Trading Spaces to feature Tennessee Theater, Market Square


An episode of the popular Learning Channel show “Trading Spaces” is scheduled to be filmed in Knoxville sometime in February, sources say. The show features two groups of people, usually neighbors, who swap keys to transform a room in each other’s home. They have two days, a set budget of $1000, and they are not allowed back into their own homes until the room is ready to be unveiled. A professional decorator designs each room.

Some of the episodes are specials, varying from the normal home owners, and can include such diverse things as college dorm rooms and historic urban areas. As part of the show’s Historic Urban Area series, the “Trading Spaces” crew will be in Knoxville to film an episode where Market Square residents and businesses trade spaces with Tennessee Theater staff. The result will be a redisigned square and a rennovated theater.

According to sources, the designers for this episode will be Frank Bielec, who will most likely bring a country flair to Market Square, and Edward Walker, who will probably use fabrics to make an elegant theater with plenty of recovered chairs. As usual, Paige Davis will host the entire event, which will air sometime next fall. Due to the larger scale of these projects, the budget has been tripled to $3000 and the teams have an extra day to complete their work. Local Home Depots are stocking up on material commonly used on the shows, including metal ducting used in most sculptures, attractive fabrics, and fancy lighting.

An anonymous source close to the Tennessee theater said that she submitted the idea to “Trading Spaces” using their online form and did not expect to hear back. “You know, you think to yourself they get millions of applications, why would they pick mine,” she said. “I watch the show all the time and after seeing what they can do with such a small amount of money and time, thought it would be cool if they came in and helped us out.”

Both properties have been under development for awhile, with tight budgets and no sense of a completion date. The goal of “Trading Spaces” is to create the most elegant and useful design possible for a given area in a set time period and set budget, which is exactly what both projects need. Seats in the Tennessee Theater that are not recovered under the “Trading Spaces” budget will still be up for adoption.