Frank Bielec, 'Trading Spaces' Designer, Dead at 72

Trading Spaces star Frank Bielec reportedly passed away on Friday. Bielec's wife told reporters [...]

Trading Spaces star Frank Bielec reportedly passed away on Friday. Bielec's wife told reporters from TMZ that Bielec suffered a heart attack on Thursday. He was rushed to a hospital for a specialized treatment that ultimately did not work. She has no plans to hold a public funeral for the beloved designer.

Bielec is best-known to many fans as one of the stars of Trading Spaces on TLC. He appeared in every season of the show, including the 2018 reboot. Judy explained that he was rushed to the nearest hospital in Katy, Texas, after his heart attack. He was later transferred to a hospital in Houston to attempt a specialized treatment. She said that the surgical team grew emotional when they could not save Bielec.

Judy said that the family has decided to cremate Bielec's remains, store them in a round wooden box, and keep them on the mantle at home. Given Bielec's keen eye for interior design, this makes sense for the 72-year-old reality star. Like many people, Judy is foregoing any public funeral due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to TMZ, Bielec was an elementary school teacher before he joined the TLC series. He taught art and social studies to kids while pursuing his own master's degree in fine arts. However, Bielec became tired of the educational system and left the field altogether.

Bielec then worked as a florist for 20 years, according to his wife. He pursued his art while creating floral arrangements as his day job, gaining some recognition, and even having his work displayed in galleries.

Bielec was remembered by other designers on social media this weekend, including Vern Yip — a fellow Trading Spaces star. Yip tweeted: "Lovely Frank Bielec passed away today from complications following a heart attack. Funny, wise, nice, and talented, he always lent perspective and levity to every situation. Thanks you for always being kind to me. I will miss you dearly friend."

Bielec was among the first group of designers featured on Trading Spaces when the reality show launched in 2000. The show, based on the BBC TV series Changing Rooms, featured two sets of neighbors completely redecorating one room in each other's homes in just three days, with a budget of $2,000. Each team also the help of a professional designer like Bielec and a carpenter.

The show lasted for eight seasons in its original run, with Bielec appearing in every single one. It also produced some other notable stars, including Ty Pennington, who went from working as a carpenter on the show to hosting Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Trading Spaces then returned in 2018 for a reboot, which is still ongoing.