Space Cadets

Trading Spaces, TLC’s famed and peril-fraught home décor show, is planning to tape two episodes in Santa Barbara, and they’re on the hunt for some brave Barbareños who are willing to entrust the redecoration of their homes to their equally nervy neighbors. The chosen ones will have two days — working at breakneck pace under the direction of a Trading Spaces designer — to transform a room in their neighbors’ home, while their neighbors do the same for them. Although the idea of a newly decked-out interior is decidedly enticing, the show — now in its sixth season — has not been without its fair share of well-documented duds. Thus, I can only assume that, surely, a certain percentage of Trading Spaces’s devoted viewership owes to its inherent train-wreck factor: It’s undeniable that the premise holds oodles of disaster potential. Who can forget the black rooms, the striped rooms, the spray-painted bedspreads? While, ostensibly, we watch it for cheap, quick, easy, and clever design ideas, no watcher can deny that somewhere, deep down, part of them hopes to witness a decorating debacle, and then, just maybe, a nice emotional breakdown. (Or is it just me?) I’ve always thought of myself as an adventurous person, but the balls it would take to hand over my keys — fully aware that I’ll have no input in the design decisions that ensue — remain elusive. However, I admire wholeheartedly those who are willing to go for it, and wish them beautifully redecorated digs that they will absolutely adore. The Rules: Each team must be comprised of two people; the rooms to be transformed must be at least 12 feet by 12 feet; the two homes must be within a 15-minute drive from one another. Additionally, the press release states that personality is key: “We’re looking for lively, outgoing, quirky folks.” (Note they neglect to mention the most important requirement of all: balls.) If you’re interested, email (being sure to indicate Santa Barbara as the city you’re applying for), and you will be sent an application. Applications must be received by March 15; filming takes place at the end of April.

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