The home renovation show on TLC known as Trading Spaces was a huge hit during the early 2000s. The reality program ran for eight season from 2000 to 20008 and was based directly on the BBC series Changing Rooms. This show laid the groundwork for many other reality home improvement shows and reality television in general. The success of Trading Spaces allowed for many spin-off series like Trading Spaces: Family, Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls, Trading Spaces: Home Free, and many more. The premise of the show was around two neighbors who swapped homes for 48 hours, each worked with a designer to redesign a room in each other’s home on a budget of only $1,000! One of the most intriguing parts of the show was that nothing was off limits — so there was a huge element of shock and surprise. Since the show is getting a revival, here’s a look at 8 behind the scenes secrets from Trading Spaces!
8. Plans are Kept Top Secret
Susan Leaderman, a former contestant on Trading Spaces, said everything about what is happening in their home is kept top secret and the individuals are almost on house arrest to keep them from seeing what’s going on at their house. “I didn’t even know who my designer would be until the morning of filming. During the two-day makeover, I had to live at my neighbor’s house — and felt like I was under house arrest! I was completely banished from my home, and the show’s producers went to great lengths to make sure I didn’t see any projects being done. They hung sheets on the windows and other shielding mechanisms around our homes. In fact, when the producer from my home makeover went to my neighbors’, even the paint splotches on her clothing were covered with duct tape so I couldn’t see the colors being used.” All of this ensures that the reveal at the end of the show is genuine and not at all staged.© TLC / Courtesy: Everett Collection