Trading Spaces Is Returning. Your Thoughts? Here are mine…

Y’all remember Trading Spaces, right? It was the show where homeowners swapped houses for a weekend and decorated a room in each others’ homes on a $1000 budget with the help and guidance of an interior decorator or designer. It was an American show based on a British show called Changing Rooms, and it aired from 2000 to 2008.

Well, the show is returning next year with the same host, many of the same designers, and same carpenters, with a few new faces joining. And I honestly don’t know how I feel about that.

I was a little late to the Trading Spaces bandwagon because I was living in Turkey during its first season, but when I moved back to the States, I got caught up as fast as I could, and became obsessed with the show just like millions of other people. What I loved about the show is that it made decorating, design, and DIY seem accessible and doable for the average homeowner. And I remember at the time being absolutely amazed at some of the makeovers. I thought they were incredible, especially the ones from Genevieve, Laurie, and Vern. They were always my favorites.

But then there were the “what the heck were they thinking?!” rooms, and the majority of those rooms were the products of one designer — Hilda Santo Thomas. Who can forget the time she literally brought sand into the house to give the room a beach cabana look…

trading spaces - beach-room-with-sand-on-the-floor

…or when she stapled 7000 silk flowers to a bathroom wall…

trading spaces - flower-walls-in-bathroom

…or when she glued hay to the walls of a living room…

trading spaces - hay-glued-to-living-room-walls

…or when she painted a big ole mural of her face on a homeowner’s dining room wall.

trading spaces - Hildi-paints-a-mural-of-herself(all photos via Hooked On Houses)

And those are only the most outrageous, but there were plenty of truly hideous rooms revealed on that show, and there wasn’t a single designer who hit it out of the park every single time.

Even with Hildi’s craziness (or perhaps, in part, because of it), I loved the show. It was equal parts good clean fun, good design ideas (at the time), and potential trainwreck in progress — the perfect ingredients for a hit TV show.

But it was also a groundbreaking show at the time. Like I mentioned above, it made decorating and DIY seem accessible to the average homeowner. That was needed…fifteen years ago. That was a world before Pinterest, before Instagram, and before the internet was saturated with thousands of decorating and DIY bloggers who not only showed, and continue to show, that design, decorating, and DIY are accessible to everyone, but who have raised the bar considerably in the last ten years. (Case in point right here.)

But for the life of me, I cannot even imagine how that show has anything to offer in today’s world of Pinterest, Instagram and blogs, without some major changes being made to the format — changes that would essentially make it a brand new TV show rather than a reboot of Trading Spaces. I mean, to even hold a candle to the bar that has been set now, ten years after Trading Spaces went off the air, I personally think those major changes would have to include:

The Budget

Surely they’re not going to stick with a $1000 budget, right? Even in 2000-2008, that $1000 budget was kind of ridiculous. If you go back now and take another look at those rooms you thought were so amazing back then — looking through your 2017 Pinterest- and Instagram-colored glasses — you know what you’ll see?

You’ll see rooms that look exactly like what they are — sparse and cheaply decorated rooms that were thrown together in a hurry by amateurs, many of whom had never even so much as picked up a paint brush before being on the show. I think you’d be hard pressed to find even one of those rooms that has stood the test of time and lives up to today’s standards of beautifully decorated rooms.

So I can’t imagine how today, in 2017, a $1000 budget could possibly create anything worth airing on TV.

The Quality

In 2000, watching someone glue hay to a wall or cover an interior floor with sand and calling it decorating may have been entertaining, but I have a hard time imagining an audience in 2018 putting up with that kind of nonsense, even for the cheap thrill of the “trainwreck in progress” aspect.

Today’s audience is more sophisticated, and expects more of people who claim to be designers. We’ve been spoiled by watching some really talented folks like Chip and Joanna transform ugly houses into beautiful homes that most of us would be proud to own. The thrill most design and decorating enthusiasts seek today is to see a truly transformed and beautiful outcome, rather than seeing a homeowner in tears at the prospect of having to rip down and replace ruined drywall in their room.

All that to say that I hope the designers (yes, Hildi, I’m looking at you) take their jobs more seriously this go ’round. I also hope they’ve upped their DIY game, because seeing rooms filled with old furniture draped in ill-fitting cotton slipcovers isn’t going to impress anyone, either.

The Timeline

I know they probably won’t change this aspect of the show, since it’s a main part of the “game.” But I’d love to see the homeowners given more than two days to complete the room.

