Like a Sitcom

Jeff wonders whether Bravo is secretly trying to kill him off with this show.

Bravo has decided to put me in a series where I move into a home for a week with total strangers. I have begun to wonder if, like in a sitcom, they are trying to kill off my character. Without a script to determine my fate, I guess they have elected to put me in unfamiliar and potentially dangerous situations and watch what happens.

My first client was a wealthy family living in an exclusive Brentwood community. I really had no complaints about the situation. Truthfully, when I walked in to the Steinbeck's home, it took me a while to understand what they needed from me. Felice, the family matriarch, had done a nice job with the design of the space. It was a little antiseptic, but tasteful. After touring the upstairs, I located the problem. Felice and Michael were sleeping in a small bedroom and shared a bathroom with their two daughters. As they explained the story of their nightmare kitchen remodel, it made sense why the upstairs living situation had not been addressed and remedied. Remodeling just wasn't a process they wanted to continue on their own.

Felice runs her household like a tight ship. Step out of line and you'll face her wrath. She is rigid and controlling. She rules an immaculate and organized home with an iron fist and she demands order, cleanliness, and personal responsibility. Sound familiar? Not everyone responds well to Felice, but I grew to like and respect her. I most admired her devotion to her kids, husband, and home. Once the kids went to sleep, Felice and I let loose over a bottle of wine (or two) and I began to understand her. She takes her role as a homemaker very seriously. It is a tremendous responsibility and her kids are her top priority.

In getting to know the Steinbecks, I also recognized that Michael didn't have a voice in the design of the house because Felice made all of the decisions. It was evident to me there was a slight strain in the relationship largely due to the fact that the home was missing a true master bedroom. Everyday is about the kids and they both work in different ways to raise and support their family. If they can't spend private time together at the end of the day, I feared the strain would only get worse. They needed a comfortable place to reconnect, a place that represented both of their tastes.

Jenni and I spent the week designing and building a beautiful, sophisticated, well-appointed master bedroom, bathroom, closet, and dressing room. It was stressful and exhausting, but I was very happy with the final product. The biggest reward -- besides my paycheck -- was Felice's and Michael's reaction. They were so grateful and appreciative. They needed this new suite as a place to relax and spend time together. I adored their family and I had a great time working with them (water leaks excluded).

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Operation Love is a Success!

Jenni dishes on the pressure of having to set up the perfect engagement for Kenia and Danielle.

Will the Girls Take It to the Next Level?

Danielle is a Dog Groomer.
Kenia is a Behavioral Specialist.
They have been living together for five and a half years.
Kenia says Danielle has a "strong personality," which translates as Danielle gets things her way.

A pool table dominates the living room.
Danielle dominates everything else.
Kenia wants to get married, but Danielle seems to be reluctant.
Jeff sees the decor as "a sorority house but for lesbians."

Two women with big personalities, big attitudes, and big accents.
Kenia says because Danielle owns the house, everything has to be her way.
The "our home" translates quickly to "it's still my house."
That is not Kenia's idea of what she has dreamed of since she was little.

Kenia is the cook and thinks the kitchen is a nightmare.
Danielle hates the bar that Kenia built when she was away.
Jeff sees the bar as the only expression of Kenia in the house. Kenia wants to get married to Danielle in New York.
To encourage and support, Jeff buys wedding magazines.
He wants Danielle to recognize the needs of her partner, something he says he has to work to do.
Danielle exits and whispers she doesn’t need our "encouragement."
She already has a ring.
And she tells us she hates not being in control.
This could kill the relationship.

When these girls play pool, they dent the walls.
Jeff targets the kitchen for remodel so Kenia "will have a win."
They need to see their combined personalities in the space. Our Goal: A brand new kitchen in five days.
This is a clean house with not much for Zoila to do, so she breaks a wine glass.
Kitchen demolition is an emotional experience.
To relax the atmosphere Jeff plays a shoe prank on a girl you shouldn't mess with.

Danielle is still nervous about commitment.
To help out I sing about a bridal store in the parking lot.
Shopping for the kitchen reveals the problem.
Danielle overrides Kenia's choices and stalls with tile decisions.
Jeff is out of patience and sees this as the real relationship indicator.

Danielle is waiting for a perfect time and place to make the commitment.
Jeff sees me as a proposal expert because I'm experienced.
Spelling out will you marry me with asparagus and strawberries is not Jeff's idea of cool.
Danielle and I have lunch and she thinks most of my proposal ideas are corny.
The puppy idea is a no go.
I start to rap...and we work on a plan. Zoila, Jeff, and Kenia go appliance shopping.
She makes it clear to Jeff: "no ghetto appliances" for this girl.
Kenia calls Jeff tiny tush in Spanish and plans to teach him some dirty words.
Zoila has had it with all the engagement talk.
She calls Jeff a genius and crazy in the same breath.

We are running way behind with the kitchen.
These girls know how to threaten.
Jeff brought in crickets as retaliation -- a boy and his bugs.
Kenia shouts, "He's a sick little man!"
Hotel plans for me and the girls.
Jeff is buying them dinner to make up for bugging them.
The surprise romantic proposal atmosphere in the hotel room is my project to manage. "Operation Love"
Danielle says, "If it's not one hundred percent right, I'm not doing it."
Yes, she's talking to me
Rose petals, candles, and candy need to be perfect.
A ring, kisses, and Kenia is crying tears of joy.

Four hours to reveal and at least nine hours of work needs to be done.
Outlets are covered, wood chips are everywhere, and cabinets still have no doors.
Zoila is sweeping.
The refrigerator water line is not turned on.
A fuse is blown...and they are knocking on the door.
The reveal is "gorgeous" and Kenia shows off her beautiful ring.
Jeff says he has a lesson to take home to his own relationship.

"She's got the biggest dick in the room."
I didn't say that, Jeff did.

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