To be honest, I can’t even remember the episode that was in my town, but I can remember my intense love for Trading Spaces. From Hildi Santo Tomas’ horrible creations to the fantasy fodder that was Ty Pennington wielding power tools, I was into it all. This show may or may not have been a contributing factor to my career as an interior designer today…that and The Sims. And if you haven’t heard, Trading Spaces is back!
First off, you need to watch the reunion that aired before the first episode. It re-introduces all your favorite (Genevieve and Frank, duh) and least favorite designers. More importantly, it showcases the best and worst designs from Trading Spaces‘ original run from 2000 to 2008. Oh, how times have changed, and I’m not just talking about the poor filming quality. Even the best of these designs look so dated. And as a designer, I can tell you that’s the opposite of what you want your designs to be. I can’t imagine how it feels to sit there and see pretty much the worst things you’ve created paraded in front of you, but that’s just me. As an audience member, it sure was fun though!
What was even more fun was to see all the couples who hated their new spaces. It made me even more excited for this reboot. Because even though styles may have evolved, tastes are always individual and a lot of these people are going to hate what they’re given. This ain’t Chip and Joanna, it’s a whole new/old game.
The Big Reveal
Enough reminiscing. Let’s talk about the now.
The new Trading Spaces…is pretty much the same as the old one. Paige’s hair may be a less flippy, but other than that, it’s like we’re back in 2003. There are still two sets of random neighbors who may or may not be friends in intensely bright shirts, two designers, two days, and now $2,000. In the premiere episode, it’s sister-neighbors, which is insane to me. Sisters are savage. That’s all I’ll say on the topic.
They started this reboot out with some heavy hitters: Doug Wilson and Hildi Santo Tomas. AKA the craziest designers. Hildi once covered an entire room in feathers. And another room all in hay. And yet another room all in fake flowers.
— TLC Network (@TLC) April 8, 2018
Then there’s Doug who once made a bench out of a piece of wood and two toilets. This bench was in a room he called “The Prison of Love.” The theme was solitary confinement…this was a master bedroom.
I can’t wait to see what they do in 2018, a year that’s been trash. Let’s hope they don’t use that as inspiration going forward. I pray they keep in mind that people actually live in these spaces. They’re not necessarily the platform for your artistic vision.
Well, it wasn’t trash, but as expected, there were some strange choices. Penguins were used as inspiration, literal eggshells were used as decoration, and burlap was used as a wallcovering. I’ll admit I shouted “ugh” out loud and shivered when I saw some of their paint lines, but I was raised to live and die by painter’s tape.
I’ll let you watch the episode to see if the homeowners loved or hated their spaces. Dubious design choices aside, this show is great fun, and the first episode picks up right where the old left off. All I ask is that you don’t regress back to your early aught’s style. Just because Trading Spaces is back doesn’t mean you should start wearing velour tracksuits and trucker hats again…
I was a reboot skeptic, but slowly my tune is changing. I loved the new Queer Eye and I get sad at least once a day that there aren’t more episodes for me to watch. Similarly, Trading Spaces is good, fun TV and I’ll continue to watch the reboot. None of these shows are the next Game of Thrones, but they’re exactly what you want to binge on a rainy afternoon while you house a pint of ice cream. Reboots work with shows like these because they’re virtually eternal; makeovers never go out of style. Now all they need to do is reboot What Not to Wear and the trifecta will be complete.
Trading Spaces airs Saturdays at 8/7c on TLC or if you don’t want to spend your Saturday nights watching TV, watch it anytime on the TLC GO app.