Jake and Jazz Smollett are teaming up with CLEO TV to bring a brand new lifestyle show called “Living By Design” with Jake and Jazz.” The show centers on Black millennials who need to spruce up their living space. The Smolletts not only help transform their homes but also provide a unique meal each episode.
The series premiered Saturday May 4th on CLEO TV. The Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper spoke to the Smolletts about the inspiration behind the show.
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL NEWSPAPER (LAS): Thanks for speaking with us. Can you explain what viewers will expect each episode?
JAZZ SMOLLETT: You guys should expect a lot o fun! We have 16 unique stories of mostly millennial women and men of color. We redesign part of their space and cook them a meal at the end. I always say that I do the “design and dessert” while Jake handles the “build and the meal.” We really try to be unique to the individual families and evoke their personality into their space. We make sure its specific to who they are as people.
LAS: What made you drawn to the project?
JAKE SMOLLETT: We were drawn to the project because of the inspiring stories. We realized it was more than a lifestyle show but a show that digs into people’s stories. We also get to show a lot of our own special talents. I love to deal with furniture and refurbishing. Jazz and me are getting to do all of this in one show and it’s for people that deserve it. It’s a lot of fun but with meaning behind it.
JAZZ: For me, it was really nice to be a part of the family at CLEO TV. They are specifically putting people of color in the forefront of the lifestyle space. CLEO TV gets the demographic that we are trying to serve and really understands our culture. It’s been really exciting to be a part of that.
LAS: Where do you gather the inspiration to create these designs?
JAZZ: The inspiration really comes from the people we are designing to help. We do a pre-interview first. For example, some questions might not seem like it has anything do with design. By asking those questions, we get a sense of who they are as a person. That way we can really inject their personality into the design space.
JAKE: We do a lot of refurbishing for the show. When I moved out to my first apartment at the age of twenty, I would go online to find furniture. A lot of these stores have a free section where you can find something that you can refurbish. You don’t have to go out with a big budget to furnish your home. This is Los Angeles. If you see stuff, you can refurbish it.
LAS: What do you want the audience to leave with each episode?
JAZZ: I want people to take away feeling inspired and having their individuality reflect their living space. They might start to think about what it means to be their authentic self. I want them to feel like they can go out into the world and conquer it. However, they still come back to their sanctuary with a sense of accomplishment.
JAKE: I agree. I really feel like it’s going to inspire people to do their own thing and upgrade their own living space.