Let’s be honest here. If you’re going to completely redo an entire room and give it a brand new look, you need one of two things. You either need a lot of money (which we already know they won’t have) or you need a lot of time. You can put a beautiful room together in two days IF you have a lot of money and can buy all new furniture and accessories, hire someone to paint walls and trim, etc. Or you can put a beautiful room together on a very tight budget IF you have a lot of time so that you can properly (key word here…properly) paint and reupholster furniture, make artwork, do a lot of comparison shopping to make sure you’re getting the best deals possible, paint your walls and trim, sew curtains, etc. And doing quality work on any of those things takes time.

But a small budget AND only two days is how you end up with rooms like this…

trading spaces room after

Would anyone be impressed with that today? 😀  I think the answer is obvious.

So I’ll be anxious to see how the producers of the show fit a 16-year-old show concept into today’s Pinterest/Instagram/Fixer Upper world in a way that will impress viewers’ more sophisticated tastes and higher expectations.

I’ll at least give the first episode a chance just out of sheer curiousity. How about you?



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  1. Oh wow, I had no idea it was coming back! I loved it and probably watched every episode. Like you, I would give the first episode a fair chance out of curiosity.

    I think you’re spot on in your assessment of how the show might/might not work today. I think they need to increase their budget quite a bit though, some of the stuff they half-assed just to get the room completed made me cringe.

    Oh, and Hildi? Seriously F that B – excuse my implied language. I know they needed something “crazy” to happen to keep the show interesting, but I felt SO sorry for the poor people who got her as their designer. How much work and money did these people have to spend to undo the crap that she did?

    Vern was always my fav, his rooms were always tasteful and classy.

  2. Nope. Stopped watching when one of the “designers” (Doug) callously painted over original woodwork the homeowners had just painstakingly restored. It was mean-spirited, not entertaining, and had no design merit.

    1. Oh no! I don’t remember that, but I do remember them regularly disregarding the homeowners’ wishes and requests like that. I always hated seeing those things happen.

      1. Yes, this is part (only part) of what turned me off to the show. The homeowners were at the mercy of less than professional workers and some more than outrageous designers.

        That red and yellow striped room? I swear, they would have lost square footage in the home with the amount of Kilz they’d have needed to use to cover THAT mess! And if my home had hay glued to the walls, I would have been weeping. Seriously, do they have a budget to bring things back to their original state should the home owners just hate it? And I wonder if they are required by contract to “like” it on camera.

        Nope, nope, nope.

      2. I’d agree to be on the show under one of the following circumstances: a) I suddenly became an extreme narsisest who wanted 30 minutes of Fame and would do anything to get it; b) I secretly hated my neighbor enough to be willing to have my own room trashed just to get even with them for letting their dog poop on my lawn or c) I have 5000 dollars to spend to reverse the 2000 of damage done to my room!

    2. That was probably my last episode, too, since at the time I lived in a house built in 1900, and watching him say snide things while slopping the paint on that beautiful woodwork broke my heart.
      Surely he’s not serious,
      Don’t do it,
      Don’t do i…
      I didn’t even watch the rest of that episode.

    3. I was a MAJOR Trading Spaces fan, wouldn’t miss an episode! They put out at least one book, and my friends knew I liked the show so much that I received that book at least twice as a Christmas gift!

      This however was the turning point in my respect for Doug, meaning I lost any I had when he painted over that painstakingly restored woodwork, in what amounted in my eyes to vandalism. I think I recall the homeowner falling to pieces during the reveal. I’d have been arrested for assault if it’d been my home and he did that! His rooms were always hit or miss, when they were ‘on,’ they were fine, when they were ‘off,’ they were truly horrid. I started to think that he and Hildi conspired with each other to see who could produce the most horrible, off the wall crap — they were like a couple of disrespectful mean girls when they got together and seemed intent on destruction for the sake of being ‘edgy’ or something.

