The year was 2000. Joanna and Chip Gaines had not yet taken over television with subway tile backsplashes and rustic wooden cabinets. Instagram did not exist, and neither did Pinterest. And the idea of blindly handing over the keys of your house to a reality television show for a home makeover was an exciting and rare prospect. What could go wrong? On Trading Spaces, it turns out everything.
Trading Spaces, TLC’s popular home decorating show, was one of the first of its kind. Two sets of neighbors would “trade spaces,” helping decorate one room in the other’s house with the help of a crew of interior decorators and designers and just $1,000. But where some couples expected elegant makeovers, sometimes they were met with disasters. Here Jezebel pop culture reporter Hazel Cills and senior staff writer Megan Reynolds hash out the wild legacy of Trading Spaces, straw walls and all.