Paige Davis talks room fails on Trading Spaces: You listen and go ‘Bye, Felicia’

Trading Spaces is coming back to TLC after ten years off the air. The rebooted show premieres on April 7. My mom and I just saw an episode of the original series, which we used to watch back in the day, as they’re airing repeats. It was so much fun mocking the terrible interior design of that era and reading into the polite but muted responses of the homeowners. In case you’re not familiar with the show, it involves neighbors swapping homes and redesigning a room for each other, with the help of professionals, over the course of a weekend on a $1,000 budget. The results can vary from amazing to awful. The format of the new show is going to remain the same, except the budget is being upped to $2,000.

People has an interview with host Paige Davis, who said that she found out that Trading Spaces was coming back at the same time as everyone else heard the news. At that point she insisted on hosting again, which she shouldn’t have had to do. She was the cornerstone of Trading Spaces and she should have been asked to return before they made the announcement! It sounds like that’s all water under the bridge and like everyone is on board to return though.

The moment that Paige Davis found out Trading Spaces was returning after a decade off the air, the former host sprang into action.

“On the nightstand I could hear my phone vibrating, like a lot,” she recalls after getting a sudden flurry of social media alerts and text messages last March. “I thought there was an emergency.”

Instead it was the breaking news that Trading Spaces was returning to television after a 10-year hiatus. “Everybody was asking me if I knew,” she says in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “I said, ‘I’m hearing about it now, just like you!’ ” Davis, 48, then immediately called TLC to put her name in the hat. “You know I want to host, right?” she recalls asking. “I didn’t want anyone else to have my part!”

Luckily, Davis got her wish. She’s reprising her role in the much-anticipated reboot premiering April 7, along with eight members of the original cast and five new faces. When filming picked back up with the old crew, she says it was like the past decade never happened. “It felt like we had never left,” she says. “It just felt like home. I’m so excited; we all are.”

[From People]

Paige looks a lot different without that spiky short hair, but she doesn’t look like she’s aged, right? My favorite designer, Verne Yip, and most of the other designers are returning as well. Do you remember the oldest designer, Frank Bielec, who created some of the ugliest rooms? His style was so chintzy that it stood out. Bielec said some negative things about the show after it ended and his costars didn’t think he would show for the reboot, but he’s coming back too!

Speaking of Frank, Paige also talked about some of the epic fail rooms on the show. She called them “rare,” which I think was due to people just being exhausted and polite after an entire weekend of working, and said “You just talked them through it, listened to what they had to say, and then go, ‘Bye, Felicia.’” She sounds ruthless behind that sunny persona.

Here’s a video of some of the worst designs. Paige does talk them through it! The ladies at 1:50 got a living room with straw on the walls and a pink ceiling. That was done by Hildi. Buzzfeed has her worst rooms. I remember her now! She once put furniture on the ceiling and I remember another room where she put newspaper on the walls. She’s coming back too. Here’s a link to more crap designs from that show.

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60 Responses to “Paige Davis talks room fails on Trading Spaces: You listen and go ‘Bye, Felicia’”

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  1. Eric says:

    I remember Trading Soaces. Seems to have been, along with a few HGTV shows, the proto-human’s answer to DIYers. Poor quality in both filming and design, almost like a stone tool compared to a machete.

    As primitive as it was I miss the sincerity of shows like TS. Can’t stand the “modern” DIY shows because of either a) huge cash amounts and/or b) on-air “talent.”

    • TSK says:

      @ Eric..
      I agree with you. One of my favorite shows was Sell This House on A&E. They showed simple realistic ways on how to prepare your house for sell. I hate the design TV shows now. Its all about being reality TV famous. Everything is so generic.

      • Eric says:

        One of the best shows was a title I can’t recall but “starred” Joe Larario and Ed Feldman. They would transform ugly furniture into wild pieces using copious amounts of naphtha and other chemicals probably now banned by EPA. The two of them were hilarious (and occasionally crude) and the show now seems to have been beamed in from Mars, it was so bizarre. A show modeled on the Joe and Ed show was a female who had a segment called “trash to treasure,” but, like Ed and Joe, basically turned crap into “prettier” crap. Can’t for the life of me remember the name of that show either. These were circa ’93- ”98.
        Update! It’s the Furniture Guys and Decorating Cents!

