Watch out Trading Spaces, you have a new competitor. Discovery Channel has created a new show called Surprise by Design. The concept is different, but the feel of the show is the same.

In this case, someone wants to surprise their friend/husband/wife/cousin/whatever and brings in the show's crew to redesign a room while the unsuspecting party is out of town. There is no fixed budget and a looser time constraint, but you still get to see the transformation followed by before and after shots. The biggest difference is the greater focus on the people in the show. In the episode I saw, they talked about the relationship between the surpriser and surprisee using old photos and gooey music. Also, they spend more time showing you how they create all of the DIY aspects of the design. I like that a lot.

I wouldn't say the show is better than my tried and true, Trading Spaces, but it is definitely fun. There is only one design crew, who are entertaining, but you lose the fun of having 6 or 7 different personalities to love or hate.

Despite the differences, if you like one show you will most certainly like the other.

Update (01/22/04): For those who'd like to be on the show, please note that I have no connection with it. I just wanted to talk about it. If you'd like to try and be on the program, I suggest you fill out an application. If you want to try and contact people on the show or those affiliated, here is the information to do so.