This Is What The Host Of Trading Spaces Is Doing These Days

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Back before HGTV dominated the home renovation space, TLC scored a huge hit with Trading Spaces, the show where neighbors passively destroyed (aka "redecorated") a room in each other's homes with the help of pro designers.

It was the year 2000, and it was a time when TLC seemed to still be attempting to live up to its full namesake, The Learning Channel, which is to say Trading Spaces was long before the current lineup of increasingly questionable reality programming. One of the key elements to the success of Trading Spaces was the likability of spritely host Paige Davis, who showed up in the second season after the original host, Alex McLeod, split for a gig at Joe Millionaire. Great call on that one, huh?

Anyway, Davis helmed the show during some of its most successful years between 2001-2005, and then for the final season in 2008, when they realized going hostless just wasn't working. With the announcement that TLC is bringing the series back in 2018, fans are eager to see if Davis will return for the revamp. It's been nearly a decade since she helped ease the pain of contestants finding out their block party buddies just jungle-themed their bedroom. So, what has she been up to all these years?

She continued hosting

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Since Davis had such great success in the hosting seat—particularly in the home decor genre—the most natural next step after Trading Spaces was to just keep doing that somewhere else. Which she did simultaneously for both Home Made Simple, which was on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, and for Hallmark's Home & Family.

Though her stints on both shows were short-lived, Home Made Simple was the more natural fit, featuring the straightforward home renovation/redesign format that Davis was used to. Home & Family had its share of DIY and decor segments, but it was more of a daytime chat show that put Davis in the position of having to interview people. Some viewed this as an awkward fit and suggested it was secretly the reason she left the show, but the network attributed Davis' exit to missing family time.

"After much thought and careful consideration, and after close to three months away from her own home and family, Paige has decided to temporarily return to New York. We deeply appreciate the contribution Paige made to 'Home & Family' and for the warmth and talent she brought to the set each day," the network statement read, according to Screener. If she actually did get the boot, that's the nicest pink slip we've ever seen.

She went back to acting

Trained at the Meadow School of Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, Davis' first love has always been theater. Getting her stage start in Austin, Davis landed the role of Babette in "the first national tour of Broadway's Beauty and the Beast," according to her official website. She actually worked sporadic theater gigs throughout her tenure at Trading Spaces before diving full-time into Broadway with her role in Boeing-Boeing, which then lead to the starring role as Roxie Hart for the Broadway production and national tour of Chicago.

In an interview with Playbill, Davis said comparing the world of TV hosting and Broadway musicals is "apples to oranges," but she did admit she loves "the immediate response, the immediate connection" of the stage.

Davis even briefly took a stab at screen acting but has only two credits under her belt at the time of this writing. One of them is a 2015 film called Bondage, which was described this way: "An evening in Mistress Terri's (Paige Davis) extreme House of Bondage in Encino where anything is possible, disguises are mandatory and everything is unexpected as her customer, Mark (Ryun Yu) requires her to play out racial stereotypes as he tries to challenge the very nature of her dominatrix existence." Alrighty. Well, at least she's got that Broadway legacy to fall back on.

She became the spokesperson for RC Willey

In 2008, Davis became the spokesperson for RC Willey, a big box retailer that specializes in home furnishings. It was a weird step for someone who was not only a Broadway star, but also the former face of a cable network's flagship show. While it's normal for huge stars to become celebrity spokespeople for giant, polished national campaigns—think Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Garner, and Alec Baldwin for Capital One—the Paige Davis RC Willey ads play more like a light infomercial. In terms of quality, they're just a shade above the crazy local carpet guy who's lost his mind and slashed prices. We're not joking. Here's Davis hawking discount flat screen TVs. What happened? You were Babette!

But in fairness, Davis actually loves the gig, telling the Daily Herald, "This has been a wonderful gift for me. I love working for them. We're really a great match. This is what I stand for and love in a company—they are family oriented, they have great deals, they're very traditional but also modern. And that you can get your furniture that same day. That's amazing!" Davis even shows up to store openings when she isn't even contracted to do so and loves it when fans come up to her on the street and talk about stuff they bought at the store. So, if you ever see Samuel L. Jackson in public, be sure to tell him how you got 1.5 percent cash back on your pumpkin spice latte. Apparently. celebrity spokespeople love that.

She wrote a memoir about her time on Trading Spaces

Davis' behind-the-scenes recounting of the wildly popular reality show was called Paige by Paige: A Year of Trading Spaces. According to reader reviews, it's written diary-style from the perspective of the perky host. One excerpt from the book recounts the off-camera chaos it took to produce the show: "To some degree, their houses become TV sets. We leave runners on the floor, we keep up with the trash, and we're careful, but there is only so much you can do when every room is filled with TV equipment or catering or make up or supplies, not to mention 20 to 30 people running in and out. And let's not forget the table saws, hammers, compressors, and a construction madness going on outside," Davis writes.

The book was well-received, eventually making its way onto The New York Times best-sellers list for nonfiction. That had to be thanks, in part, to the many glowing reviews it got from fans who always wanted to know more about how the table saws and compressors were used. And also thanks to people like GoodReads user Beth, who wrote, "My cousin Jeff worked on the Trading Spaces show for a few years, and he's pictured and mentioned in this book a handful of times! So I bought it for that reason, but I read the whole thing and it was pretty interesting to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff!" Anyone else feel like cousin Jeff deserves a cut of those royalties?