        It was brilliant!

      • BILLYPILGRIM says:

        I loved “Sell This House” too! Hated when they stopped filming. Watched reruns countless times.

      • North of Boston says:

        Sell this House was fantastic! They would do things that you wouldn’t necessarily want to do to your own house, as Trading Spaces did, but they were completely up front about the idea that they were doing it solely to make the rooms look good temporarily/superficially, because it was just for staging to get the house sold. (vs Trading Spaces, where the designers would do stuff that wouldn’t last a weekend, like painting kitchen countertops, but pretend like they had done a long lasting renovation)

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, lol. Life was simpler then, that’s for sure. I have a lot of fondness for it because I discovered it while home on maternity leave with my oldest son (who is now 18!) and it was such a soothing way to spend a little time in the afternoon while he napped. I don’t watch other DIY shows either, but most seem very glossy and expensive in comparison.

    • North of Boston says:

      oops, wrong place.

  2. aims says:

    I used to watch it all the time with my mom too. I liked Vern, Laura as designers. My absolute worst was Hildia and Doug. If either one of them was at my house I might have to quit.

    • Rosalee says:

      I remember when she did the cardboard furniture, record album wall and the rooms of sand and straw..I often wondered if she had to be escorted off site to protect her from angry homeowners. Did anyone say no to her horrible design ideas?

      • aims says:

        Oh God! The hay on the walls!! I’d be furious and it’s ugly, not functional and you know you would be vacuuming hay for months.

        I remember when Doug made someones bedroom look like a jungle. It was poorly done ,cheap looking and bizarre. The bed was made out of bamboo , the walls we’re painted zebra print. There was a cheap looking palm tree in the corner. I’d be raging if they did that to my bedroom.

      • Marianne says:

        Do you remember when Hildi stapled 1000s of sunflower seed packages to the wall? That was a low point also, but the sand room was worse I think. It’s one thing to rip out all those staples from a wall, but the sand! How much shoveling and vacuuming (and ruining of the vacuum) would it require to get to the other side of that one?

        The mere existence of Hildi as a potential designer in my home would permanent preclude my participation in that show! Ironically, her own home, from the pictures I recall back in the day, was extremely low-key and serene.

      • Marianne says:

        Do you remember when Hildi stapled 1000s of sunflower seed packages to the wall? That was a low point also, but the sand room was worse I think. It’s one thing to rip out all those staples from a wall, but the sand! How much shoveling and vacuuming (and ruining of the vacuum) would it require to get to the other side of that one?

        The mere existence of Hildi as a potential designer in my home would permanent preclude my participation in that show! Ironically, her own home, from the pictures I recall back in the day, was extremely low-key and serene.

      • bananapanda says:

        Hildie did a kitchen with a wine theme and would not accept that the family doesn’t drink alcohol. It was INSANE. There were wine corks everywhere and wine racks, etc. etc. The neighbors were increasingly uncomfortable during the show.

        There was another one where the wife hated orange. It was the only thing she didn’t want and they painted the room orange. It was a beautiful room but the wife burst into tears.

        The only person I’d let in my house is Candice Olsen. She has great taste and would respect my antiques and bookshelves.

      • North of Boston says:

        Was it Hildi who decorated a bathroom with dozens of artificial flowers stapled to the wall? I remember seeing that and thinking “yeah, sure, one month of that family showering and using the bathroom as a bathroom and those flowers are going to be covered with dust and mildew, yuck!”

        I actually liked *some* of her designs, but others were just ridiculous. Doug seemed to purposely do obnoxious sh*t just because. I don’t think I would get through a weekend project with him without sponge-painting his huffy pretentious self right out a window. But Frank was the worst…as cheery as he was, I don’t think he ever ‘designed’ a room that wasn’t covered from ceiling to floor in craft paint. I think I would cry if I agreed to do a TS episode and saw him show up in my driveway.

