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'Trading Spaces' Host Paige Davis on the Biggest Moving Mistakes & Her Must-Have Design Tools

By Gary Duff | August 9, 2018 | Home & Real Estate People National

Trading Spaces host Paige Davis chatted with us about the program's lasting impact, the biggest moving mistakes people make, and her must-have design tools.


"Similar to making sure your packing everything up safely, you also want to be sure your keeping your space safe as well, especially if you plan on painting. Always remember to prep your space with ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape so you don’t have to worry about paint dripping in places you don’t want it to." says Davis.

We're super excited to hear that Trading Spaces is coming back. Talk to me about the impact of the show.
PAIGE DAVIS: I think it’s just really exciting and we were on the air for eight years and it’s 10 years past that, so what we’re looking at now are young adults entering or coming out of college who are telling us that they went into interior design because of us. That’s really cool. We’ve seen a generation grew up with this at their disposal. And they believe they can do this. Another thing I do it instead of let people know that interior design doesn’t have to be a luxury. It’s not only for the Manhattanite. It’s not just for people who are wealthy. You don’t have to hire some fancy person in order to deserve a home that is a space that represents you. Just the fact that people are painting is a big deal. Nobody ever painted and I like that it’s made interior design tangible.

Is there anything that's changed from the original in the TLC reboot?
PD: Very little. It's just slightly different and we added a cool element to work with for a couple of our sponsors: Wayfair and Overstock, where homeowners going into a tent with items from Wayfair and Overstock and choosing whatever item they want. Our team has to use the item in a room we're redecorating. And that’s really fun. It’s only a few minutes and it’s in addition to the format, and I really like it because it puts a lot of power back into the hands of our team. More or less everything is planned by the designer with time constraints. There really is no time to discuss and go shopping, because it’s all real. Everything you see on the show is 100 percent real: the neighbors willing to do the work and do it in two days.

What the simplest and most impactful thing someone can do to change a space?
I don’t always know that it’s cheap, but I can tell you that you’ll get the most bang for your buck with paint. It’s just going to have the greatest impact. You can leave everything else the same and you can put a coat or two of paint on the wall and it will literally transform the space. It will look completely different.

Another clever way to bring home a vacation with you is to re-create it in a guest room. It’s almost like you’re setting up a location for your guests. When you want to have a little taste of somewhere, you can read there, bring your laptop there, have a coffee there, and enjoy it too. Think of your color palette, and this goes to paint also, when trying to bring back that feeling. You want to envision what you see when you’re out there or what you smell, what the palette of the ocean is, what the beach or the boardwalk looked like. We think of light blues and tan. That may lead you to a more nautical theme, but it doesn’t have to be that.

So think of an experience too?
PD: In a way, you’re almost creating a mood. Many interior designers create mood boards. Take pictures of things that inspire you and create a whole Pinterest board about what your new room is going to look like when you get back home. But if you’re going to bring something back, make sure you treat it well and box it up properly. If you’re going to build a room around a picture frame, make sure you use a lot of bubble wrap and that it doesn’t break with the rest of your things in the back of your car. Something as soft and delicate as a duvet cover, could get ripped or snag on to something. If you’re bringing back a lamp, you’re going to really want to protect that shade. The little things matter. That’s the same with paint. I work with ScotchBlue Painter’s tape, that’s what we use on the set of Trading Spaces, and if you’re going to paint your guest room, tape it out, don’t go through all the trouble to make that special space that’s calming and relaxing for your guests, but everytime you go in there you see your mistakes. [Laughs] That would be me, but maybe that’s too much information about my control issues.

I'm sure plenty of people can attest to how stressful it is to move, but how do you ease the anxiety?
PD: The more you can protect, the better. A lot of it is mindset. Get free estimates and quotes, and do the most that you can, but let the professionals do the rest. But, you’re right, it’s one of the greatest stresses that people go through, and sometimes stress is even accommodating why you have to move in the first place. Any of the tedium that might come from finding the boxes, getting the bubble wrap, and doing the work to wrap things properly—some of it’s common sense—you want to remember that you’re doing for a fun reason. Keep the mood light, your energy right, and remember you’re choosing to do it.

And lastly, what's your favorite design tool? The thing you couldn't live without?
PD: Oh, you mean not painter’s tape? Cause I think that’s a necessity. I make the mistake all that time of thinking I have a steady hand because we’re always painting on the show, so you start to think you don’t need that. But then you start to say every expletive in the world when you end up with paint on the ceiling or the woodwork. I also think a screw gun is really important. Power tools are pretty amazing, I mean "power" is in the name. But my favorite tool on set is the electric staple gun, instead of the ones you have to squeeze so hard to get into some upholstery.

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