TLC’s “Trading Spaces” originally ran from 2000 to 2008, and returned this year with a cast that includes a mix of old favorites and some new blood. TLC
TLC’s “Trading Spaces” originally ran from 2000 to 2008, and returned this year with a cast that includes a mix of old favorites and some new blood. TLC

Living

‘Trading Spaces’ is coming to the Triangle -- they just need you and your neighbor

By Brooke Cain

bcain@newsobserver.com

August 29, 2018 12:48 PM

Triangle residents will get a chance for some free design work from TLC’s “Trading Spaces” soon — but securing a trustworthy neighbor for the deal is a must.

The popular home improvement show involves homeowners (and renters, with permission from landlords) switching living spaces with neighbors for the makeover of one room in each home. The neighbors work with the show’s carpenters and designers, who get a $2,000 budget and 24 hours to complete the work.

Except for a little blood, sweat and tears (sometimes a lot of tears), it’s all at no cost to the homeowners. The only catch, if you want to call it that, is that the homeowners must cede full control to the designer. So pick a friendly neighbor who will fight for you if a kooky designer is trying to glue hay to your walls (that really happened).

In an interview with The News & Observer this spring, designer Vern Yip (a fan favorite who never glues hay to walls), acknowledged the risk.

“There’s a risky element to it, sure,” Yip said. “I think people were scared to get Hildi (Santo-Tomas), they were scared to get Doug (Wilson). I just feel like when they cast the show they deliberately cast it to have lots of different points of view represented.”

(The infamous, creative-minded Hildi, dreaded by homeowners but catnip for viewers, is a Raleigh native and graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. She’s the hay-gluer and she’s back for the “Trading Spaces” reboot.)

But for the most part, the happy endings far outweigh the scary reveals.

Home shows love the Triangle

It’s not the first trip to the Triangle for “Trading Spaces.” The show filmed three episodes in the Triangle in 2002 (Raleigh, Garner and Wake Forest), and a spinoff called “Trading Spaces Family” featured Cary homeowners in 2003.

The HGTV series “Love It or List It” spent a season in the Triangle in 2015, filming 26 episodes. (One of those episodes resulted in a lawsuit that was settled in 2017.)

HGTV’s “House Hunters” was casting in the Triangle earlier this year, with plans to film episodes that have yet to air.

TLC’s “Trading Spaces” originally ran from 2000 to 2008, and returned this year with a cast that includes a mix of old favorites and some new blood.

How to apply

First, logistics require that neighbors (two people in each team) live on the same block or street, within 1/4-mile of each other. Next-door neighbors will get stronger consideration. And you must have a pre-existing relationship with them.

As for your specific location, the show will accept applications from the Triangle, Burlington, Greensboro and Charlotte areas.

Everyone must be over 18 years of age (there will be background checks) and they must own the residence they are trading and live there. (Some exceptions are made for renters who have their landlord’s permission.)

And most importantly, you have to agree to having your space renovated at the discretion of the designer. No do-overs.

If you meet those requirements, you’ll fill out an application that asks for information about your family makeup, your home and your relationship with your neighbors. And you’ll upload some photos of your home. This is where you get to sell yourself! Extra credit for uploading video.

The application is here: tradingspacescasting.castingcrane.com.

Deadline: Get the application completed as soon as possible. Producers say mid-September is the tentative cut-off date, but that could change.