Tara Goodman rang Brian and Keisha Laviscount’s doorbell around 6 a.m. on a Tuesday to tell them about an exciting opportunity. Goodman wanted to know if they were interested in appearing with her on TLC’s “Trading Spaces.” “I don’t know,” Brian told Tara as he was preparing for work. “Let me talk to Keisha.”
The instant Brian mentioned “Trading Spaces,” Keisha was on board.
Both families are big fans of the show, which allows two sets of neighbors to redecorate a room in the other’s home. They work with interior designers and carpenters over two days on a $2,000 budget.
The “Trading Spaces” crew filmed in their Charlotte neighborhood in October. The episode, titled “Motorcycle Mama and Tropical Travelers,” originally aired April 6 on TLC.
“We pretty much have similar tastes, but we really didn’t know what the other was going to do,” Keisha said. “We were kind of hoping it wasn’t too extreme based on our personalities.”
The episode opened with Tara riding with the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Charlotte.
Tara has been riding motorcycles ever since she was a child, but she put the hobby on hold after her children were born. When her youngest son went off to serve in the Army, Tara found herself with a lot more free time.
“I was crying, thinking my sons are gone and I have nothing planned for my own life,” Tara told the Weekly. “Another lady at my church said, ‘let’s go look at some motorcycles.’ I went to the store and bought a motorcycle that day.”
She rides all over the country with the Buffalo Soldiers. However, she’s far from one-dimensional.
She’s also known for wearing custom-made hats to church. She’ll wear her Sunday best for church and by that afternoon, she’ll slip into her cowboy boots for a ride.
“To know me is to know that I have many different parts of me,” Tara said. “I’m just as girly as any girl can be, but I’m also just as rugged as a motorcycle rider.”
Tara wanted to redecorate her drab den into a woman cave to help make her feel “fast, furious and fabulous.”
Her neighbors, Keisha and Brian, worked with designer John Gidding to redecorate Tara’s den.
Keisha and Brian were initially impressed with the royal blue paint that Gidding picked for the den, but Keisha was skeptical of his plans to incorporate the color throughout the room, including the ceiling.
Gidding wanted to break up the color with an oriented strand board, wood similar to particle board. He envisioned creating motorcycle-style art on top of the cork-colored board. He also enlisted in carpenter Joanie Sprague to create a hat rack for Tara.
Gidding focused his work on extra touches, like putting piping around couch pillows and converting used motorcycle tires into a coffee table with hot glue and rope.
Tara was blown away by her new den. She jumped up and down with glee, squealing “sookie sookie” and “oh my God.”
But her favorite part of the room wasn’t revealed on the show. Gidding had noticed a couple of photographs of Tara’s father. He enlarged the photos and framed them, producing Tara’s emotional reaction on the show.
“Wait wait. This is too much,” she said as she hopped off her corduroy couch and walked over to her desk. She started crying into both of her hands as host Paige Davis grabbed her from behind. “This is wonderful. Wonderful.”
“For him to not just design a room that I liked but to put such a personal touch with blowing those pictures of my father up, for me, that was absolutely the point of my tears,” Tara told the Weekly.
Tara enjoys her new den. It’s both sentimental and functional. The show inspired her to redecorate three other rooms in her house.
“I was just so grateful for the opportunity and I appreciate from the bottom of my heart just being part of a production and to work with such a professional staff,” said her son, Kin Sartin.
The episode introduced Keisha and Brian as they were planning their next vacation.
Brian said the couple loves to travel, especially to beach resorts and islands. Keisha wanted to refresh their bedroom with color and a sense of serenity inspired by their travels.
“I would love my new bedroom to reflect that love for travel – that beachy atmosphere,” Keisha said on the show. “That’s what I want to incorporate in my bedroom … well, our bedroom.”
Tara and Kin were excited to work with designer Ty Pennington and carpenter Brett Tutor to add some tropical spice to Keisha and Brian’s bedroom.
Tara has been a fan of Pennington’s for years, but her excitement began to diminish as the designer showed them the paint he intended to use. Tara and Kin were skeptical of the lime, avocado and dark shades of green.
“I was thinking, ‘Oh my God. It looks hideous. It looks horrible,” Tara told the Weekly. “I’m the kind of person if you ask me a question, I’m going to give you my honest opinion. They asked me and I didn’t like it. I really truly didn’t.”
Pennington then threw the duo for another loop, chalking lines from the walls to the ceiling and having them put tape along them. Tara was OK putting tape up on one of the walls, but she resisted Pennington’s idea to do this around the entire room.
Tara also didn’t like the geometric fabric Pennington wanted to put around the ceiling fan, as well as framed leaves.
Ultimately, Pennington’s design was inspired by palm trees. Tara and Kin told that Weekly that Pennington divulged pieces of his vision slowly as the project unfolded.
“We had absolutely no idea what direction he was going,” Kin told the Weekly. “I’m going to be honest, I was with him at first, but as he progressed, I didn’t see where this was progressing at all. We were 100 percent oblivious.”
Putting tape over Pennington’s sketched outline took quite a while. One night, they stayed up until 2 a.m. working on the room.
Pennington had them paint over the tape with a darker green and special brush. Then they removed the tape.
Tara was worried Keisha and Brian would be overwhelmed by their new bedroom, but the couple loved it.
“It does feel like a resort when you walk in the room,” Brian said.
They also liked how the fabric on the ceiling adds more character to the room. Brian said it gives the room more depth and matches the new curtains. Both like their custom-made bed, with a headboard inspired by palm fronds.
“This is like a vacation retreat,” Keisha said on the show. “Now I’m going to look forward to coming to bed … more often.”
Keisha told the Weekly they still have paint left over from the show that they were going to use to paint other rooms in the house, most notably the bathroom. They’re looking at that as a spring or summer project.