior design as well as in relationships. Often the wife has all the say. I’m there to help people mix their styles. And fortunately, right now, we’re mixing styles in a transitional way. The days of committing to a particular style are over. You can shop and take a little of what he likes, and a little of what she likes, blend it together and both people can be happy.
What’s the biggest decorating mistake people make?
People go into a showroom and buy the sofa on the floor without measuring. It should take you a while to make a big purchase. People tend to buy too much furniture or things that are too big for their rooms.
You’re known for being blunt. Can clients take it?
Yes, I am forthright. People know not to ask me a question if they don’t want the truth.
Does working with an interior designer have to be pricey?
No. If you want to remodel a room, you don’t have to hire a designer for the whole thing. You can hire one as a consultant for a couple of hours, and they’ll tell you what to do.
What quick fix will make my place look better in a day?
Remove 30 percent of your things, and put in a lot of live plants, trees and flowers. It’ll transform things.
Any favorite secret sources for design items?
I’ve been shopping a lot on flash sales like Onekingslane.com. They have great ideas and good products. Web shopping means you can get a lot of work done in very little time.