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The Trading Spaces Designers: An Overview

Interior decoration and design have become increasingly popular in today's culture based on the success of shows such as Trading Spaces. Trading Spaces employs a handful of designers to decorate the houses of show guests. The guests are typically neighbors, but quite often friends and family as well. They "trade spaces" for a weekend, and each team works with a different designer on the other team's room. A budget is set as is a time limit, and after a grueling weekend of painting, sewing, and building, each team is surprised with a completely renovated room. Below are some quick facts about the Trading Spaces designers' professional and personal lives.

Frank Bielec- Frank has worked as a florist, a commercial artist, an elementary school teacher, and an exercise instructor, not to mention a designer. He has a degree in art and uses it decorate, create, and to run an art and needlecraft company, called Mosey 'n Me, with his wife. On the show, Frank is best known for utilizing paint (to make murals, etc.) to redecorate a room.

Laurie Hickson-Smith - Laurie currently lives in Jackson, Mississippi. She completed her design training in New York, and is known on the show for her use of vibrant color schemes.

Genevieve Gorder - Genevieve is a freelance graphic and interior designer for private clients and a professor at the School of Visual Arts in her spare time, where she teaches design portfolios to senior students. Having worked in Barcelona and Amsterdam, Genevieve is internationally trained and is the only designer on the show with a degree in graphic/3D design. She owns her own studio called double-g and is best know for her use of photography and other experimental mediums (you may remember the moss wall she created in one episode).

Vern Yip - Vern is an accomplished designer who even won the Southeast Designer of the Year Award. When he's not busy with the show, Vern lives in Atlanta and works with his own design company

Christi Proctor - It was on Trading Spaces that Christi made her national television debut. With her degree in interior design from Baylor University (1988), Christi owns and operates Design Resources, her own interior design business. She also recently opened Spice Furniture and Design (in 1997), which is a boutique emporium consisting of a variety of shops ranging from upscale furniture to antiques to funky clothing accessories. This Texan is known for both her singing voice and, in terms of design, what she calls, her "rustic elegance."

Hilda Santo-Tomas - Hilda actually studied finance instead of attending design school, but quickly realized that she needed to follow her artistic passion. She is now in Atlanta, where she is known for her classic creativity and simple elegance.

Kia Steave-Dickerson - A native of Philadelphia, Kia, as a young girl, worked with her dad in theatre, and, later, studied textiles at the Philadelphia College of Textiles. She built own business, K.I.A. Enterprises, Inc. and has also worked as a set designer and prop master for many movies, including Signs, The Sixth Sense, Beloved, and Men in Black. She has also worked on many commercials and a few stage musicals (i.e. Cats and Grease). On the show, Kia is known for her simplistic, yet bold designs.

Edward Walker - Edward, who is from Raleigh, North Carolina, built his career with couture gowns, which he designed in New York City, and by creating the lush interiors of Carolina homes. With his degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, Edward specializes in exclusive wedding gowns as well as personalized interiors when he is not working on Trading Spaces.

Douglas Wilson - Douglas grew up on a farm in Broadlands, Illinois and has a background in the theatrical arts.

Trading Spaces

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