Frank Bielec, beloved 'Trading Spaces' designer, dies at 72

The designer and TLC star was part of the original "Trading Spaces" cast and re-joined for the reboot in 2018.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Francesca Gariano

Frank Bielec, one of the original designers on TLC’s home improvement show “Trading Spaces,” has died at age 72.

"A very sad day for the TLC family as we learn of the passing of beloved Trading Spaces designer Frank Bielec," the TV network shared in a statement to TODAY. "We will miss and remember him fondly, his quirky style and wonderful sense of humor. We share our love and condolences with the entire Bielec family at this difficult time. We love you Frank!"

Frank Bielec of "Trading Spaces" onstage during the TLC portion of the Discovery Communications Winter TCA Event 2018 on Jan. 12, 2018 in Pasadena, California.Amanda Edwards / Getty Images for Discovery

Fans of Bielec and his roles on the TLC shows, including “While You Were Out," shared their condolences on social media, joining some of his co-stars in remembering the designer.

Vern Yip, a fellow designer who appeared on “Trading Spaces,” shared a touching tribute on Twitter.

“Lovely Frank Bielec passed away today from complications following a heart attack,” Yip wrote. “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.”

Paige Davis, the host of “Trading Spaces,” shared a heartfelt post on Facebook, including a photo of her and Bielec together.

“It’s hard to think of a person more beloved and cherished in my world than Frank,” she wrote in the caption of the post. “He was my biggest champion and I adored him. Everyone adored him. It was a treat every time he was around. Full of one liners, quips, dirty jokes, and salty musings, Frank made us laugh, forget our troubles, and never take life too seriously.

"It’s baffling to imagine him gone because there has never been anyone more full of life and love. I feel this loss deeply. Bye, sweet Frank. I love you dearly,” she continued.

Ty Pennington, the former host of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” shared a series of funny photos of Bielec through the years, honoring his spirit and personality.

“Saying Goodbye to Frank Bielec was the hardest part of my time on #tradingspaces,” Pennington revealed in his tribute on Instagram. “For so many reasons ! Frank made everyone smile , he was the glue that held our show together. His quick wit, amazing comments , expressions and laughter made us want to work with him everyday."

He continued, sharing that he’ll always remember Bielic's kindness towards everyone, humans and animals alike.

“His heart and hands were always full of #love,” he wrote. “When I left the show to go make #extrememakeoverhomeedition he shed tears and said 'your star is too big and bright for just one sky ... go shine and share it with the universe' Frank made me cry that day , with tears of pride , he did it again today. Thank you frank for letting us all reflect some of your brilliant light You will be missed!”

Genevieve Gorder left a touching post to her “Slavic brother” on Instagram Saturday morning, sharing the love with her former “Trading Spaces” co-star.

“To know Frank Bielec was an experience...not simply a relationship,” she captioned alongside a series of photos. “He was terribly smart, delivered one liners that could slay a Drag army, could craft his way out of just about any situation in life, was a full time introverted extrovert with the deepest most honest heart...that drove his entire being. As the youngest and oldest designer we had a special bond, much like siblings and we met every time we could in the place we both felt most comfortable, talking honestly, from the heart and right next to each other in almost every photo I have from that time in life.”

She ended the post on a sweet note, writing, “Frank was like the sun and you just wanted to be next to him, his honest thoughts and warmth. To my sweet Slavic brother, my goodness did you give the world some light...I will look for you in the birds and the sugar gliders as I know there is no peace in resting. I love you forever.”

Carpenter Carter Oosterhouse added, "He can never be replaced in this world as he was truly one of a kind ... Heaven, you got a good one today."