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

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Frank Bielec
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for Discovery

Frank Bielec, the Trading Spacesdesigner, died on Friday. He was 72.

Bielec died from complications from a heart attack, his former co-star and fellow designer, Vern Yip, confirmed the sad news on his social media.

"Lovely Frank Bielec passed away today from complications following a heart attack. I’m so, so saddened," Yip wrote on Instagram alongside photos of the two. "Unbelievably funny, wise, nice, and talented, Frank always lent the right perspective, and needed levity, to every situation."

Yip thanked his late friend for "always being kind to me," adding that he will miss him and that the "world is darker, and much less colorful today, without you in it."

Bielec is survived by his wife Judy, their son Matt and grandchildren, Mason and Ava.

Bielec was on the beloved TLC design series since it premiered in 2000 until 2008. TLC briefly revived Trading Spaces in 2018 for two new seasons, with the designer making a brief appearance.

Just last month, Bielec reunited via Zoom with his Trading Spaces family, which included Yip Paige Davis, Ty Pennington, Carter Oosterhouse, Genevieve Gorder, Doug Wilson, Laurie Smith, Andy Obeck, Rob Marish and Randall Tang, to celebrate Hildi Santo-Tomas’ 59th birthday.

“We’ve been in this together since day one," wrote Pennington on his Instagram.

Following the news of his death, Pennington penned a heartfelt note dedicated to his late friend.

"Saying Goodbye to Frank Bielec was the hardest part of my time on #tradingspaces For so many reasons," he began. "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."

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Saying Goodbye to Frank Bielec was the hardest part of my time on #tradingspaces 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. I remember auditioning with him in Tennessee so many years ago he asked me to build him a box (for flowers) so I started measuring his height ..(the cameraman realized the joke and started laughing shaking the camera. It was clear Frank and I had immediate comedy chemistry on camera. I will never forget his #kindness to all #humans and all #animals His heart and hands were always full of #love 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! @genevievegorder @johngidding @leighseaman @lauriesmithofficial @vernyipdesigns @realpaigedavis @seithg @sabrina_soto @dougwilsondesigner @hildisantotomas @bretttutor @joaniesprague @robmarish @mjcine @tlc @discoveryinctv @tv_ep_nataliefeldman @kahilee sorry if I missed a tag. Our thoughts are with his loving family

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Gorder also wrote about how they lost a "unicorn and we lost our rock."

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Yesterday we lost a unicorn, And we, a tight family lost our rock. To know Frank Bielec was an experience...not simply a relationship. He was terribly smart, delivered one liners that could slay a Drag Queen Army, could craft or needlepoint his way out of just about any situation in life, was a full time introverted extrovert with the deepest most honest of hearts...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. 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 for you. I love you forever. . . . ❤️ to Judy, Matt & Family, #tradingspaces #RestInDoing #RID #trading #unicorn #family #heonlypaintedchickensONCEgetitstraightpeople

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See more tributes from his friends and co-stars below:

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Frank Bielec passed away today. Anyone who knew him loved him dearly and for good reason. Death seems impossible in this case because he was so incredibly full of life. He made everything and everyone more joyful just by being himself. I can honestly say that Frank Bielec was one of the most honest, funniest, and kindest man that I have ever met in my entire life and I hope to grow to be more like him as a man. He was so kind to me. And Frank kindness is extra special because his heart seemed to have no limit. He made me laugh so hard that one time I got called out in a press conference for not being able to restrain my laughter because he was whispering dirty jokes to me. He asked that if you wanted to honor him to make a donation to Citizens for Animal Protection in his name, in Katy, Texas. Donate here: cap4pets.org . Rest In Peace Frank 😔 ❤️ #rip #frankbielec

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