After a ten-year hiatus, what launched the DIY reality phenomena has made it back on television. In 2000, we all fell in love with the perky Paige Davis. The host challenged neighbors and TLC designers to swap houses and in two days renovate a room in each other’s homes with $1,000 budget. Well, times have changed over those eighteen years however; the reboot has not – except fortunately the budget has doubled.

The good news is America’s sweet heart Paige Davis is back! The beloved host narrates the weekend-long renovation process just as always. The show also brings back a few designer success stories; Genevieve Gorder, Vern Yip and Laurie Smith however to boost their ratings TLC obviously had to bring back the most terrible “villains” from the show including Hildi Santo-Thomas, Doug Wilson and Frank Bieclec. Don’t worry the model styled carpenters are all back including Carter, Ty and Amy accompanied with a couple newbies.

Along with the original cast there are a few new favorites added to the mix from HGTV including Sabrina Soto and architect/designer John Gidding. These are welcome additions to the cast. Let’s hope they can capture a fresh new approach to a series that only two weeks into airing is quite tragic.

When the show originally launched it made interior design accessible to America, instead of the more affluent. It was all about being resourceful and creating allot with a little bit of money. But, times have changed since 2000. American’s have much more accessibility to design and inspiration. They are savvy, sophisticated and exposed to so many options. The Internet has influenced us all and allowed us to “pin” anything we love on our inspiration boards and make it reality. Major retailers like Target, Home Goods and Amazon allows us to obtain a more “designer look” on a budget and within hours. When the show originally launched Target was just introducing their knock off of designs, IKEA was the affordable modern scan look and Wal-Mart had the nearest fabric store. There was not the outreach that we all have today and stores like Ethan Allen and Restoration Hardware were out of many American’s budgets.

I have been a follower of Trading Spaces since the very beginning but this rebirth is an absolute horror show. I gave it two episodes as well as both of the reunion shows to grab me. Instead I found myself hitting fast forward and having flash backs of sponge painting. The days of MDF, gallons of wretched pain colors and using eggshells for décor are over. The design aesthetics from the previous designers haven’t evolved enough and we are just spoiled by the big budget flipping shows, hometown husband and wife decorating teams and dream home giveaways. My generation of decorators grew up with this show. They inspired us all. It is a little painful for me to just delete my DVR but it’s happening. John Gidding and Genevieve Gorder, I will always be your biggest supporter and Instagram follower. You listen to the clients, give amazing design and make it happen. TLC you need to get it together. Unfortunately, I am sorry to say that this Gen X will have to drop the show at the curb because it lacks the appeal.

David Brown
Mulberry Seed Design