Bravo’s ‘Flipping Out’: Jeff Lewis’ Former Design Associate May Be His New Competitor

Vanina Alfaro from Flipping Out left Jeff Lewis Design and now has her own design business in California.

Vanina Alfaro from 'Flipping Out'
Vanina Alfaro |Vivian Zink/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

She opened Alfaro Mori Design after parting ways with Lewis and hasn’t looked back. Alfaro was one of several design associates featured on the series. While most of Lewis’ employees seemed to struggle with Lewis’ constant mood swings, Alfaro appeared to avoid the majority of Lewis’ outbursts. Until she became his target.

Alfaro was burned out and had enough when he badgered her over how she handled a client. Later she broke down in tears in the car, sharing that she was unhappy and needed to make a change. Lewis did not take this remark lightly. He clearly wanted Alfaro to stay on staff as he seemed to respect Alfaro and enjoyed her as an employee. He even tried to get his grandmother to convince Alfaro to stay with his firm.

Alfaro opened her design business in 2017

After being pushed to the brink, Alfaro gracefully resigned from Jeff Lewis Design. However, she didn’t have much downtime between gigs. She promptly opened her own design business and shared her first Instagram post in April 2017. “Introducing play house interiors,” she debuted a sleek fireplace design. “More pics coming soon!”

She unveiled her business through Instagram sharing new jobs along the way. “Custom Home Office. More pics coming soon,” she shared along with a photo of someone working on a bookshelf. In addition to sharing photos of her own projects, Alfaro also shared design images she spotted around town.

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Like Lewis, Alfaro showed the construction side of the business on her Instagram. She featured one photo of a makeshift drainage system. Alfaro also shared a photo of the side of a home being framed.

Growing projects and big features

Alfaro has built a sturdy business that is being recognized by publications and a slew of clients. Her website features six completed projects, which she uses to give prospective clients an idea of her style. Like Lewis, she leans toward clean lines and a modern flair. Most of her homes are bright and airy that join glass and hints of glitz with natural tones.

Her designs have also been featured in publications and recognized by other design teams. Alfaro shared a throwback on Instagram. Designer Regina Andrew Detroit recognized her as having a “favorite project” on Instagram. “#tbt to one of our favorite projects. Thanks to @reginaandrewdetroit for selecting our Kitchen as one of their picks for their Designer Spotlight,” she wrote.

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Three's Company

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Most recently, Alfaro’s design was featured in the Los Angeles Times. “We’re very humbled to have one of our projects highlighted in @latimes “Home of the Week” 😊 Thanks to Avant Design Build for the opportunity ✌ ,” Alfaro shared.

Former co-worker Jenni Pulos is still following Alfaro’s career and follows her design company on Instagram. Jeff Lewis, however, does not.