Frank Bielec has died. A regular on TLC’s home makeover phenomenon Trading Spaces, Bielec was a designer and interior decorator who was as well known for his wit and his big personality as for his skill in designing homes. He died of a heart attack last night, at the age of 72.
Featured on the very first episode of Trading Spaces—“Athens: County Road”, way back in 2000—Bielec was one of the show’s most regular contributors, being one of only a handful of designers to appear on every season of the series. A Texas native, Bielec fell easily into the strange rhythms of the TV home renovation game—a role that combines the job of TV presenter, comedian, and actual design skill to create an odd alchemy of talent and personality.
Bielec ultimately appeared on 40 episodes of the original Trading Spaces. And while he was never afraid to acknowledge that the series eventually wore out its welcome—remarking in one interview, in typically comically blunt fashion, that “They took a perfectly wonderful little show and beat it to death, slowly, with a lead pipe”—he was also happy to show up on the series’ 2018 revival when the time for it finally arrived. In the meantime, he lived out his life in Texas with his wife and business manager Judy, raising animals, doing speaking engagements, and running his Mosey ‘N Me arts and crafting business.