After a 10-year hiatus, TLC’s hit home-makeover series, “Trading Spaces,” returned for its 10th season this month.
“Trading Spaces” was around long before hits like “Fixer Upper” and “Property Brothers,” and features a set of neighbors who swap homes and redo a room in each other’s house on a $2,000 budget.
“The ad said something like, ‘Do you love your neighbors?’ And I just thought that this is totally me and Dan,” said Nikki Oerum, a homeowner who lives in Valencia.
It was a Saturday night, and Dan March was over at his neighbor’s, Nikki and Joey Oerum, watching a football game when Nikki suggested that they apply for the show.
“Dan and I went to high school together, and now Dan works for the city with Joey,” Nikki said. “And we closed escrow on our houses in the same month.”
Valencia homeowners Nikki and Joey Oerum and their neighbors Dan and Ashley March applied to be on the show that night, and by the next day, they were doing a 3-hour Skype interview with the casting director.
Less than two weeks later, the two couples were surrounded by cameras as they got to work redoing each other’s master bedrooms in a style they hoped their neighbors would love.
“It was a lot of fun because we really didn’t know what we were getting into,” Nikki said.
With the help of a designer and carpenter, both couples were pressed for time as they only had two days to complete the renovation.
“It was fast,” Ashley said. “I don’t think I ever really had time to think about what we were doing, but it was a lot of fun.”
Designer Frank Bielec helped the Marchs create a space that Nikki would love, and Ashley says Bielec was able to really hone in on Nikki’s style.
“He brought a book with him,” Dan said. “He had everything hand-drawn and already envisioned in his head.”
“Everything Frank picked was perfect for her,” Ashley said. “I knew that this is Nikki, she’s going to love it.”
The Marchs quickly got to work and turned the Oerum’s room, which Nikki herself described as “plain as hell,” into a special place.
“I literally had a bucket of socks in my room — it was so embarrassing,” Nikki said.
The Marchs not only got them a new box for all their socks, but also turned a baby’s changing table that was being used as a dresser into a shelving unit, built a headboard and side tables, hung window treatments, made pillows and painted custom art pieces.
While right across the street, the Oerums worked with designer Doug Wilson to do the same for Ashley, who was five months pregnant with her second child.
“I wanted a headboard, that’s what I told Nikki,” Ashley said.
And according to Ashley, they went above and beyond.
The Oerums created a floor to ceiling headboard with a hanging centerpiece, hung window treatments to replace the chip clips that used to hold a brown sheet over the window, added silver-leafed the trim around the room, hung sconces and a chandelier and reupholstered a chair.
“I’ve never done anything like that, so to be able to do all of that and create something for them, it was so rewarding,” Nikki said. “That’s the best part, challenging yourself to do something you’ve never done.”
The two couples weren’t allowed to see each other and slept at each other’s houses over the course of the two-day renovation.
“They would film from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. then everyone would take off and it’d be our turn to finish projects and tape ourselves,” Dan said. “It’s crazy how comfortable you got so quickly. By the end, you didn’t even realize the cameras were there.”
Although Dan says he would never do it again, he loved how close of friends the two couples became.
“The experience with them was the best part, the rooms were secondary,” Joey said.
Tune into new episodes of “Trading Spaces” on Saturdays at 8 p.m. on TLC. To watch Dan and Ashley March and their neighbors Nikki and Joey Oerum tackle the renovation of each other’s homes, visit https://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/trading-spaces/.