      Vern was by FAR my favorite designer, he was adorable, friendly, always smiling, kind, concerned, and professional, not to mention a true talent. Next of my favs were Laurie, then Genevieve, who both also had a lot of vision and talent. It showed that Vern was very concerned about giving people beautiful, livable spaces. I read an interview with him rather recently that was of course YEARS after the show finished airing where he discussed working 48 hours straight with practically no sleep sometimes to get the rooms right. It was stressful and exhausting for him, but it showed in how nice his rooms turned out. He had a huge percentage of really lovely rooms, and he never really had any bad rooms, just a few that weren’t as good as his best work. I’ll never forget the time he outright said to Paige that his main concern and goal was to give people nice, livable rooms, because the homeowners had to LIVE THERE after the show was over — he clearly was throwing shade (in a nice, Vern way of course!) at Hildi over the outrageous junk she churned out sometimes. I hope Vern comes back, though I doubt he will, he’s been very successful and does not need the show. I hope they forget about ever bringing Hildi back …

      However, my sincerest hope is that they bring Carter Oosterhouse back as a carpenter (or a designer)! 🙂 He was so easy on the eyes!

  3. I agree with your thoughts. I always felt sorry for the people that ended up with Hilde. Can you imagine the amount of damage the hay did to the walls? Or the amount of time and effort it took to get the sand out of the house? Or the amount of money it took to make those rooms livable again? Ugh. No thank you!

  4. I can’t believe someone else remembers the hay on the wall make over! I remember the lady who owned the home walked over and picked a piece of the hair off the wall and said something about her kids pulling out making a mess. I either missed the episode with her face painted on the wall or just can’t remember but that is a hard thing to forget that’s ridiculous! I liked the show, but would loved to see behind the scenes of the honest opinion of the makeover.

  5. I remember an episode where wine bottle labels were applied to the walls in the kitchen like wallpaper, but the homeowners didn’t drink…

    1. Not only did they not drink, they were Pastors! They said on the blog that friends came over and helped them “fix” it that weekend.

  6. I remember the Hilde episode where she glued bird feathers on the bathroom wall. I watched the show 16 years ago (been that long, my gosh) and thought even then, no way I’m letting someone in my house to decorate. I don’t think it will get traction.

    1. THAT is the episode that pushed me over the edge and really felt Hilde was all about herself and ratings – nothing about design.

        1. That episode always stuck in my mind, too, because the neighbors were pleading with Hilde to not do because the homeowners didn’t drink. I think the husband was a former NFL player.

          I may be mis-remembering this one, and it wasn’t Hilde, but the homeowners had made the neighbors promise they wouldn’t paint their beautiful dining room furniture and the designer insisted on it. I think the neighbor cried.

          Another horrible Hilde episode was in the waning days when they were doing weird constraint challenges. I think they had to get their supplies at the grocery store. She crushed berries and used them to paint the ceiling (could’ve been the walls) and then keep Ooooing over the color. Yeah, in 2 days that reddish color will be brown and attracting bugs.

          My sister knew someone who had their bedroom made over on the show. I don’t remember the episode but I think the walls were painted blue. They kept everything except the bedside tables, which they replaced with ones that wouldn’t fall apart when you put a glass full of water on it.

          I loved the show at first but after a while it just stressed me out.

  7. Didn’t watch much of the show. Hated it. Was stressful. Ridiculous. What I say mostly was….. TACKY! If their goal was to make viewers hate the show, they accomplished that!! They better make big changes in the show.

  8. It was more comedy/entertainment than anything. These shows have come so far since then. I think viewers will expect more than a few laughs and some outrageous designers (yes, you Hilde!) People will watch, if only to see if it is a train wreck!

  9. I TOTALLY agree with you on the rooms that Hilda designed and executed. I was horrified for the homeowners! I wonder what incentive the show will give to homeowners this go-around to motivate them to take a gamble on possibly winding up with rooms like the ones in the original series. Or, maybe just being on a tv show will be enough incentive for some people…
    Let’s hope there will be better design and happier homeowners this time around.

    1. Oh my gosh, YES! I still remember that episode and I was horrified. I can’t even imagine trying to get rid of that mess.

  10. …the couple who wanted “Country / Farmhouse” and they were given a truly ugly, two-tone, checkerboard “modern” room. No, I won’t bother watching. I don’t enjoy being a voyeur to other’s disappointment.

    1. I think that was Doug that did that! Was this the one where the homeowners didnt want anyone to mess with their fireplace and Doug built a wall over it?
      The internet named her “Crying Pam” after she ran off camera and cried with the microphone still on. She later posted that she had asked for a Nantucket room and Doug named his design ‘Nantucket Fucket’.

      1. Yes! I remember that episode, and I wanted to cry right along with the homeowner. It seemed to me that Doug did it to prove what an ass he was. Anyone who would call his own design anything that included a takeoff on the “F” word definitely deserves to have it applied to him…only with a U at the end.

