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USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education)

“Trading Spaces” spurs college enrollment – Education

“Trading Spaces” spurs college enrollment – Education – Brief Article

“My job exists because of “Trading Spaces,'” muses Janet Fick, interior design instructor at Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., of the popular cable television program in which neighbors swap homes and decorate a single room in each other’s house. Fick maintains it is no coincidence that the increase in interior design majors mirrors the success of decorating programs like The Learning Channel’s “Trading Spaces” and Home & Garden Television’s “Designers’ Challenge.”

“These [types of] shows get students interested in the field. Once they see the wider aspects of interior design, they stay in the program.” Two years ago, Ball State had 80 interior design majors. That number has since tripled.

“When I ask new or prospective students if they watch ‘Trading Spaces,’ every hand goes up–even when I speak to middle school students,” Fick reports. “That show has done wonders for my career.”

The field of interior design encompasses more than the painting and wallpapering that is emphasized in interior decorating. Interior design courses focus on space planning, as well as codes and regulations, such as Life Safety Codes and American Designer’s Association compliance.

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