She started a blog called Positively Paige

The writing bug—and fondness for alliteration—must have stuck with Davis, because she eventually started a blog on her personal website called Positively Page. It's a remarkably open glimpse into the TV and Broadway star's life, covering topics ranging from her thoughts on having children (No thanks) to going to marriage counseling with her husband (NBD) to having some dude expose himself to her in a laundromat. (Wait, what?)

"He was already in the laundry room when I got there to take my clothes out of the dryer. He was folding his clothes, too. I gave him a friendly hello and opened my dryer. As I bent down to pull out my clothes, it was impossible not to notice the erection in his shorts. It looked like he'd pitched a tent in there. I felt uncomfortable to say the least, but chose to ignore it. I simply pretended that I didn't notice," she writes.

The story actually gets even more from lewd from there and leads Davis into a discussion about modern feminism and how she questioned her response to the altercation. In another post titled, "I Gotta Pee," Davis recalls an uncomfortable situation in which she accidentally opened the door on another woman in a public restroom stall. After a terse exchange, Davis was left fuming when the other woman wouldn't accept her apology and expressed herself this way. "I mean geez, I don't want to see your Twilly, mam. I just need to potty." So, what we're trying to say is she writes the best blog in the history of blogs.

She championed a fundraiser called Operation Backpack

Seeking to give back, Davis joined the board of Volunteers of America and became the spokesperson in 2011 for Operation Backpack, which is "the largest back-to-school drive in New York City for students who are homeless," according to VOA. Participants fill backpacks with all of the supplies suggested by the Department of Education and donate them to thousands of needy students.

"For a lot of these kids, receiving a backpack that is filled with the supplies they need can often be the first time they have had anyone, through that action, say I believe in you and I believe you can succeed in school," Davis told the New York Daily News. But the kids aren't the only ones getting something out of it. "It's rewarding, really, really rewarding. It is pretty fulfilling to want to help and then be a part of an organization that by its nature allows you to succeed. Volunteers of America knows what they are doing. They run a tight ship," she said. Do we suddenly feel bad poking fun at her RC Willey commercials? Possibly...

She had surgery on her vocal cords

n 2015, Davis had to have surgery to remove "a blister-like abscess" or "psuedo-cyst" on one of her vocal chords in 2015. She joked around about it on her blog, but it was actually pretty serious and could have derailed her Broadway career if it worsened or was improperly treated. Davis also took the opportunity to once again make her blog stand head and shoulders above the rest of the blogoshpere with this gem of a post-op anecdote: "Turns out all that gin I drink actually built up a tolerance for the anesthesia. Fact. They said people who drink tend to tolerate it better. Who knew? LOL. I woke up so quickly they didn't quite know what to do with me. They were like, 'S**t, we're not ready. Go back to sleep,'" she writes.

Thankfully, Davis made a full recovery and returned to the stage as God in the off Broadway show, An Act of God, which is based on the hilarious Twitter parody account @thetweetofgod. She really is crushing it, although we admit we miss seeing her react to horrified homeowners trying to hide their rage at the hay glued to their bedroom walls.

Her return to the show was in question

When it was announced that Trading Spaces was coming back in 2018, Davis revealed that she hadn't even been contacted about a return to the hosting gig. In a statement to E! News in March 2017, she said, "All I know is fans are constantly bringing up to me how much they miss the show, so with TLC bringing it back, there will for sure be a lot of happy viewers out there!" And there could be a reason for that.

Back in 2005, Davis was actually let go from Trading Spaces in a decision the network framed as "a new creative direction" for the show, according to Reality TV World. But it was widely believed to be directly attributed to two controversies Davis found herself mired in: a "racy" TV Guide cover (If such a thing could actually exist) and a supposed "strip-tease" she did during a Broadway fundraising event. Both incidents were shrugged off by Davis as overblown, but the interpretation of a "no nudity" clause in her contract coupled with a ratings slide could have been to blame for the falling out. Davis eventually returned in 2008m, just before the show's cancellation for good.

Of course, the grand irony in this whole scenario is the alleged moral posturing of a network that would later become synonymous with some of the trashiest reality shows on TV, such as Toddlers & Tiaras and Obese and Pregnant. But it eventually worked out for everyone, because...

She's back!

After months of keeping Trading Spaces fans in suspense, Davis announced her return to the show in a video released on TLC's website in July 2017. In it, Davis says, "I am back at TLC, back home back where I belong, and I am so thrilled."

Davis makes no secret of the fact that she openly campaigned for the gig, telling Entertainment Weekly, "I just kind of offered myself up to say, 'I'm here. Even if you just have questions, I'm here to be a part of it in any way that you see fit.'" When the call finally came in, confirming that she got the job, Davis says she screamed. "I think there's a tremendous wave of nostalgia happening right now," she said, adding, "And I believe that if we deliver excellent episodes in the format that fans knew and loved, it will reach into people's hearts and memories and tap into something that's bigger than just design, and bigger than home improvement."

So who wants to tell her that in the 10 years since she's been gone from TLC, that network's audience has transformed into the viewership that made The Man With the 80lb Groin an actual, successful television show? You know what? Let's just let her have this moment.