        At first, I enjoyed the show a little bit, but the longer it went, the less often I could watch. There was no excuse for someone who called themselves a professional designer to completely disregard the wishes of the person who would be living with the decisions that designer made. That behavior is not professional, not by any measure of interior designers I’ve ever heard of.

  11. Agree with all you wrote. It’ll be interesting to say the least. I am sure that the designers have stepped up their games as well.

  12. and doug purposely cutting off bed posts or covering up someone’s fireplace when the owners left a note – do not touch the fireplace. and i always said if I saw Hilde walking up my path I would hit her with a broom

  13. Hildi did a room with cardboard furniture and wall coverings. It was ugly and probably a fire hazard. But I always loved Vern’s rooms!

  14. I only watched a couple of times and found it hideous. I take home decor serious because your surroundings should bring comfort to your soul.

  15. I was so entertained by this show when it came out. It was also so original. People weren’t decorating their homes as much back then and there weren’t any decorating blogs or pinterest.

    But, I looked back at a bunch of before and after pictures and many are truly hideous.
    Were theme rooms in style back then? Just because I like the beach I don’t want my room to look like a beach.

    Vern and Laurie were probably the best designers.

  16. What about the room where the furniture was placed on the ceiling. Totally useless makeover and just for shock value.

  17. I’m so excited! And I agree . . . especially about Hildi! However . . . . I do think you can make a great impact on a room with $1,000! It will be interesting to see how their design ideas have evolved in time with the influence of so many great designers since them. I would LOVE to see a competition between Joanna Gaines and any of them! But then I’m a huge Joanna fan, too 🙂 Haha!

  18. Back then TLC was a better network than it is now. Today is a different television environment and as a general rule I avoid TLC. Because I know any of their shows are not worth my time. I watched the original Trading Spaces initially out of curiosity and hoping to get good ideas, and then for ‘trainwreck slowly developing’ fascination factor. For today’s world I can’t imagine who would allow their home to be used in the manner. $1000 for two rooms? Really? Plastic lawn chairs or broken down items picked up off treelawns? And any carpentry back then looked tacky to me, but I am the daughter of a master carpenter, so I knew it was done poorly. Now I shudder to think what they will do. I may watch an episode or two to see how bad it really is. But it is going to stink.

  19. I agree 100% with all you said. It’s really a “been there, done that idea.” But…I LOVED it when they showed homeowners who hated it and cried, etc. (I guess I’m just a little sadistic that way.)

  20. I only watched maybe 2 or 3 shows but I used to go on line and look at the before and afters.

    Like others, the thing I found most horrifying about the few shows I did watch was the way the designers completely disregarded the homeowners’ requests.

    On one show I watched the homeowners’ only request was not to do anything brown. They hated brown. What did they get? Brown everything. Why? Why would you do that to anyone? The same design – which was pretty banal by the way – could have been executed in any colour at all. To deliberately choose the one colour the homeowners did not want?????

    I can only imagine how angry I would have been watching the episodes described above where actual damage was done to belongings or structures.

    I don’t have regular TV anyway so I won’t be watching.

  21. I loved this show when it was on. One point you didn’t hit on and I think is going to be HUGE are sponsorships. I can’t think of a single popular Instagram account or blog (including every single one of those ORC rooms) that isn’t filled with #sponsorships #ads. Free sofas, free carpet, free lighting, free casegoods, free linens. Sponsorships existed back then, but they weren’t like they are now….entire lives #sponsored. Also, for me, while I love all of the design blogs, mags, instas, etc., most of them are just too much, over the top, filled with way too much consumerism and buy-me crap. Their homes look like retail stores with every inch filled with baskets filled with overflow sofa pillows, two and three layers of rugs, “styled” bookshelves that don’t have a single book and just filled with #stuff for all of the #sponsorships. I’m not sure how many people want to really live in any of those homes. I’ll tune in to watch, and I think you’re spot on with your points. I love a good trainwreck!

    1. “I can’t think of a single popular Instagram account or blog (including every single one of those ORC rooms) that isn’t filled with #sponsorships #ads.”
      You can think of one. Mine. 🙂 I’m not big on Instagram, but I haven’t done a sponsored blog post in about two years. I hate writing them. I reserve the right to change my mind in the future, but for now, I’m perfectly content not doing sponsored posts and getting free stuff.
      But you’re probably right about sponsorships on the reboot of Trading Spaces. That seems like the only way they could decorate with so little money in two days and make it look nice by today’s standards.

