Get to Know the New Cast Members of Trading Spaces, the Best Home Improvement Show

Images via Instagram.
Images via Instagram.

On the heels of the recent announcement that Trading Spaces, the TLC home reno juggernaut, is coming back, some new cast members have been announced. Upon viewing the list of names, I realized that I have absolutely no idea who any of them are.


According to Deadline, a large chunk of the old gang will be returning to the show when it airs sometime in the spring: Genevieve Gorder, Carter Oosterhouse, Ty Pennington, Hildi Santo-Thomas, Doug Wilson, Vern Yip and host Paige Davis will be rejoining the reboot.

This is all very reassuring. Redesigning a room in your next-door neighbor’s house without the assistance of the perpetually tan-and-puka-shell’ed Ty Pennington is a life that no one wants. Very glad that they’re joining us again, but equally exited—and nervous—to meet the new kids on the block that will be helping out.

As we’re all already intimately familiar with the old gang, there’s no need to re-introduce them, but let’s meet our new friends, shall we?

Joanie Dodds

I thought the name sounded familiar, but imagine my absolute delight when I learned that Joanie Dodds is a former contestant from the sixth season of America’s Next Top Model, who pivoted from “fashion” to briefly hosting a show called Run My Renovation on the DIY Network. Please take in the splendor of this reel from 2009, during which Joanie straps on a tool belt and builds what I believe is the beginning of a deck, but I can’t be sure.

Here is a pretty incredible scrapbook she made of her time on ANTM.


What a fantastic addition to the cast—like a taller Nicole Curtis, of Rehab Addict. Hello, Joanie. Glad to have you.

John Gidding

John Gidding went to Yale for architecture, then he went to Harvard for his master’s in the same. He couldn’t find a job as an architect when he graduated from college, so he somehow transitioned to interior design and modeling. Per this 2012 article from the Boston Globe, Gidding has been on the cover of romance novels and “the most popular search term alongside his name is ‘shirtless.’” He’s also hosted a show called Curb Appeal on HGTV, which is about making the outside of your house look nice.


Here he is, John Gidding.

As an architect by training, Gidding also makes JanusWalls and JanusIslands , which are undulating, sculptural things that have storage and look a little bit like something you’d find in the lobby of a small-plates restaurant that boasts 40 different types of cava—not quite my taste, but I’m sure someone out there likes them!


Kahi Lee

Well, her website tells me that she is a designer and TV host who has done a penthouse suite at the W Hollywood for Nick Jonas, and Laird Hamilton and Gabrielle Reccee’s Malibu home, but for some reason the Design section on her website simply reads, “Coming soon.” Here’s a room that she did for a #bachelorpad in #losangeles.


Lee has also been the host of Design on a Dime, a show on HGTV where designers help people fix hideous corners of their home with $1,000. Sometimes they work out but often times, they look like this.

Sabrina Soto

Sabrina Soto’s Instagram is jacked-up mommy blogger lifestyle #inspo—nice floors, banana leaf prints, chubby baby feet, donkeys— and aside from that, I cannot really figure out how or what she does for money. She’s apparently been on a variety of HGTV shows including Get It Sold, White House Christmas and something called Real Estate Intervention, the latter of which sounds right up my alley.


What’s Get it Sold? I have no idea, but this clip is enough to convince me to watch a marathon in sweatpants one very cold Saturday, though I do disagree with her choice to remove the magnets from the refrigerator.

Brett Tutor

Brett Tutor, who apparently also goes by “Bubs,” is a carpenter. He’s also kind of hot, in spite of the fact that the bio on his personal website reads like that of a man you do not want to date on Tinder: “Adventure Guide. Treasure Hunter. Builder. Songwriter. Humanitarian.”

Tutor was also a world-ranked golfer, an avid BMX rider and per this very helpful People guide, moved to Hawaii when he was 19 to study jiu jitsu and Muay Thai. He’s on Instagram and when he’s not remodeling Airstream trailers, he hosts a show called Treasure Quest: Snake Island on Discovery.

I’m getting Bear Grylls vibes and I’m not mad.

There they are, your hosts and new best friends.

Senior Writer, Jezebel



Hildi Santo-Thomas was the worst best! Who could forget the straw room, the floral bathroom or her self portrait!?!