Meet The Cast Of HGTV’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition


On Sunday, February 16th HGTV will debut their reboot of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. During its original run from 2003-2012, this family-friendly reality hit, which originally aired on ABC, was one of the most beloved shows of the early aughts. But, HGTV could not be a more appropriate network in 2020 to give the audience a feel-good show focused on design. 

During its original run, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was hosted by Ty Pennington with a variety of designers and celebrity guests coming and going over the seasons. In its new incarnation, Pennington’s role is filled by Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Casting also found the perfect dynamic trio in designers Breegan Jane and Carrie Locklyn along with carpenter Darren Keefe. 

Meeting the cast in person, not only did the three have incredible chemistry (the kind of chemistry you can’t fake), but they were truly excited to be a part of this production “I think we’re all very grateful for the incarnation that existed before us and so happy to step into this role and carry the flag for this amazing show,” says Keefe.

The New Cast 

Before being cast, Jane was best known for her work designing high-end homes and properties. Her name may sound familiar to some because she’s a media personality who regularly speaks at events and has appeared on KTLA in Los Angeles as well as The Hallmark Channel nationally. She also authored a children’s book titled Carbie

Locklyn will certainly be recognizable to fans of The Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible where she served as lead designer. She has also been featured on several HGTV and DIY Network shows including Don’t Sweat It and Garage Mahal.

However, the mother who calls New Jersey home, didn’t start out as an interior designer, rather she pivoted from a previous career as a professional organizer. On the show and in real life, Locklyn applies organizational methods to design, telling me her philosophy is that “great design can’t start without great organization.” 

Rounding out the cast is Keefe, who was born in Northern Ireland into a family of craftsmen. He moved to the Midwest as a teenager, but ultimately settled in Los Angeles. In 2017, he founded Drumcree Designs, creating one-of-a-kind handcrafted furniture pieces for celebrities and businesses. With his charming Irish accent, he provides a warm, calming presence to the show.

New Era, Same Formula

While the reboot will in some ways be different than the original, it’s still a tearjerker.

“It’s such an enormous show and it’s such a huge experience to be able to change people’s lives through design,” says Locklyn. “I mean, we all love design, at the core, but to be able to walk into someone’s house and walk into someone’s life and change their tomorrow. I mean, that’s really what this show is about.”

Functional Design

While many HGTV shows emphasize the glamour of design, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is a bit different. Every family had specific needs and challenges that had to be prioritized over aesthetics, at least at the beginning of the project. 

“We go in and we learn the story of the family, we see the family, we see their stories, we pinpoint what it is they need, and we move from there,” says Locklyn. “So we always start every design with practicality, organization, and functionality. Because we want these homes to be something that the families can grow with. We don’t want anything in the home to become a burden for them. We always say what is your story? What are your needs, and how do we attack that?”

As an expert in customizing furniture, Keefe’s skills were crucial. “Everything I designed was specific to the family. We really made sure that whatever we were building or designing, really fit the family. So a lot of the things that I built were at their specific request,” he says.

Unlike many HGTV shows where different designers and personalities build things with a signature aesthetic in mind, there simply couldn’t be a singular design template applied to all the projects on Extreme Makeover.

“Each home had a very different personality,” says Jane. “We were all pulling together. So each home is like a completely new style. Not any two were alike. They had completely different color palettes.”

Celebrity Guest Stars

Much like the first incarnation, there is no shortage of celebrity guest stars on the new show. Ty Pennington will return for several episodes along with Anthony Anderson, Derek Hough, LeAnn Rimes, Laila Ali, and Tyler Florence making appearances. A roster of HGTV stars including David Bromstad, Tamara Day, Tarek El Moussa and Jasmine Roth also grace the show this season.

Behind The Scenes

The cast gladly revealed how important the aspect of community was to the show. Many of the families featured are known locally for their own efforts to give back. In turn, their communities, even complete strangers, volunteered to help with the builds.