      1. You’re right! I totally had that in my first draft….but then edited it out… sorry 🙂 Thankfully there are still people can see through all of that! Keep doing you, its awesome!!

        1. Not everyone that does the ORC is being sponsored. I for one paid for everything that went into my room as well have done all the labor between myself and my husband.

          Then again, I don’t have a blog (anymore), and did the whole ORC on instagram so… ::SHRUGS::

          1. You’re right… I should have put in there Featured ORC Designers. I expect that most guest designers aren’t getting #sponsored. And actually, I love the guest designers for that reason. I looked at your bedroom on IG, its lovely (and where is that gorgeous coverlet from?). Thanks for being part of the conversation. I’m happy people still participate in comments without being jerks!

            1. Thank you! And yes- I’m glad for civil comment sections too. They are few and far between- part of the reason I stopped “blogging”. The duvet cover is from Schoolhouse Electric (I bought it a couple years ago and it’s help up remarkably well), and the blanket is from Target a year or so ago. I mix some high-end buys with low end items to keep the budget in check.

          2. You did a great job on your room! I’m finding that this time, I’m far more impressed with some of the guest participants than I am with the official participants.

    2. I completely agree with you. I have had Bloggers that I stopped following because the sponsorship ads were so excessive. I understand that the Blog writers have to make a buck, so will tolerate some adds within reason. As for Trading Spaces, I use to watch and will watch again once or twice. But they will have to up their game to keep me watching.

      1. Me too! And for almost all of those “popular” accounts I wonder how much of any of that decor is their style? I see most of them being sponsored by the same companies, given the same free stuff, and therefore all look the same. I love the design blogs with small followings, their feeds are usually fresh and full of real design.

  22. Ugh! Why😫 I don’t have high hopes for this reboot. We all know that you can’t do a “good” design with that little time and that budget. Even on some of the HGTV shows when they show a close up of trim, tile or a paint job, I’m aghast at what a poor job they have done! But… perfectionist🙃 I think they will make it all about the entertainment/ shock/ conflict content.

  23. I only caught the show a handful of times and was thoroughly disgusted each time. I appreciated Vern’s work usually. I always found something else to watch after those handful of times.

  24. My parents and I applied for and had an interview for the show. They came out and took photos, measured and did an on camera interview with us. Luckily, we were not chosen as there was no telling what we might have ended up with.

  25. I agree Kristi- I think today’s viewers are way more sophisticated than 15 years ago. The show will not last long (even though I sure that there will be no lack of willing participants that want their 15 min of fame on TV). Most viewers will be quickly bored (if not horrified) by the ‘design’ done by unqualified designers.

    As Kristi said – a format with a better chance of success would be longer time and more money. Folks really want to get ideas and see how things are done. I think there is an appetite for this to be delivered in an active format that is more information rich than we get from pinterest or youtube. BTW I always thought that the Candice Olsen series was one of the best.

  26. You are so right on everything! I watched every episode of “Trading Spaces,” but for some reason the whole concept just doesn’t appeal to me at this point. Hmmmmm…now I like the show “Stonehouse Revival.” Like you said–things have changed a lot. Or maybe it’s just me. 🙂

  27. You hit the nail on the head. I was a huge fan and even hosted Trading Spaces TV viewing parties – my friends and I, along with our kiddos loved to watch the transformations but in today’s market? I dunno, I’ll watch the first episode – but I can’t imagine a homeowner today being “okay” with their wishes being ignored. Namely, anything remotely resembling hay on their walls.

    1. We did the parties too! But before the show ended, we were so disgusted by how they were decorating that it just wasn’t fun anymore and little by little we stopped watching.

  28. I always considered the homeowners as victims. Vern is the only real designer in that group. If you’ve ever seen photos of his own home or real projects he’s done for clients, you can recognize that he’s very talented. Hilde was a joke, and Genevieve was mediocre when she had a show of her own.

  29. The other day I was on the highway and saw a billboard with Carter Oosterhouse on it. It might have been for a bank or a mortgage company. I thought, “Huh, would anyone even remember him to have his face make you want to do business there?”

  30. Kristi, what would be a good show in this age? I think you would be amazing on-air talent but at least an executive producer. I think it should still employ owner DIY skills or the lack thereof so viewers could see themselves in the show. I do love the DIY shows where they follow the owners working on their own homes. Drives my husband crazy, he can’t watch but I get a big kick out of it.

