'Trading Spaces' designer Genevieve Gorder reveals how 9/11 fueled the show's success

Gibson Johns

"Trading Spaces" designer Genevieve Gorder knows that the hit TLC design show's success was "lightning in a bottle" and likely can't be replicated.

During a recent sit-down interview with AOL Entertainment, Gorder opened up about why she thinks the series was so successful throughout its 8-season run in the early 2000s, before smartphones distracted us and OnDemand spoiled us.

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"We really crescendoed during 9/11," Gorder explained. "Right after 9/11 everyone was staying home, and we didn't want to spend a lot of money on travel or home, so we became these people that you relied on for that entertainment, and kids are [actually] what made us big. We were on after school, you guys told your parents and then we became primetime. It was the children who brought the show up."

In addition to the escapism-for-all-ages that "Trading Spaces" provided to its viewers, it was also the first real moment that interior design became something attainable for the mass American public.

"[We] broke the mold on what design is and was and made it accessible to a lot of people," Gorder told us.

See photos of Genevieve Gorder:

Gorder, who has appeared on countless HGTV programs and designed for the White House since being on TLC, said that it's that same baseline need for unity that makes the upcoming "Trading Spaces" reboot so necessary right now.

"We need it now," she said bluntly. "With the disparity of everybody in the country being so separate in idea and form and what tribe we're in, home [is something] everyone needs. It doesn't matter what politics you follow. So, we can watch this as a larger group or family during the holidays, and we can watch this as a country."

The accomplished designer also revealed that the show's original designers were "blindsided" by the announcement earlier this year that TLC would be bringing the show back -- Gorder and the rest of the show's lovable personalities found out about the reboot when the general public found out about it.

"Fear was the first thing I felt just because it was something we built back then and it was perfect -- perfectly imperfect," she explained. "I didn't want to put a tarnish on it by doing a 'remake' of something great. That perfectness built so many careers for all of us in so many ways."

But, much to the delight of many of the show's biggest fans, Gorder says that not much is changing during their second go-round.

"The format is exactly the same. The sentimentality of what is is is still there," she said with a smile. "We're the same people, we just know more. What we can come out with more is much bigger because it's $2,000, and we're smarter."

Watch our full interview with Genevieve Gorder below:

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