But, even with a massive crew working around the clock, there was no way to complete each project in five days (really, just five days) without the help of volunteers. 

All The Feels

While there are ten episodes slated for the upcoming season, this is hopefully only the beginning of a long run.  

“I think that it’s rare that TV is this positive and inspiring. And so to be a part of that was amazing. But I think that’s what we all loved about watching it,” says Jane. “And I want more content like this across all of our TVs. And I think this show really shows that viewers are looking for those heartfelt stories. They’re looking for something that’s bigger than them. And that’s what made me tune in, in the first rendition. And I hope that brings people back again now.”



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The Eat-In Kitchen Gets a Makeover


Dining in style, from kitchen tables to islands with seating

In the eat-in kitchen, the “eat-in” part is usually the last piece of the puzzle. Kitchen design typically revolves around cooking while the notion of dining in the space is often an afterthought. However, Sweeten, a renovation platform connecting homeowners to a vetted general contractor, has seen a growing trend in considering both activities during the design stage. While small spaces demand multiple functionality in the kitchen, a more thoughtfully layout combines seating, a more organic flow, and space planning.

Explore the possibilities that these Sweeten homeowners undertook with their eat-in kitchens, from dining tables to counter seating. All will invite family and friends to “break bread” with you at home!

A kitchen banquette beckons for company

kitchen banquette

With only one window in the kitchen to let in light, Jenn and Jon took steps to create a brighter atmosphere for their family of four. A partial wall that sectioned off an eat-in area from the kitchen came down effectively joining the two spaces and letting the sunshine stream in. Cooking and eating together were top priorities and a U-shaped banquette lent a cozy gathering spot around the square-shaped dining table. Wallpaper and paneling give it separation and personality.

A peninsula bar multitasks

dining nook

For Elizabeth and Martin’s 124-square-foot galley kitchen, tackling the space planning and bringing a sense of openness was done with the help of their Sweeten design-build team. The couple’s comfort level for all of the renovation changes was put at ease with “sketches from every angle.” Pulling down two partial walls was step one in bringing in more light.

The new peninsula bar seats four to five stools reminiscent of a cute bistro—and holds storage. Form and function increase with more prep space, glass-front cabinets, and a mix of finishes. Clutter minimizes with the microwave tucked behind a cabinet and the paper towel holder rolls out from under the countertop.

More function for a larger kitchen

Townhouse renovation

Jill and Cy created an open concept on the first floor of their single-family townhouse. The kitchen was expanded for the family of four by turning a full bath into a powder room giving more exposure to the black-trimmed doors leading to the backyard. With ample room, a dining table and chairs fit easily in the cook space for meals and entertaining. The flat-panel walnut cabinetry, ceiling light fixture, and furniture displayed the mid-century modern aesthetic. A cut-out window seat that doubles as storage was a bonus feature.

Centerstage for an island

kitchenA salvaged slab of walnut picked up at a reclaimed wood supplier took centerstage in Tara and Brian’s kitchen. “I remember when I was a kid, the kitchen island was the center of existence,” she said. Aiming for the rustic look, two sides were live edge while the wood’s cherry red tone was lacquered.

The refrigerator was relocated within a row of existing closets off the kitchen proper creating a unified flow for the rest of the apartment. A disguised pantry covered in subway tile is a fun “Where’s Waldo?” moment. And that walnut slab? There was enough left over to fashion open shelving for the kitchen, home office, and the bathroom.

studio loft kitchen

A kitchenette found new life in its studio loft with new homeowners Serge and Uldis who worked to make full use of all of the space available. Situated underneath the loft, a small dining table and chairs enhance the cozy grotto feel. Opting for an L-shaped layout, appliances moved along the back wall giving room to install plenty of countertop surface. A mix of stainless steel and white cabinets are backdrops to a glossy black tempered glass backsplash. 

WATCH VIDEO:

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Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.



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