    • Esmom says:

      Agreed. I actually started to get nervous when those two were the designers, lol. I can’t imagine how the homeowners felt!

    • Va Va Kaboom says:

      Hildi seemed to go out of her way to make the rooms odd and God forbid if a homeowner gave any restrictions whatsoever. “Don’t rip out my brand new expensive carpet, please don’t use brown, etc”, no matter what she’d always add it in.

      My sister and I used to joke that you could tell her you’re open to anything but cat poop on the walls and her immediate response would be “… but cat feces is integral to my design!!!”. She was the literal worst.

    • Kelly says:

      Remember when the homeowner’s request was that her fireplace stay, and Doug completely boarded over it to be a total bitch? The lady politely walked away but forgot she was miked. You could hear her sobbing. I absolutely despised him. Hildi was almost as bad.

      I adored Verne, Laurie, and Genevieve (most of the time). Frank was a great guy, but was sort of country kitsch. I also really liked the female carpenter whose name is escaping me.

      • aims says:

        Yes ! Her husband said,”she’s mad.” Then he said all he sees is a lot of firewood. I get that they have an artistic vision,but at the end of the day,it’s the homeowner who has to deal with their vision. You got to be respectful and understand what is workable for the client. Walls cover in hay with a pink ceiling works for no one!!

  3. Maria F. says:

    I loved the show. Regular people and some reveals were very happy.

    I still remember the 7000 flowers bathroom.

    • gatorbait says:

      The flowers happened in my home town. It cost them a freaking fortune to repair the damage she did to their bathroom.

      • jetlagged says:

        I remember that episode! Superglue (or was it hot glue?) and silk flowers. The owners must have had to tear down to the studs to even get something resembling a functional bathroom.

      • Kelly says:

        The same for the repair to Hildi’s hay wall. That was glued on, and the family had small children. When the neighbors pointed this out, Hildi said the children should be taught to not pull at the hay. She did some of the most horrendous stuff, yet admitted her own home was done in complete whites.

  4. Redgrl says:

    I remember that show – Vern was my favourite too. There was also a British Trading Spaces (don’t remember the name or which show was the original) which was even more hilarious. The UK contestants really took no prisoners when they didn’t like a room.

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      Changing Rooms. BBC America used to run the episodes all the time!

    • Yes! I used to watch both shows!

    • imqrious2 says:

      I LOVED that show! And I loved TS. I really miss the days when these channels did shows like this. (And I do remember that “Decorating Cents” show too! I used to tape them (back in the VCR days, yes, I’m old lol), and would binge when I got home from work. Some people drank, I binged these shows 😊. Much healthier!

      • Redgrl says:

        Wasn’t a decorating show, but I used to love the British real estate show Location Location Location – it was like a travelogue – and Phil was hot!

  5. LittleWing says:

    Omg the straw on the walls. Hay-nous!

  6. heh says:

    like everyone else i watched this show with my mom. LOL
    i used to love Genevieve’s aesthetic.
    also, Paige is 48!? damn she looks, at most, late 30′s.

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      I liked Genevieve’s rooms the most too. But Verne was a close second.

      • Betsy says:

        That follows. I never watched the show but both Genevieve and Verne’s names penetrated my consciousness.

  7. Another Anne says:

    Loved that show! Vern was the best, by far. Laura and Genvieve could turn out some decent stuff. If TS was doing my house and I got assigned Hildi, I think I’d cry. But her cray rooms did make for good tv.

    • susiecue says:

      Yes. Hildi was so inconsiderate of people. And Doug, I remember painted a couple’s fireplace after they begged for it to be left untouched. Should’ve known better, I guess. Genevieve put moss on someone’s wall once, but normally I liked her stuff and Vern too. Plus they had good personalities. As I’m typing this, I realize how much I watched this show! I’ll have to check out the reboot.

