This episode of Interior Design with Jeff Lewis is the finale of the first season and it is bittersweet as Jeff Lewis and Jenni Pulos have given us some excellent design, relationship fixes and some of the best quotes we have heard on television in a long time.
We are spending this season finale in the Hollywood Hills with a couple that have been together for two years. Meet Mark and Yeni; Mark is a Comedian, Television Show Host and Author. Yeni is a Voice Over Artist. Mark bought this house twenty years ago and just three years ago brought the house down to the studs and did a complete renovation. Yeni would like to put her personal touch in the space and Mark tells us that having Jeff and Jenni in the house for a week is “excruciating” and truly doesn’t think that the house needs “a design intervention”.
At first glance the house looks very nice with the exception of some of Marks quirky art pieces, if that is what you can call them. Yeni keeps saying that “Mark has promised me a spa for two years.” The spa issue aside, the first impression that you get of this couple is that they are not in any real need of couple’s therapy just that Yeni needs to get through Marks head that she lives there too. Of all the couples this season they seem the most ‘normal’.
The weekly house tour begins in the kitchen and although it is very eco friendly Mark tells us, Jeff thinks that it is “taco bell circa 1982”. In the Master Bedroom that has an awesome balcony Mark makes it clear that he likes everything the way it is. Onto The great room and the first thing I see is that Mark has an Emmy and that wasn’t lost on me. In the great room all Yeni can come up with is that the big leather chairs have to go. Mark doesn’t want to move or paint anything he likes it just the way it is. Jeff’s comment about this is that “the guy is marking his territory” Lastly we head out to the backyard which looks like an amphitheater, this is where Yeni perks up and visions this as a hotel spa type space. Yeni reminds Mark once again that he has promised her a spa for two years. I think we get that. At the end of the tour you get that Mark is proud of the fact that the house is eco-friendly. Mark thinks that there is nothing wrong with the house and Jeff wonders how the team is supposed to design something new for him. Jeff said it best, “every time we went into a new room Mark is marking his territory”.
At the first night dinner we learn an interesting little fact that Yeni is the Spanish voice at Disney when you enter a ride. Jenni eggs her on and she gives us the voice over rendition of getting into a ride at Disney. Very cute. It is very apparent that Mark doesn’t want Jeff and the team there. Jeff likes Mark but doesn’t want to work with him. You can see that these two men are so much alike. They both have ‘control’ issues and it is fun seeing them continually trying to hold onto the control.
After dinner Jeff and Jenni get Yeni on her own they ask her what percentage of this house is hers. Yeni’s response “15% is mine.” During this conversation Jenni compares Mark and Jeff as “twins”. Jenni’s bed time outfit this week is crazy. It’s a great one, but I’m not sure exactly what it is. How funny, I am so used to seeing Jenni in these crazy get ups that I almost missed it this episode.
As the team goes through the thought process for the design, they come up with making the backyard a great entertainment space. As we head into the family meeting Jeff lets them in on the fact that they will be doing the back yard, which is the right choice in my opinion and only tells Mark and Yeni that there will be a Jacuzzi but not much else. There is some funny banter back and forth between Jeff and Mark. At this point Jenni tells Mark that “your twins separated at birth”. Jeff says that Mark is so controlling. This show is such a laugh fest at this point I can’t even get all the great quotes. Watching Mark and Jeff throughout this whole episode is hysterical as they really are ‘twins from another mother’ is how I would tell it.
The team, Mark and Yeni go to the spa store to pick out the Jacuzzi; Jeff wants it to be small so that it will be hidden from the house. If he has to put in a larger spa the team will have a hard time hiding it from the house. As Mark looks around he likes one larger Jacuzzi and Jeff gives his point of view, “I’m not saying they are swingers but I just kept thinking Boogie Nights”.
As we get to the core of this of the back yard renovation, I wonder what month they filmed this, as you can see their breath as they are talking. This is a very unique yard, well as far as this New Englander goes, but he seems to be handling it. There are three tiers to this back yard separated with retaining walls. There will be a pergola up on the top tier and work has begun on it. Jeff and Jenni are looking at the property and realize that there will be a huge problem getting the Jacuzzi up to the top tier for installation. Jenni suggests that they get a helicopter to come and drop it into the yard. This I would love to see. Jenni even asks the installer how much it would cost to do that. The answer was $5,000.
At this point, Mark being the control freak that he is has typed out a list of items regarding what he wants done out in the back yard. Jeff surely has met his match. Or should I say OCD equal.
As the team goes fountain shopping we get our weekly dose of water flying everywhere. Don’t you see a recurring theme here? Where there is water around this group it always is flying. You all by now know my saying ‘its only water it will dry’. Getting back to the task at hand, Mark wants either a raccoon or man peeing fountain. Jeff totally doesn’t want that type. Jeff says that “if he needed design help, he would never defer to Mark”. Then Mark comes back with “Jeff is getting the women wet today – bet that’s the first time that has happened!” This was for me an almost spit out my coffee moment.
Jeff admits that he is resentful that Mark gave him a list of items that needed to get done, especially the lighting. So in true Jeff fashion he brings in Rosie the electrician to confuse Mark even more. At this point they send our couple to the hotel and Mark is not excited about going for 48 hours. Mark is stressing over all the little details of this renovation and he really doesn’t know what is going on with it. With all of these episodes I want to just tell all the couples ‘don’t worry you have one of the top designers in LA working for you, it’s all good!”
The team did not hire the helicopter to drop in the Jacuzzi so the crane has arrived with the Jacuzzi attached to it. The crane has this Jacuzzi dangling over the top of the house and the crane needs to be larger and taller, it looks like they cannot reach the back yard with what they have. The crane operator had to swing the Jacuzzi out and have a bunch of guy’s guide it down to the ground on the first tier of the back yard and then the workers had to manually get it up to the top tier of the back yard.
On the last night before the reveal Jeff is a wreck and wants to prove to Mark that he can do it on time and will be something he likes. At this point it looks like the only problem is with Rosie the electrician. There is a ton of electrical work to be done and Jeff and the team is at the mercy of Rosie. Mark wants all the electrical tied into the house and Rosie didn’t seemed prepared for this.
Jeff handles the stress of being at the mercy of Rosie by bringing in Zoila to do some cleaning. Yes, we get to see one more moment of Zoila in this final episode. I have to say Jeff looked sexy working that vacuum. We get our laughable Zoila moment this week and it is she has found the massaging chair in the great room and tells Jeff that she wants this for Christmas. Jeff rolls his eyes as only he can and tells us “she really liked it and that is not good”. To finish off the scene the camera cuts to Zoila almost a sleep in the chair.
The reveal is going to take place very late as the electrical work has taken so long, but done and done correctly. Yeni goes out into the back yard first and she is instantly in love with it. This is a great reveal as when you do an outside reveal at night the lighting makes everything softer. I wonder if Jeff really didn’t plan it that way on purpose.
Mark loves the renovation and says that Jeff “really listened to him and Yeni”. Jenni says that Mark relinquished his control this week and she is proud of him.
What was missing this week was the couple drama. That is ok as this was a fun episode to watch take shape, what a great way to end the season.
Thanks Jeff and Jenni for entertaining all of us for the past 10 weeks. I will speak for all of your fans and say that we can’t wait to see more of you. This has been a fun show to blog and I look forward to blogging Flipping Out soon.