blog » February 18, 2018 by Nicole DeAvilla

Doug Wilson Gives Us the Inside Scoop on the Relaunch of "Trading Spaces!" by Nicole DeAvilla

6 years ago
Doug Wilson Gives Us the Inside Scoop on the Relaunch of "Trading Spaces!"

Remember that little show called "Trading Spaces?" We were thrilled to have designer Doug Wilson from "Trading Spaces" as our #30Seconds Twitter chat guest! Doug is a farm-boy native of Broadlands, Ill. As an actor and performer, he graced the local professional and community stages during high school and college at the University of Illinois while also working weekends and summers with an interior designer and silkscreen lithograph artist. Doug became a household name across America when he landed on the hit show “Trading Spaces.” Read on, "Trading Spaces" fans...

Q: Doug, congratulations on the relaunch of "Trading Spaces!" Tell us how this happened and when the show will air?

"It’s funny! I heard through the press that TLC was bringing back the show, but I wasn’t made aware of it! I was like, hello??? A few months went by (crickets) and then I called the Network to say 'Hi, congrats. If there is ANYTHING I can do to support the reboot of ‘Trading Spaces,’ well, let me know!' I eventually had a meeting with development peeps at TLC and began to understand what was really happening. It was exciting and something I wanted to be a part of. I helped create what it became and wanted to somehow be a part of the reboot.

"Another few months went by and TLC was then offering me a role to once again be the 'Designer Doug' on TLC’s ‘Trading Spaces!’ I was thrilled and happy to continue the legacy! As time went by, I became aware that my friends and cohorts would all be coming back! Ty Pennington, Hildi Santo Tomas, Frank Bielec, Laurie Smith, Genevieve Gorder with Carter Oosterhouse and Vern Yip. And of course, host Perky Paige Davis to reign us in!"

Q: What have you been doing during the years off from "Trading Spaces?" Fill us in!

"As most of you know, I had a spin off show called 'Moving Up' on TLC, which ran a bit longer than 'Trading Spaces' in the end. Unfortunately, the economy tanked in 2008 which affected people buying real estate, but the show continued into 2009.

"As 'Trading Spaces' was winding down I purchased a restaurant near my hometown area in Sullivan, Ill., called Doug Wilson’s Jibby’s. Jibby’s was the original name of the business. I completely gutted the restaurant and opened a family steakhouse in Central Illinois. A regionally famous theater was also located in the town just around the corner and I got back to my roots and played Sky Masterson in 'Guys & Dolls' in that theater. The demands of running a restaurant were tolling, but I managed to keep up on design projects in NYC and the Illinois area.I also spent some time in Spokane, Wash., doing a huge renovation transforming a business space into an open space loft dwelling. Met some wonderful people there!"

Q: What is your favorite memory (or two) from the original "Trading Spaces" show?

"Wow! I really don’t know! As I think back I cherish the friendships that were created among the cast of 'Trading Spaces!' We went through soooo much together and have a very strong bond and loyalty to each other for the most part.We had many opportunities to be on talk shows and such. But, of all the things that happened, I was able to meet Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy when Paige and I did 'Hollywood Squares!' That was magic!

"It may be a bit sentimental but I have adored the fan mail from children who became inspired by what we have done. We have lost so many art programs in schools and I feel that we helped bridge the gap that our society is not respecting and funding.

"We were nominated for at least two Emmys. The first red carpet Emmy I was in the far east on vacation and was not able to attend, but the second Los Angeles red carpet event I was able to join the posse. There is nothing as exhilarating as walking down the Emmy red carpet with your fellow cast to hopefully win. Whether or not we won, it was a most memorable moment in time!"

Q: You have a fascinating background in both theatre and design! Tell us about that.

"I have been performing since I was in the 5th grade. Early years involved school, church and various outlets. My mother was a big influence in my life and I cherish the positive attitude she gave me!I was involved in a christian singing group, Celebrate Life, for several years through high school and beyond and performed throughout Illinois mainly but also nationally.

"I became a voice major at the University of Illinois where I also played Danny Zuko in 'Grease.' But also through those years, I worked for an interior designer and silk screen lithographer, which gave me a foundation in the fine arts. Those tools I have used continually throughout my career.

"With a solid background of construction (by virtue of living on a farm and doing things ourselves) and design influences I created a business, Handy Man Can, in NYC to help ends meet. The business turned into contract painting, decorative painting and then interior design.

"I was doing a lot of high-end decorative painting work for major national designers and getting credit in The New York Times as well as other publications. I decided to take on my own spaces in decorator showhouses and received acclaim in publications which led to people looking for designers for an un-named show which would become 'Trading Spaces!'"

Q: What is your dream design project, or dream client, and why?

"I don’t really have a 'dream client.' I just want clients that are willing to expand beyond 'what they are' to become 'what they REALLY are!' So often we don’t see the potential in ourselves to be something we really are and how we want to dwell.I feel that I have a penchant for hospitality design. I love to create environments that are aspirational and evoke a spirit that can move into homes. 