    1. If I were producing or starring in a show today, I would love to return the format of one of my all-time favorite shows — Room Service with Sarah Richardson. Do you remember that one? It was one of her very first shows (perhaps even her very first), and during the course of the show, you would see a room completely transformed from the before to the after. But she would always include a DIY project in each show and actually teach how to do that project, plus she had other really great info, like interviews with artisans to learn more about their craft, and other things like that. But it was all related to the room she was decorating. For example, if she wanted a unique ceiling light fixture, she might seek out a local custom light artisan, chat with him about his methods, get unique insights into the art of creating custom lighting, etc. It was just a good, all-around show — entertaining, educational, and inspiring — with each show ending with a completely transformed room. I’d love to see someone bring back that format, but perhaps in an hour-long show rather than a 30-minute show.

      1. I will look for that streaming. Don’t think I’ve seen it but it sounds great and my husband will actually watch it with me!

      2. Ohhhh I LOVED her show. I will never forget how she transformed a mud room. I enjoyed learning from her the way to use fabric when decorating. At the time, it was all new to me.

  31. I would much rather watch Trading Spaces with Hilde (who I despised) than Chip and Joanna! I think they are overrated and highly anoying. Everything is about pushing and selling their brands. Their show has turned into just another infomercial.
    That said, I think that $1,000 can make a big difference and go along way if you budget correctly. Will the new show flip or flop? If people like Hilde are involved and continue to make a mockery out of the redos, then it will be a total failure.

    1. I really enjoy Chip & Joanna, but I do understand what you mean about the show basically becoming a commercial for their lines of products. That’s what happened to Candice Olsen. For years, she was my absolute favorite HGTV designer. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her show, but over time, her show evolved into the same thing — one long commercial for her products, and the rooms were nothing more than showcases for her products. She was still immensely talented, and her rooms were stunning, but I was so disappointed when the show shifted like that.

      1. I agree with you Kristi. I also was a Candace fan until the show shifted. I know that there are fans that love the designer lines that come from these shows and that it can be a big money-maker for the star, it’s disappointing that selling their goods seems to take over what used to be a quality show about talented designers helping ordinary people. TLC used to be “The Learning Channel”, but that concept flew out the window years ago, which is such a shame.

  32. I am for sure watching but I am with you Kristi- it’s hard to see how this will work with today’s expectations. I loved the show at the time . Back when I didn’t have much of a budget it gave me the confidence of possibilities to do something to my space.
    I met Frank once and bought a fun painting from him. He and his wife create patterns under the name Mosey and Me.
    Vern did a room once all in red- including the ceiling. It looked like those poor people were going to live in a red box. The worst.
    Remember the fight the lady got into with her neighbor after the room was painted brown? It was like watching a train wreck.
    With $1000 now a days you can paint, you can sew and you can rearrange and ‘shop’ from the house or garage sales or Goodwill, but that is about it. We will see !

  33. Doesn’t anyone but me remember Edward? Edward, Vern and Laurie did some lovely rooms and were, I thought, very talented. Edward was my favorite though. I thought the three of them actually did their best to accommodate the request of the homeowners. And Edward seemed to have such a talent for Southern style which I loved. However, I despised Hilde and Doug. I quit watching the show because it was just heartbreaking to see the horrors that they’d inflict on a room. Does anyone else remember Doug’s jailhouse rock bedroom design (and I use the word design very, very loosely)?

    1. I loved Edward. His design sense was excellent and he seemed like a genuinely kind and thoughtful person. He started as an upholster or sewer on the crew so had skills to boot. He was the first person I ever heard say “Every room needs a touch of black.” I am sure he didn’t make that up but it made me take notice and dang if it isn’t true.

      1. Ah! Another Edward fan! Hi there! Yes, the touch of black and he was so right about that! As wonderful as Vern and Laurie were, it was Edward’s grasp of Southern style that spoke to me. Such a gentleman. I’d would have loved to have him do a room in my home. I know he would have listened carefully, honored my wishes and designed a room for me that I’d love…..

  34. Well this was fun, especially reading through all the comments. I thought the show was a scream, but I was always glad it wasn’t me! It was hysterical to watch Hildi because it was like watching an impending train-wreck, but you always had to remember that THIS WAS SOMEONE’S HOME!

