August 4, 2010 | by Juliette Ebner
Jeff Lewis ready for more ‘Flipping Out’

Jeff Lewis and his gang are back.

This time, instead of flipping houses, Lewis is designing them, at least the interiors.

“Last year we were concerned about drumming up business and I was certainly concerned about money,” Lewis said in a phone interview earlier this week. “This season is a little different. It’s kind of the opposite. Not that I have so much money, but I have a lot of work coming in.”

But don’t expect the improved business to reduce Lewis’ flip-outs.

“I have this whole fear of turning down any work, so now I think I’ve taken on more than I can handle,” said Lewis in a preview of season four.

Lewis, who is gay, was named the designer for the third annual “Kitchen of the Year,” a showcase of the best in kitchen design, cooking, entertaining and contemporary lifestyle that is brought to life each July by House Beautiful magazine.

The job is based in New York and he isn’t the only one to make the move. Moral support comes in the form of long-suffering assistant Jenni Pulos and housekeeper Zoila Chavez.

Pulos has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Lewis Design, but her promotion doesn’t come with a raise.

And don’t expect to see Pulos’ new boyfriend. They both decided he would not make an appearance on the show.

“She didn’t want to get dumped again on camera,” joked Lewis.

“You’re so sensitive today,” commented Pulos. “Yea, I guess that’s what is was, I didn’t want to get dumped on camera.”

“Again,” added Lewis.

Pulos and Chavez are not the only returning employees. Sarah Berkman, Lewis’ sister-in-law is back as his full-time assistant. Jett Pink, the house assistant, is back and is a father now, and Trace Lenhoff, the intern, is back as a full-time employee.

There are some people, though, who won’t be returning this season.

“You will not see [Ryan Brown] on the show, said Lewis. “I haven’t seen Ryan since the reunion episode.”

Lewis said he and Brown have e-mailed and spoken on the phone a few times in an effort to clear the air, but the two former business partners and ex-boyfriends turned close friends haven’t seen each other.

Some viewers probably wonder if what they see on television is what they get in real life when it comes to Lewis.

“I think there are a lot of different sides, facets, to my personality,” said Lewis. “I think we see a lot of one side of me. It would certainly be nice to see more of the softer side.”

“Listen, [he’s] an intense person at work, that’s the deal,” added Pulos. “There is another side.”

“Now that we’re in the client business, we have people breathing down our necks, wanting to move back into their homes,” said Lewis.

Lewis added that he has found himself biting his tongue more now when dealing with clients.

“I hate working so hard for my money,” he said.

The third season of “Flipping Out” was its highest rated ever and the series was the No. 1 real estate show on cable for 2009.

The fourth season of Bravo’s “Flipping Out” premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m.

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