      • Kelly says:

        I just posted upthread before seeing your post. I believe Doug indeed left the fireplace technically “untouched”. He boarded over it. The wife was heard sobbing.

    • BrandyAlexander says:

      That reveal is in the video in the article. I actually like the fireplace better after it was boarded over. But they really hated it. I wondered why they picked that room with such a huge feature they wanted unchanged. They had to know they wouldn’t leave it untouched on that kind of show…

  8. Lucy says:

    Ooohhh, I used to love the British version of this!! Is that one coming back too?

  9. L84Tea says:

    Verne and Lori (the redhead) were the only two designers who ever did nice rooms. Everybody else looked like they were playing practical jokes on the guests, Hildy and Doug were the absolute worst!!

  10. Snowflake says:

    I liked the show “queer eye for the straight guy.” I think that was the name.

  11. Lexilla says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t include the one where a couple painted a thick black line across beautiful old hardwood floors. I thought the owner was going to lose her $&@*. Rightfully so.

  12. Jess says:

    Lol, I forgot Hildi!! How could I have forgotten her wacky designs! People would get so nervous when they knew she was doing their room. And is that Ty Pennington?! Man my memory is shit, I watched this show religiously and barely remember that’s where he got his start.

  13. NIKKI says:

    “You just talked them through it, listened to what they had to say, and then go, ‘Bye, Felicia.’”

    And here we go again with the now somehow mainstream, ‘bye Felicia’.

    Curious. Do people who use this reference actually know where it comes from? Have they ever seen the movie? I mean I can’t imagine this woman sitting down in her home all those years ago watching Friday, being like: yep, that’s my line! I’m so going to use that.

    Ugh. Another one I’m just over is ‘woke’. Now everyone and their mum is: woke.

    -N

    • Jess says:

      One of the younger girls I work with said it the other day and I mentioned how I need to watch that movie again and I can’t believe it’s still being quoted and she said, what movie?! She had no idea!

    • Domino says:

      I thought these sayings originated with black and/or queer communities and then mainstream stole them?

      • Ange says:

        It’s a line from the movie Friday starring Ice Cube, Felicia is one of the character’s names.

  14. lucy2 says:

    I used to watch this all the time, so I’ll probably tune in.
    Vern and Laurie were the only two I’d ever let near my house, and I’d never in a million years sign up for this show. I am extremely picky and now have a historic home, so I wouldn’t risk a room being ruined.
    You KNOW they’re going to do outrageous, awful stuff for ratings and attention. I guess the only good thing now is that participants know the show’s history, so everyone should expect a disaster they have to fix later.

  15. Notsoanonymous says:

    Interesting that they were willing to have Carter Oosterhouse back given the sexual harassment claims against him.

    Ty Pennington is beyond annoying. He’s unwatchable to me.

    I will probably tune in but choose my episodes based on who is on them.

  16. carrie-Anne says:

    the room where they put the hay on the walls, and painted the ceiling pink!! WTF… I would straight up punch them in the face.

  17. Sara says:

    Remember when Hildi painted her own face onto a wall? Or when Doug turned a couple’s bedroom into a prison and they cried?

    • mellie says:

      I remember when Doug made a painting of his foot (because he always went barefoot) and put it above a couple’s mantle…haha…

  18. Jayna says:

    I honestly wanted to slap Hildi a few times back when watching it. The flowers was one of the times.

    • Donna says:

      I agree, she has no right to call herself a “designer”. She has the worst taste on the planet.

  19. Mom says:

    I like how no one on this show has anything better going on 10 years later that would stop them from doing the reboot

  20. North of Boston says:

    They’ve been rerunning ‘retro’ episodes, and I was amazed how all the little musical cues and transition shots came right back to me. It was like the show never went off the air.

    It is amazing to me how the cast does not seem to have changed at all, going from the promos.

  21. Donna says:

    The new Trading Spaces is the same old bad designs by lousy designers. They pathetically believe they will get big ratings if they design epically ugly, bizarre rooms. Sorry, but no one wants to see that nonsense. Time to grow up, folks.