    I totally agree with your assessment. Unless everything is donated by “sponsors” there is no way they can do a decent looking room for $1000 in two days. BTW, my son is in the film business, and when he was putting in his time doing all the lowly jobs in a production, he worked on a couple of these as a sound man. He said there are literally a million people tripping over each other getting it all done, like those episodes where they built a house and decorated it in a week. I don’t think I am, but am I mixing up the shows? At any rate I remember Ty Pennington being involved in the ones he was helping to film.

    It should be entertaining to say the least. Also, I would like to see how well these people have aged! (meow)

  35. I will give it a try but I hope some of the parameters are better than they used to be. Time will tell and keep Hildi away from my house!

  36. I loved the show when it was on. Back then, not many people were doing DIY much and I think this showed people that they could do it. While we look back now and say the rooms, even the ones that were nice then, were done horribly, we have to realize that styles and things change over time. Most of us would think that the 1980’s designed rooms are horrible design looking at them now even if the people had spent a lot of money and it was done with good craftsmanship. Yes, it was awful seeing the rooms done in some totally ridiculous design just for the shock value or ratings and the designers totally disregarding the homeowners requests. However, I do see where some of the designers were coming from on some of it. A lot of homeowners don’t have the vision to see how something would look with certain changes done or how much better the room could look.

    It will be interesting to see what they change about the show to fit in with today’s standards. If they don’t up the budget, I still think they can make some significant design changes to a room to make an impact and make it a lot better. I think that can help a lot of people out here who may not have the money to totally do over the entire room. Even adding one more day to the process would help so I would hope they would do that. Two days just isn’t enough time to do a decent job. If they listen more to the homeowners wishes and try to stay within some boundaries, it will be better. If they don’t do some crazy, wacky design that will be detrimental to the house just for ratings or shock value.

    I will watch and see how things go since I loved the show before. I watch a lot of HGTV shows now but get very irritated that, in a lot of cases, the rooms all end up looking the same. Too many look as if they are showrooms instead of rooms that people are actually meant to live in. Most of them would be next to impossible to keep looking that good with my family and lifestyle.

  37. I agree with you, Kristi, ‘Trading Spaces’ was a groundbreaking show, virtually the first of the DIY decorating TV shows that soon would change the landscape of “home-keeping” television. I can’t wait to see what new designers will do with $1000.00! Regardless of what we have heard or read, each homeowner participating in the original ‘Trading Places’ series was well briefed on they could anticipate. Even if they had never heard of the show, I’m certain homeowners were able to view episodes in the making. We have all been educated about how many of the current DIY makeover shows give homeowners an idea of what will occur on the show, what furnishings in the revealed makeover they are NOT allowed to keep and the amount of editing that will take place on the footage before the show is finally aired. There are definitely surprises, but not as many as we think. Remember, back then, the same as now, these networks are selling TV shows their viewers will tune into week after week.

  38. I agree with you. I used to love the show initially but then they got way out of hand. I for one do not have a polker face and would have had to leave tbe room like the lady whose fireplace was touched when she asked them not to and then I probably would have gone off away from the cameras. I felt sorry for a lot of the homeowners and thought it was so ridiculous how they did not take any of their wishes seriously. Some things should not be repeated so I don’t think it’s a good idea for the show to come back.

  39. I read a blog a few years ago ( maybe Hooked on Houses? ) where she covered “after” stories of some of the homeowners. Kind of a “where are they now?” in regards to their honest feelings about what was done to their rooms. It was telling, I must say.
    The first few years, it was interesting, even if I didn’t like the outcome. But when they started with all the crazy stuff, I lost my interest. I heard that Doug and Hildi did some of those atrocious rooms that way because they were pissed off. ( Not always with the homeowners, but with the producers.) They said they were “forced” to do things they didn’t agree with, and for spite, they made a mockery of what they were told to do. Not sure if that’s true, but I remember hearing it somewhere.
    I follow Vern on FB, and comments to him were always full of “will you all PLEASE do Trading Spaces again?” and then poof – he announced it on his feed about two months ago! I’m like, SERIOUSLY? I’m surprised he ( and others ) agreed to do it! Yes, it was memorable, but don’t think it will have the same impact it did. It will be nice to see if these designers have a bit more compassion this time, and not create huge disasters for the homeowners – who, by the way, had to repair the damages themselves. (But they were most likely paid to allow it in the first place, in some form or another.)

    1. If it’s true Vern’s coming back, I am so glad! He was really the best of the designers. I’d watch the show just for him.

  40. I agree with everything said here about Trading Spaces, especially Hildi and Doug. I wish they would bring back Decorating Cents updated. That was one we all usually loved.

