For more than five years, Eduardo Xol has been living life to the extreme. He’s served as a designer and landscape artist on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” ABC’s popular reality series centered on helping rebuild the homes of families dealing with serious hardships. It’s an experience that has forever changed his life.
“My philosophy of designing for all the senses was born out of my experiences during the show’s first year,” declares the 45-year-old Xol, who vividly remembers designing an outdoor space that initial season for the family of a man who lost his ability to see after being shot in the head during an armed robbery. “Normally, one wouldn’t think of landscape design for someone who is blind. But by using different sounds from water features and wind chimes, as well as plants with distinct smells and flooring with textures, I was able to tap into his other senses to ensure he’d know exactly where he was outside—without having to see.”
Even though Xol won’t be returning this season to the television show that made him a star, he plans to maximize his celebrity status to make a positive difference in the world. He’s already designing a park and garden area at his former middle school, Macy Intermediate, in East Los Angeles.
“The plan is to create a new green area to facilitate and outdoor/lifestyle learning space for the students,” announces Xol, who credits his grandmother and father for fueling his passion for landscape design. “It’s going to be amazing!”
The first generation Mexican-American, who grew up in a predominantly Asian and Latino community, says his overall design aesthetic is rooted deeply in his rich multicultural upbringing.
“I combine the clean lines and composition of my Asian influence, while incorporating strong ethnic themes and elements influenced by my family.” asserts Xol, who has created awe-inspiring outdoor spaces for high-profile clients like Selma Blair. “When designing for others, I always design for the senses!”
But Xol isn’t just a designer and lifestyle expert; he’s a modern day Renaissance man. Before launching his design empire, Xol was a critically acclaimed musician.
“Before I could speak, I was ready to play piano,” utters Xol, an accomplished percussionist and keyboardist selected to perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the age of 10. “Music is a universal language I was blessed to have been born understanding.”
It’s that enormous musical talent that led to a recording contract with BMG and Xol’s career-advancing move to Mexico City, where he’d release his award-nominated, Spanish-language debut album and later co-star in three telenovelas. The end result: Xol was selected as one of People en Español’s 50 Most Beautiful People and named as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S. by Hispanic magazine.
“I feel extremely humbled by the accolades,” asserts Xol. “They remind me to keep doing my best as I realize I am representing my Hispanic community and serving as a role model for the next generation.”
Along with releasing a collection of musical compositions entitled, “equilibrio,” Xol’s developing a musical reality show with one of his own childhood idols, iconic Spanish-American actress, singer and flamenco guitarist, Charo.
“Growing up Hispanic in this country, I could see my reflection in few entertainers… Charo was one of them,” recounts Xol. “It’s amazing to get to know her as she talks about her own experiences in the business. ‘Cuchi-Cuchi’ is a seasoned entrepreneur.”
Like Charo, Xol has experienced remarkable success in several fields, which he credits to his commitment to living life as an artist.
“Just as in music, I’ve recomposed the soundtrack to my life,” states the fiercely determined Xol. “In the process, I have recreated my career path. But no matter what I’m doing, the impulse is always coming from the same creative place. I’ve been blesses with so many experiences most people dream about!”
So whether Xol’s designing an outdoor space, composing a piece of music or giving back to the community, rest assured this Renaissance man is living life to the extreme as a multimedia force in the growing multicultural market.
For more about Eduardo Xol, visit www.EduardoXol.com.
Tom Castañeda is a creative writer, blogger, and award-winning broadcast journalist who has worked at Architectural Digest, In Touch Weekly, and Latina – a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle magazine for today’s bi-cultural Latina woman. Throughout his career in publishing, Tom has planned and executed numerous celebrity, fashion, and beauty programs throughout the country, including fashion shows, and shopping events for brands like Bloomingdale’s, Chanel, Mikimoto, David Yurman, Givenchy, Armani Fragrances, Macy’s, Southpole Collection, and more. Additionally, Tom has drawn on his strong journalism background to create various print, online, and video reports on various subjects, including fashion and beauty.