Trading Spaces is Back Episode 1 Recap

Trading Spaces S9, E1 Recap: Not Our First Rodeo

It’s season 9 of Trading Spaces, back after a 10-year hiatus, and I just had to watch the first episode and report!

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I loved Trading Spaces back in the day. In fact, I had the pleasure of interviewing several Trading Spaces designers for Sew News, including Frank Bielec who is back this season. I was always fascinated by the amount of work that went into teach room transformation in only two days–knowing that reality TV isn’t always what it seems. I always looked for the sewists–sometimes they were the homeowners, who needed a little tutorial on the machine or sewed by hand to get the pillows done in time. So when TLC announced they were bringing back the show, I had to watch and hope that we would see much more sewing this time around.

As usual, we don’t get to witness much of the process from the designers. They have their design all mapped out before we even begin to learn about the homeowners. I want to see the sketches, the color swatches, the fabric shopping, the thrift store bargains…but I guess there’s not much time for that. Instead, we learn about the homeowners–they are sisters who live next door to each other. One couple needs their master bedroom updated. The other needs a guest room that people will actually want to stay in. Here we go.

Couple #1 are working with Doug Wilson. Doug was always one to push the envelope, but surprise everyone in the end with the result. He didn’t disappoint. His couple wanted an oasis–a tropical retreat–for their relatives, expressing that the existing room was too dark. Doug responds first by having them paint the ceiling dark brown. Then he turns up with yards of burlap and has them start stapling it to the walls. Hilarity. The couple is totally against this and even said “No. We’re not doing that.” But end up doing it anyway.

Couple #2 are working with Hildi Santo Tomas. If you remember the show, you remember Hildi. She was notorious for doing the most outlandish things–just to get a rise out of the homeowners and the audience. Furniture glued to the ceiling, straw glued to walls, flowers stapled to walls, sand on the floor (the entire floor)…need I go on? Obviously I was on the edge of my seat to see what she would do in the first episode of the series reboot. First, she found a cool fabric print, but then she decided to mimic it on every wall and the ceiling. Too much of a good thing really is just that. Couple #2 are completely against this, stating that they would just paint too slowly and the ceiling would be spared. Not so much. They flaked on their homework, left the ceiling alone, and Hildi made them all do it the next morning, swapping time and space in the room with Ty Pennington, who had to install an entirely fabricated Murphy bed.

In the end, Couple #1 finished their burlap-covered walls and the homeowners…liked it? They said they did, but I couldn’t really tell. They did get a cool handmade platform bed and matching dresser out of the deal, courtesy of Carter Oosterhouse, which was probably worth the $2,000 investment alone.

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Couple #2 finished the ceiling, Hildi brought in even more of the fabric print with custom Roman shades and they managed to finish .25 over budget.

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Yes, that pattern was on each wall and on the ceiling. The Murphy bed was a nice touch, but even Ty stated that they would need an army to help them lift it back to the wall. Hope they don’t have frequent house guests, because they will have nowhere to keep those club chairs (notice they are up against the door in the above photo).

Screen Shot 2018 04 09 at 2.58.08 PM Trading Spaces is Back Episode 1 RecapAnd, yes, those are hollowed-out egg shells acting as a “statue,” as Paige Davis calls it. I guarantee the homeowners repaint and throw away those egg shells immediately. They opened their eyes for the reveal and the woman starts crying. Paige questions whether they are tears of joy. I guarantee, they aren’t. She hates it but keeps complimenting the “amount of work that went into it.” The husband is visibly disappointed.

Did these people not watch ten years ago? Very few homeowners were pleased, if I’m remembering correctly. Plus, the designers almost always do the exact opposite of what is requested. So if you’re going to be on this show, you should just ask for shag carpeting, a naked statue of yourself and pillows made of human hair if you want to get anything you’ll actually want and use. Just sayin.

Prove me wrong, Trading Spaces! Let’s see some actual designs we could use in our own lives rather than creating drama for the sake of drama and a ridiculous design that causes the homeowners to spend twice as much money to fix. (Maybe a more interesting show would be “Trading Spaces: After the Crew Leaves. Wouldn’t you love to see the first thing that happens once the cameras are off?)

I’ll watch again, but I can’t commit to the entire season…yet.




 Trading Spaces is Back Episode 1 Recap
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