"That said, I love doing homes! Give me a blank slate and a few ideas and I will create for you an amazing space! My feeling … clients are only as good as their designer. If you let the designer into your life to understand you, then they will be able to design for YOU!"

Q: What do you recommend to home owners who’d like to make a design change on a small budget?

"This is a difficult question! It all depends on the room we're talking about. But, you need to take things in small steps. In order to do things on a small budget you need to be aware of what is readily available and watch for sale items and available discounts. Be patient if you want to be thrifty! 

"However, obviously, paint is a big change that will transform any space but be careful not to overdue your makeover with a huge color change. Fabrics are essential within design! You may look at your curtains, throw pillows and even that throw on the sofa that is dated! Fabric updates are not as expensive as they once were!

"Your bedroom is the most important room in your house! Oh, yes, they say the kitchen is, but NOOOOO! Where do you actually spend the most time? Yes, the bedroom. You rest, you sleep, you well … whatever! Simple changes beyond paint can transform the space to make it inviting for both sexes! We must make the bedroom gender neutral and be inviting to all! Same sex relationships … I’ll respond later."

Q: Where can we learn more about you and the show, and is there anything else you want to share with us?

"'Trading Spaces' will air April 7 at 9 p.m. ET. And yes, I will be in the premier episode. Before that TLC will be airing part one of our reunion show at 8 p.m. ET. We all, the entire cast, are so thrilled to be back and give to you another run of design inspiration!I can’t divulge too much but what I can tell you is that we are back to give you the unexpected design show that launched ALL OTHERS.

"So many shows have given you the same design, time and again. That might be fine, and you may watch those show as you are cooking or doing laundry, but you will be watching 'Trading Spaces' because we are unpredictable, unprecedented and … ohh, unbelievable!

"There are a number of guest designers who you all know that will be joining us! We are thrilled to have these superstars in our midst! Just wait!!"

Donna John
This was my favorite show back in the day! I cannot wait to chat with Doug!
Nicole DeAvilla
I can tell already that this is going to be one fun chat! Can't wait to interview Doug Wilson!
Ann Marie Patitucci
Trading Spaces was the show that started ALL the home design shows! And Doug was my favorite! I can't wait for this one. Looking forward to your interview, Nicole DeAvilla !
Barbara Gilhaus
I had Doug in school. A great kid.
Tiffany Zook
I was hooked on Trading spaces !! I I even saw Paige Davis on Broadway in the musical Chicago . Little known fact: Paige Davis married Patrick Page. So she’s Paige Page. 😁
Jen Imbaro
I'm so excited! Trading Spaces inspired me to go to grad school for interior design after working as a graphic designer in advertising.
Doug Wilson
I’m so excited for EVERYONE to see, once again, the “Mother Of All Design Shows” to bring back the “Reality” of what attainable design really is!
Much Love
Jen Imbaro
It really is the mother of the shows. Doug Wilson I love the description of attainable design. There is no reason why any average person can't live in a well designed home, and this show really demonstrated that.
Elisa Schmitz
So excited to chat with you, DougWilson ! Can’t wait for the return of “Trading Spaces” and to learn what you’ve been up to! Thanks for letting us shine a light on you! 😀
Doug Wilson
I’m thrilled to be chatting with you all 30Seconds ! There is soooo much happening! Every day something exciting is developing around @tradingspaces! Tomorrow night is going to be fun!
AJ Rogers
Woo! Hoo! I loved, loved, loved this show and feel like this is the show that started America's LOVE for interior design!! Hope to see you all in the chat!
Kimberly Johnson
Can not wait! Trading Spaces was my life blood in college - lol!
Meredith Schneider
No way?! Really! Can’t wait! Doug Wilson
Trading Spaces” coming back?!
Doug Wilson
Yes!!! Is Back! I’m Back!! We are All Back!!
Nicole DeAvilla
We love it! "See" you tonight!
Gina Valley
Loved that show!!!
Candy Stephens
I'm BEYOND ecstatic about this!!! Trading Spaces was a lifeline back in the day of MOMS Club, right Donna John ?! And this is perfect timing because I'm decorating my master bedroom finally!
Donna John
Yes! And we couldn't tape it back in the day, so had to arrange your life around when it came on. lol I remember some of the crazy things they used to do, like glue flowers all over the walls. Hmmm, can I decorate your bedroom? lol
Jen Imbaro
Moss...never forget the moss on the walls.
Chef Gigi
Ill be in school tonight but ill sneak
Ann Marie Patitucci
Doug Wilson has confirmed that he's bringing some "friends" to the chat tonight. This is not to be missed!
Amanda Harris
I used to watch that show every time it came on!
Ann Marie Patitucci
This was such a great chat!!

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