  41. So Kristi, I guess it is safe to assume your hallway will not have stripes like a cabana??? Lol I remember that show well. They sure had some crazy ideas.

  42. I disagree with most of the commenters who likes Trading Spaces. I never did. I came in a season or two late, and the premise made me cringe from the beginning. I gave it a try for a few episodes but couldn’t stomach it longer. I despised what was done in every episode I saw: the results were usually ugly, and the homeowners’ wishes were scorned.

    Yes, I feel strongly about Trading Spaces. I hated it then, and don’t know why they’re trying again. I won’t be watching.

  43. I’m impressed they we’re able to assemble so much of the originals cast.

    Hildi was awful. The worst part of the hay house wasn’t the hay, it was what she did to the trim. It was a California craftsman with a gorgeous mantle and built-ins made with clear Douglas fir fr centuries old trees. She ripped the mantle and built-ins out and replaced them with cheap 1×6 pine lumber. It was unforgivable

  44. I welcome the return not for the design aspect but because the world is an incredibly unbearable place right now especially the dis-United States of America. I think we need some stupid but fun tv to distract us from Reality for an hour or so. This will nicely fit that.

    I have to say I loved reading this article because Hilde always annoyed me and I often think of that mural of her she forced them to do! What an ego!

  45. I used to loved Trading Spaces. Vern and Laurie were my faves with a little bit of Frank thrown in there, at least he had heart. lol lol I always loved watching what Ty and Aimee came up with for builds. Hilde was an absolute twit about her designs. The only thing about these shows is that there is ALWAYS a boring predicting formula. Which is why I think the producers add people like Doug and Hilde. You just never knew how awful they were going to go. I remember the room that Doug did that looked like a prison cell. It was hideous! If it’s the same budget- I expect people to get more ridiculous and outlandish just for “squeeee” factor. I probably won’t tune in- if I do, it’s only out of curiosity. I find I don’t have the patience to watch the same old formulaic drivel on t.v. anymore, even if I record it and watch it without commercials. 🙁 Once you stop having to depend on t.v. with commercials for timing and dramatic anticipation- it changes everything. lol

  46. The only one crying would be the jerk who glued hay to my walls or shoveled sand onto my floors. My hubs and I always thought those people were crazy for letting people come in and ruin their homes. Control is worth every penny.

  47. I must be the only one who truly hated that show. I could never buy into the premise of working on someone else’s house to do what they didn’t like vs. working on your own to make it nice. It makes no sense to me and anyone who would agree to do it, well I just don’t understand. I will not be watching.

  48. I agree with Natalia above! One of the few episodes I saw must have been by that Hildie lady–they were gluing moss onto a bedroom wall!!! Can you imagine the dust and bugs collecting there? If you wanted to keep it green you would have had to mist it–like-“ain’t nobody got time for dat!”

    I wish they would bring the old, “Designed to Sell” show back. They couldn’t go too crazy because they were trying to sell the home! The labor was all free, but, if you accounted for that, it seemed somewhat realistic, budget wise. I would love it if a show didn’t try to create drama, though, by trying to do things so quickly—we just want to see the best results in a realistic time-frame! Just my 2 cents.
    Btw–I’d also love to see Kristi’s diy projects on a reality show!! I’d watch for sure!

  49. The return of this show is getting a lot of buzz. The 1K budget was not accurate back in the day. It did not include the labor of two full-time carpenters working around the clock. I’m always looking for inspiration so I hope the rooms are inspiring with good take-away ideas. Thanks for mentioning the ORC.

  50. I tried to watch the first episode of the new Trading Spaces and they have turned Doug and Hildie loose again. I couldn’t continue watching after Paige bullied the home owners to let Doug put burlap on all the walls after telling them he would do an upscale beach hotel vibe. And Hildie was going to do what looked like looking through a kaleidoscope all over the walls and ceiling. That is what ruined the show in the first place. I will not watch any more. I might watch the old episodes from when they first began if they ever put them out there.

  51. Kristi you are right on target with your professional assessment. You are so much more lady like in your assessment than the response I posted on their Facebook page. I included such words as “cheap crap” as I recall. But you do make a point, this is just merely theater. Nothing to do with real design. It just encourages people to be unyielding and unkind – the last thing we need in this world today.

    I’m so relieved to see so many other like minded people making comments here. I think you’ve unwittingly begun a counseling page for Trading Spaces PTSD!! lol

    I love the cast – hate the show.