Whether he’s choosing place settings for a luxurious dining room or deciding which plants would look best alongside a cobblestone walkway, Latino designer Eduardo Xol puts all his passion into creating something that is his own.
It’s even more rewarding, he says, when he gets to transfer that same passion to the popular ABC TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” where Xol has been a featured designer for the past four seasons.
Now Xol, whose specialty is carpentry and interior design, is looking forward to reaching out to more families in need and finding even more inspirational stories across the country.
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on ABC.
Since you had background in TV, was “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” something that immediately made sense for you to do?
It wasn’t because I was seriously thinking about retiring from entertainment. I wanted to work on building a design company and gardening. I had some great clients and was in a stable place where I was happy. A friend of mine said, “You should at least see the show before you make a decision.” When I saw it, I immediately knew I had to do it. It’s not only a show about design, but it’s philanthropic and helps people.
How has your role on the show changed over the last four years?
I started as a landscaper, but by the middle of the second season the executive producer started asking me to take on projects inside the house. By the fourth season, I was one of the main designers of the show and working on the entire house.
I read that each house is built in seven days. With all the projects you have worked on, does that time go by slower or faster?
Our production schedule is eight days, but we build the house in five and a half. I did 12 shows last year and 14 shows the year before that. It’s a lot of travel and time, but it does go by fast.
I’m sure each show you have been a part of has been meaningful, but has there been one that stands out to you?
I’ve done a couple of shows that dealt with Hispanic families. I connect to those the most because we haven’t had a lot of Hispanic families. I am the only Hispanic designer that is on the show. There was one show during my first season where this gentleman was working in a RadioShack and some crazy gunman came in and randomly started shooting people. He killed two or three people and this one man got a bullet through his head. It didn’t kill him, but it blinded him permanently. He was only 33 years old, a family man and full of life.
Home repair and design shows are more popular than ever. There’s even an entire TV channel dedicated to these types of shows. What is it about shows like “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” that fascinate viewers?
They’re educational. People like watching shows like ours because of the different projects and innovative ideas. This year the show is focusing on “green elements.” We’re designing in ways that are good for the Earth.
What else can we anticipate about the new season of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?”
We’re going into this season with a new campaign called “Get on the Bus.” As we go from city to city, we’re going to start picking people to join our team. Sometimes it’s going to be a celebrity; sometimes it’s going to be family members of families we’ve helped in the past; sometimes it’s going to be ordinary Americans who have been writing to us and want to be part of the process and help. It’s going to be a great season.