Trading places! Two neighbors, two homes, two renovated rooms and a team of interior design experts made up TLC’s Trading Spaces reality TV show.
The TLC series originally aired for eight seasons between 2000 and 2008, showing home renovation enthusiasts how to fix up a drab room in their home under budget and within limited time constraints. Each episode took place in a different city, introducing viewers to two families who lived next door and wanted to spruce up a single room in their house. To do so, they handed over their keys to one another for 48 hours and were matched with an interior designer and a carpenter to transform the space. They had 48 hours and a $1,000 budget to make it happen before the all-important reveal.
“As a host in those moments, to be quiet is really the best thing I can do,” Paige Davis, who hosted the show, exclusively told Us Weekly in May 2018 of showing off the final product to an upset homeowner. “Everyone’s disappointed. Everybody thinks, ‘Oooh, ratings! It’s so exciting!’ But nobody’s happy when the homeowners don’t like it. [I have] to let them vent and get it out, and be like ‘It’s OK, you can change it, you can always paint over it!’”
After the show went off the air in December 2008, the network eventually greenlit a two-season reboot — with several of its most iconic stars and an increased budget of $2,000.
“I will be hosting Trading Spaces again. I’m back at TLC, back home and back where I belong,” Davis announced in July 2017 ahead of the series premiere.
Airing nearly 10 years after the OG iteration went off the air, Trading Spaces brought back designers Hildi Santo-Tomas, Genevieve Gorder, Doug Wilson and Vern Yip to fix up even more rooms. Plus, former show contractors Ty Pennington and Carter Oosterhouse made the switch to designers. Newcomers Brett Tutor, Joanie Sprague, John Gidding, Kahi Lee and Sabrina Soto also starred on the program.
“When they came to me and asked [if I would do the reboot], I said, ‘Of course, I’ll do it’ because it’s family — the family that gave me my start,” Pennington — who wed Kellee Merrell in November 2021 — told the Chicago Tribune in May 2019. “Not to mention, to me, it’s still one of the most fun formats I’ve ever been involved in. You’re doing one room, it’s only 2½ days, and you’re giving somebody with a plain bedroom something that’s different, unique and fun.”
The Ty Breaker host added: “And everybody has fun during the process. It was a no-brainer. Because of my experience, I know not only how to finish a room but also know how to make good television now, so if you let me off the leash, I’ll definitely give you some entertainment. … The thing about Trading Spaces is it’s about making something out of nothing and to try to do it in a creative way.”
Scroll below to see what the cast has been up to since their days renovating on a budget: