Trading Spaces: the infamous "Brown Room"

We don’t have cable, so I don’t watch the show very much, but the same room got mentioned in two seperate conversations about it last week. We were talking about designers we’d never let in our houses and the things those designers tend to do. My mother was talking about Laurie and this one room she painted dark brown, which the HO had said repeatedly that she hated. Anything else was fine with her, but no brown. The HO apparently shoved her neighbor for painting the room brown after promising not to.

Then, a few days later, I was talking to someone else about the same subject, and Laurie’s name came up again. I mentioned a room that had gone horribly awry and my friend’s eyes widened and she said, “Ohhhh, the Brown Room.” Jodi said it was the worst thing she’d ever seen in her life, and that the HO had left the room in tears.

So now I have to wonder about this room that is so infamous that someone can automatically tell you all about the episode based on the phrase, “Laurie did this one room the HO hated.” I know that it’s a living room, and that it’s painted chocolate brown, and that the whole room is done in shades of brown, but that’s about it. I’d love to see before and after pics of this infamous Brown Room, but I can’t seem to find it on the TS website. I did find a brown living room from the first season, Buckhead: Canter Road, but I don’t think that’s it. The walls are chocolate brown, but that seems to be it. I was under the impression that everything in this room was brown.

Does anybody happen to know which episode had the infamous Brown Room?

Well the Brown Room was really taup (tope?). And I thought it was really nice. Certainly not the worst room I’ve ever seen, and certainly not the worst Laurie room I ever seen.

I, too loved the “Brown Room” and thought it was more of a case of a crazed HO than a bad design. It may be standing out with people because it was one of the few times I can remember that a HO didn’t like one of Laurie’s rooms.

For more info, you may try looking up the episodes about “They hated It” which were on a cuople of weeks ago. This room was featured on there.

BTW, according to “They Hated It” the HO didn’t actually change anything in her room, so it’s hard to understand the physical violence she displayed at the reveal. My favorite is still “Crying Pam” (another room I actually liked).

Laurie’s brown room was a nice light brown (taupe) with red accents… It turned out very Asian and I liked it a lot. The female HO did shove her friend at the reveal- some people thought it was staged, but I’m still not so sure. The rest of her house was Boring As Hell, and I think the room was a huge improvement. TWOP recap here. Pics of the before and after here… “Las Vegas: Smokemount Court.”

Doug, OTOH, did a dark brown room for the infamous Crying Pam. She had to leave the room at the reveal. TWOP recap here. Pics here… “Seattle: 137th Street.”

Both these rooms were featured on the recent “They hated it” marathon… Laurie’s room was the same because “everyone that came in to see it loved it.” The Crying Pam room has been completely redone.


Hmm, I didn’t really like either of the before or after in either of the pictures that bobkitty linked. The worst one I remember was someone (I forget who) did this bizarre blue (black?) and white grid pattern that looked like wannabe plaid.

The problem with the HO claiming she hated brown is that from all appearances, she didn’t say she hated brown until the room was underway. The designers plan these rooms long in advance of when they show up, and all the paint/fabric/supplies are basically already purchased by the time they get there. There might be room to tweak one or two small things, but basically, the design is set when the crew shows up on site.

If the HO really didn’t want brown, she needed to speak up about it during her initial interview, not in her immediate pre-show interview where she says “Oh, and btw…I don’t want brown.” By then, it’s way too late. And honestly, if there are things that you really, really can’t live with (like a basic paint color), then you don’t belong on this show, because the entire premise of the show is that you get no say. If you want it the way you want it, do it yourself.

From what I’ve heard, the HOs do fill out some sort of packet where they list their likes and dislikes (during the screening process), and it’s also where they list what is “protected.” They list favorite colors, decorating styles, thinsg they want for the room (bookshelves, more seating, whatever) and styles that they really hate.
The designers get a look at this during their planning for the room, along with pictures of the room, and pictures of other rooms in the house, so they should have a basic idea of what the HOs like.

Of course, if you protect everything in the room, and list every decorating style but one among your “dislikes” you’ll never get on the show, so some people are afraid to list anything on their “dislikes.”

Part of Jackass Jessie’s problem was that her whole house was painted white, and decorated in black and white, so I don’t think she herself even knew what she liked.
One thing that really pissed me off about that episode was that she was a lazy, whiny bitch the whole time she was at her friend’s house, complaining to Edward the entire time, whining that “this” wasn’t going to work, and her friends wouldn’t like “that” idea. Then when she saw her room, she yelled that she’d done something totally cool in her friend’s room, and they did “that” to her room. :rolleyes:

I agree it was all about the HO being a witch, even her friends didn’t think she was that serious about the “no brown” thing. They barely brought it up to Laurie, and were quickly mollified by the taupe argument. I think it’s more famous for being featured on Jay Leno as “a sushi bar gone awry” than for the HO’s overreaction.

The infamous fireplace and poor Pam’s reaction was a way bigger deal. Doug acted like a three-year old when all they asked was a simple “leave the fireplace alone.” I totally respected the visiting HOs for sticking to their guns, the wife oughta get a job at the UN she was such the diplomat! “Yes, your ideas are wonderful Doug, we love everything you’re doing and everything you are and I’m sure your room will look divine even without painting the fireplace!” She did everything but strap on kneepads to mollify Doug and he still acted like a moron.
Especially perplexing to me, he designed the room to be brown and white. The fireplace brick was…wait for it…brown and white. It’s not as if he were trying to get away from a fire-red hearth dominating the room, it could have easily been incorporated into his design. The wall treatment he used was hideous, 1/4 inch strips of tape in blocks, the walls looked like cheap industrial tile had been affixed, with mildewed grout even. Ugh.
Did it go with the house? No. Did he respect the homeowners wishes? No. Did it look good? Hell no. He didn’t even have the grace to be slightly apologetic when it was all said and done, he still resented the HOs for not respecting his inner genius.

Actually, Jessie and her friend were hitting at each other, but it wasn’t serious-both of them were laughing hysterically. She hated it, but she was more fake fighting, just to be goofy, I thought.

Seattle: 137th Street looks like a public lavatory.

I’d seen the before and after pics and thought it was ass-ugly, but it never occurred to me that that was the infamous Brown Room. Really, it’s just another example of why I’d never let Laurie do a room in my house.