An interview with Trading Spaces host Paige Davis

Trading Spaces host Paige Davis

More than 10 years ago, Trading Spaces broke ground as a home decor show with memorable designers, involved homeowners and design that stepped out of the box. Now the show is making a big comeback, airing April 7 on TLC, with the original six designers and a few new names to remember.

Kansas City Spaces caught up with the show’s host, Paige Davis, to see what fans can expect from the reboot.

Trading Spaces Returns

Finally! The premiere date is nailed in 🔨 #TradingSpaces returns to TLC Saturday, April 7th at 8/7c!

Posted by Trading Spaces on Friday, January 12, 2018


It’s been 10 years since Trading Spaces last aired. What’s it been like to reunite with some of the original designers?

It was everything. It was really great. It was just as if we never stopped—we just picked right up where we left off. It was very much like being with family. We really are like brothers and sisters. Because of all the excitement and the press and the reunion special, we’ve spent a great deal of time together as a big, large group. Which back in the day happened very rarely. It’s made us even closer.

How will the new season be different?

It won’t be very different—it really is the show everybody loves. The budget is different, but that’s about it.

Our designers will still surprise. One of the great things about Trading Spaces is that there are so many designers, six original legacy designers. And then we have three new designers. That’s nine designers to choose from, and two per episode. You’re never going to see the same thing twice. Some will be more contemporary, some will be more traditional, but we’ll always be fun. Trading Spaces definitely put the fun in design television and home television.

When the show last aired, social media wasn’t a factor. Do you think that will have an impact now?

Absolutely. I think it will have a positive and negative impact. Nowadays everyone has an opinion with the hit of a return button. I hope it helps to spread news about the show in a positive way.

Now we have Pinterest—Pinterest is huge. It doesn’t just give our designers ideas, it gives homeowners more ideas. When Trading Spaces first came onto the scene, the idea of an interior designer was a luxury. And now people are realizing you can afford to do things on your own. It can really affect your day-to-day life.

A few new designers have joined the cast as well. What do they bring to the table?

They really just fit right in. They were great. John [Gidding] really pushed himself to create, truly make from scratch, things for his room. Kahi [Lee] did a really elegant room, Sabrina [Soto] brought a farmhouse-chic approach. It’s more cereals in the variety pack.

Lately, a lot of older shows are coming back and reuniting. What do you think resonated with fans of Trading Spaces to make it come back?

I think there’s a huge nostalgic wave right now. I think people are looking for comfort and things that are familiar. I’m so happy that we’re part of this bigger nostalgic wave, with Rosanne and Will and Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Across the board, reality and scripted TV is coming back.

A certain level of success hit Trading Spaces because 9/11 had just happened. People were nesting and wanted to be in their homes. It’s similar now, 18 years later, because our country is definitely at odds and families are arguing. It’s a scary time. They know they love Trading Spaces; it’s not a huge risk. It’s the TV-version of comfort food.

How will Trading Spaces stand out among all of the new home shows?

I did a lot of interview recently with Ty Pennington, and he brought up such a great point: We were the first show to put the tools in the homeowners hands, so you’re not just watching the experts do it. I think that really sparked something, for people to try things on their own at home.

There’s an anomaly in Trading Spaces; our designers force viewers to think outside the box. The boundaries of the show, we present things that are very attainable to a viewing audience. That’s very inspiring. I love that Trading Spaces is both aspirational and attainable.

See Paige Davis (and ask her all of your burning Trading Spaces questions) at the KC Remodel + Garden Show Feb. 9-10 at the American Royal Center.





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