“We cried our eyes out,” Genevieve Gorder, one of nine returning cast members, tells PEOPLE of the reunion on set. “Some of us hadn’t seen each other in 12 years. And they didn’t tell any of us who was coming or not coming.”
Alongside Gorder, fellow designers Frank Bielic, Vern Yip, Laurie Hickson-Smith, Doug Wilson and Hildi Santo-Tomas, carpenters Ty Pennington and Carter Oosterhouse, and host Paige Davis are all confirmed to be making a comeback to the hit series, which aired on TLC from 2000 to 2008.
“I hadn’t seen Laurie, Frank or Hildi. Frank, I just about attacked,” says Gorder of her reunion with the beloved designer, known for his country style and love of wall murals. “I ran at him and wrapped my legs around him, just like some movie where you’re in a field and you see your long lost husband. That was Frank.”
Their first meeting also stirred some overwhelming feelings of gratitude in self-described “heart bleeder” Gorder, who has also recently launched a campaign with Box Tops for Education.
“You realize in that room, when we’re all sitting there, that we accidentally pioneered this genre,” she says of the group, who have launched interior design firms, released product lines, written books and starred in various shows on TLC and HGTV since the end of Trading Spaces. “The sum of all of us is so much bigger than any one of us and it just like vibrates and you just want to cry. It was so cool.”
Trading Spaces returns to TLC in spring 2018.