'Extreme' designer reflects on seeing hometown come together - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

'Extreme' designer reflects on seeing hometown come together

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) - It took thousands to make Extreme Makeover: Home Edition a reality in East Texas. But, the design plans for the home stem from the ideas of one woman.

Tyler native, Kim Lewis, has worked for the show for four seasons, designing nearly 100 homes. For years, Lewis has begged Extreme Makeover producers to come to East Texas. Finally, it happened - an experience she could share with her family, and it fell on her birthday.

"I love that they were able to see what I've been doing for years and to truly understand why I have become so passionate about this show," said Lewis.

She is passionate about changing lives of families in need, like the Carrs. An exhausting lifestyle, Lewis works with local architects and completes the floor plans in a day and a half. It is a process normally takes months and her Extreme duties don't stop there.

"The other part of my job is to come up with the room theme concepts for every kid and taking what I know about them on paper and making that into a room that will make them feel really special," said Lewis.

While the inside of the Carr home remains a secret, Lewis calls the design a mix of Texas and ethnic vibes.

"It was important to the Carrs, the mom and dad, that their kids not lose their heritage, so we tried to bring that back into their home," she explained.

The home was one of the most detailed yet.

"At one point I went up to the builders and I was apologizing for the amount I had pushed them," she said.

But the project was completed in true East Texas style.

"I think the whole slogan 'proud of East Texas' is to a whole new level," said Lewis. "I am so elated by people brought out their selves, their resources, their company, their time, to give this family what we wanted and more."

She is proud that the people she works with witnessed the spirit of her hometown.

Lewis says the Extreme Makeover crew and Bayless Custom Homes only had three weeks to work on the Carr home. She said she pulled all-nighters to get everything done on time, and is looking forward to a vacation with her husband.

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