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Valley Pre-Owned

Publish Date: 12/30/2006

Matt Hutchinson, plays with his son, 2-year-old Riley Leitner-Hutchinson, on the counter of their redecorated kitchen on Dec. 18. The Leitner-Hutchinsons’ kitchen was redecorated on the television show “Trading Spaces.” Times-Call/Bradley Wakoff

Reality check
Neighbors enjoying rooms revamped on TV series

EDITOR’S NOTE: At the end of each year, the Daily Times-Call updates readers with its “Where Are They Now” series, which revisits notable area newsmakers and finds out how they’re faring. Through Tuesday, Times-Call staff writers will bring you stories and vignettes about people, animals and even a Pluto-bound spacecraft featured on our pages over the past year.

LONGMONT — The 800 block of Sumner Street seems a little quieter now that the television crews from “Trading Spaces” have come and gone.

In early August, Matt Hutchinson and Lisa Leitner switched houses with neighbor Ginger Shriver for the hourlong reality program featured on the cable channels TLC and Discovery Home.

On the show, two sets of neighbors redecorate one room in the other’s home, and each two-person team has 48 hours, a budget of $1,000 and a “Trading Spaces” designer to complete the makeover.

The teams have no say over what happens in their own homes but can give input into what happens in the home they are redecorating. The teams cannot see their own homes until the remodeling is finished.

The episode featuring the Longmonters aired this fall.

Hutchinson and Leitner worked with designer Laurie Hickson-Smith — the show’s “Southern belle” known for her classic, contemporary style — on a multifunctional family room in Shriver’s 1952 yellow cottage.

Shriver said she now uses the basement-level all-purpose room more. The room received new carpet, cabinetry doors, new lamps, table and chairs, and paisley panels to elongate the walls.

“It’s the TV room, the home office and, since I’m a chiropractor, I do adjustments here,” she said. “I like this room better because I do more stuff in it. I think I avoided the room before. Now I do more work; it’s even more fun to clean.”

Shriver and friend Leslie Irwin worked with the show’s “bad boy” Doug Wilson — a designer whose style is both unconventional and urbane — to tackle the kitchen in in their neighbors’ 1948 white cottage, which Hutchinson described as a disaster (the kitchen, not the cottage).

Leitner said the kitchen, with exposed beams, 1940s gingham wallpaper and a hole in the ceiling, was in the middle of a renovation when producers selected the couple to be on the show.

Now, the walls are chocolate brown with cabinets that are modern and have swirl-patterned shades.

A large artwork made of screen, which originally hung on the wall near the table, now sits in the back yard as a “bug condominium” with faux dragonflies, butterflies and houseflies attached.

The homeowners said they enjoyed working, and laughing, with the crews from “Trading Spaces,” even though watching themselves on TV was “surreal.” In the end, all three residents are pleased with the final outcome.

“Not only did I get to know Matt and Lisa better,” Shriver said, “but our whole block got to experience this. People would stop by and just say hi. It was a community-building event on Sumner Street.”

Melanie M. Sidwell can be reached at 303-684-5274, or by e-mail at msidwell@times-call.com.

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