It seems that Dallas has become the third coast for reality television. There isn’t a show out there that doesn’t have someone from North Texas cast in it, and as a result many of us are “reality” obsessed, including this Lifestylist®. Now we’ll even have our own Real Housewives of Dallas. I can’t wait!
When I heard that Jeff Lewis, star of the hit Bravo show Flipping Out was going to be in Allen at the Collin County Home and Garden Show, I got on the next plane out of Buffalo, N.Y., and headed out to Allen. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
I have to confess: I was scared to be anywhere in his presence. Especially in his early shows he seemed to have a very short temper and attention span, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen a Jeff Lewis house I didn’t love and I wanted to find out what Jeff was like and had to say in “real life.”
I had contacted the show in advance but never heard back about getting an interview, and when I asked at the show I was told by the show management that Jeff’s business partner Gage said that an interview would have had to have been in his contract and all questions would have had to have been submitted in writing beforehand. But I was welcome to come to the seminar and they gave us great seats.
If you ever have a chance to see, hear, or meet Jeff Lewis, walk, run, drive, or get on the next plane to make it happen. He was so humble and honest, and no questions were off the table. And his dry wit is the best! He even spoke very candidly about getting fired by Living Spaces — a store we don’t have in Dallas or I would boycott them. He also shared lessons he learned from the 2008 downturn and had great advice for all of us. What impressed me the most was that he stayed around after he spoke (for over an hour!) and he posed for photos with everyone who was there — they even had a guy there to take them with your phone that did a great job.
Here are the top 5 tips (and gossip!) from Jeff at the show:
- A lot of reality TV housewives live in really, really ugly houses. Guess they had better get Jeff on the phone!
- After 110 episodes, three series, eight seasons, and nine years on Flipping Out,would he do it all over again? Absolutely. He gave the show and Bravo credit for helping him have an income after the 2008 crash and giving him the opportunity and time to rebrand his company. Takeaway? Always diversify.
- Buying a new home? Do your own research. Having a Realtor that you can trust and knows your lifestyle, wants and needs is critical, but you need to put in the time yourself to decide what is the perfect neighborhood and home for you. He also stressed doing your homework and learning what homes are going for in that area and what features are selling and which are a detraction to buyers. You have to be educated in the market, by your Realtor or by your own research.
- Color Trends: Grey is still the favorite neutral out there today, and I’m going to give Jeff credit for starting this trend. When asked about adding accent colors he suggested using rugs, throw pillows, fresh flowers and coffee table books to add a pop of color that can be easily changed out. He also said that when he goes to a first meeting in a client’s home, he always checks out what books they have to get an idea of their lifestyle, and buying the big beautiful coffee table books at places like Half Price Books is a great way to stretch your budget.
- Design Trends: Modern Farmhouse is the best look right now. It’s a look that our Candy’sDirt Approved Hot Builders Tim Jackson Custom Homes and Classic Urban Homes do so well. He gave a lot of credit and kudos to Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines. He had nothing but nice things to say about them and their show — love that! — and said that, unlike the myth that a producer just comes knocking on your door, they worked really hard to get that show placed. In fact they shopped it for 2 years before getting it placed on HGTV. Jeff said one of the hardest things for him is explaining to clients why they can’t get the same style and type of remodel in Beverly Hills for $100,000!