Jeffrey Thomas Lewis was born in Orange County, California on March 24, 1970. He graduated from Mater Dei High School in 1988 and later attended the University of Southern California and Chapman University where he graduated as a pre-law and political science major in 1993. "My dad wanted me to be an attorney", he told Locale magazine. "My dad had a big influence on me. He is a very had worker, very smart and adaptable. I never knew anything else. It was the norm to work late, to work weekends." Lewis lost his mother to cancer when he was just 18, and thus grew very close to his housekeeper, Zoila Chavez, often referring to her as a "surrogate mother."
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Soon after graduation, he began working for a real estate agent which sparked a passion for interior design. His most famed enterprise, Flipping Out, debuted July 31, 2007 on Bravo. The show focuses on Lewis' house renovations and interior designs, as well as his personal life. Also featured on the show are his project manager, Jenni Pulos Nassos, and beloved housekeeper, Zoila Chavez. A spin-off, Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis, also aired on Bravo for two seasons beginning March 14, 2012. Flipping Out was nominated for an Emmy in 2014.
Lewis started his own design firm in 2009. He designed a "Kitchen of the Year" for the magazine House Beautiful in 2010 which was showcased at the Rockefeller Center in New York City. In 2013 he launched "Jeff Lewis Paint", in 2015 he added a line of rugs, and later added mosaic tiles and barn door kits. His products are available exclusively at The Home Depot. His design company and services can be seen at http://www.jefflewiscompany.com. He is also the Creative Director for Alder & Tweed Furniture.
Jeff credits his obsessive-compulsive disorder with making him a millionaire. "OK, I have a mental affliction", he told Psychology Today. "But it's an asset. My perfectionism sets my product apart." He states that it's not a new development. "If my parents didn't give me separate plates for my chicken, mashed potatoes, and spinach, I would get visibly anxious and wouldn't eat anything", he said. Much of the drama on Flipping Out derives from his attempts to control, organize, and perfect everything in his path. "I realize that I can be hard to be around", he admits. "Everyone doesn't think the way I do." He has spoken openly about his obessive-compusive personality on The Doctors, Dr. Oz, Dr. Rachel, and other media outlets.
Lewis was previously in a relationship with Ryan Brown, who was also a business partner. Jeff reportedly ended the relationship when he discovered Ryan using Jeff's name and business reputation to benefit Ryan's own benefit, rather than their mutual advancement. Jeff accused him of "professional identity theft" and "false advertising". "I don't have any proof", Lewis admitted, "but I really believe that the intention to take business was there." Brown moved on to form his own firm, Brown Design Group, with partner Diego Monchamp.
Lewis is currently dating his business manager, Gage Edward, and the couple had a baby, Monroe Christine Lewis, via surrogate on October 25, 2016. "At 4:22PM today, I grew up", he writes on Instagram. The birth was featured on Bravo's Flipping out, and the surrogate, Alexandra Trent, was shown on several episodes. However, eight months later in June, Trent filed a lawsuit against the Flipping Out producers for filming her without permission and making "disgusting" comments on the show.
"This is like a blow to the head", Jeff responded. "We are completely blindsided by this. We are just devastated. I thought we had a nice relationship, a friendship. We treated her like an extended member of the family. So you can imagine this is pretty stunning." He told People Magazine that he and his partner "couldn't be more grateful to this woman."
In September of 2018, as the 11th season of Flipping Out premiered, Lewis faced another legal battle as his longtime business partner, Jenni Pulos, accused him of abuse. "This season, it's a crazy season, and I'm gonna say that there was a lot employee turnover, it was a very, very stressful time. I had a lot of pressure and I wasn't always my best self", he told E! News. "It is true, Jenni and I did have a fight, which then resulted in a rift." "We elected, at the end of all of this, to have her move on from Jeff Lewis Design", he announced on his SiriusXM radio show, Jeff Lewis Live. Lewis was cleared of all abuse and victimization charges. He states that he doesn't see a reconciliation in the future. "I'm a very, very forgiving guy, and I never say 'never', but when someone reports you for abuse to your bosses, that's kinda something that's kinda hard to get over."
Previous to Jenni's departure from Flipping Out, Jeff's long-term housekeeper, Zoila Chavez, left during season 10. They shared an emotional goodbye on air as Jeff acknowledged his appreciation for the continued care of his newborn daughter after an extensive turnaround of other nannies. "For years, she has wanted to retire", Jeff told Bravo. "I've just overlooked it and I ignored it. But she stayed for me."
Although the 11th season of Flipping Out began in September 11th 2018, Bravo TV announced they would not be renewing Lewis' contract. He has since met with the executives at Netflix to discuss moving the show from Bravo to a streaming platform.
Jeff's Instagram, @jljefflewis, has over 794,000 followers. His Facebook, JLJeffLewis, has over 448,000 followers. Jeff continues to live with his partner, Gage, and daughter, Monroe, in Los Angeles, California. His radio show, Jeff Lewis Live, airs on SiriusXM Channel 102 and Flipping Out can be watched on BravoTV.
Last Modified: Mar 10, 2020