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Trading Spaces creates mini Cairo in Riverview

by 2nd Lt. Erin Dorrance
Chief of Internal Information
photo by 2nd Lt. Erin Dorrance
Andrew, Amber, Cheryl, Senior Master Sgt. Anthony Kallas and their dog enjoy their new Egyptian family game room.

When most people go home from work they stretch out on their sofa and watch television. Senior Master Sgt. Anthony Kallas, 6th Medical Group, Diagnostic Imaging Flight superintendent, on the other hand, has the option of sitting in a raised throne or stretching out on a pharaoh's bed with Egyptian fans to cool him down. Thanks to NBC Discovery Kids television show, Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls, the Kallas family has the right to say that they have a mini Cairo in their house.

The Kallas' neighbors, the Bakers, decided to send in an entry form to Trading Spaces in June. Around Thanksgiving time, the neighboring families found out they were selected.

"I was excited that we were selected for the show," said mother Cheryl Kallas. "I was not concerned with giving up a room in our house because the show is excellent. I knew it would be a win-win experience for us because Andrew would get his dream room and we really didn't use the spare bedroom that often."

Even though the parents swapped houses, they were bystanders throughout the process. The kids were the ones busy building and creating the dream rooms. Twelve-year-old Andrew Kallas and his friend Jason Shipman, 12, made up the boys team while Caitlin and Ashley Baker, 10 and 8 respectively, formed the girls team. The families swapped houses Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. and the kid's dream rooms were revealed Feb. 29 at 10:30 p.m.

Andrew had given the show three ideas for his dream room including a giant computer, Egypt and Indiana Jones. He was quite thrilled when he got to see his room.

"Oh my gosh!" said Andrew. "I had no idea what to expect but I couldn't be happier with the way my room turned out."

The room includes a raised throne, a mummy, a large pyramid that hides the entertainment center, electronic pharaoh fans, a mummy book case, a bucket full of fake snakes to bring the Indiana Jones theme alive and several pieces of wall art, statues and other props to make you feel like you are in Egypt.

The Bakers' girls had a similar reaction when they saw their dream room for the first time. Caitlin and Ashley had suggested a mall, hair salon and garden theme for their room. The girls walked into a garden room that included a gazebo with a patio set, a carpet which looked like grass, a stained glass window and a swing that holds up to 400 pounds.

"I was really surprised," said Ashley. "I can swing if it is raining outside because I have a playroom indoors."

"It was such a huge improvement to the room," said Caitlin. "When we moved here we were younger and the room was a kiddy room with hand prints on the wall. Now it is a room that we can use to play cards and just hang out."

The kids enjoy sleepovers, movie marathons and spending quality time with their families in their dream rooms.

Looking back on the experience both teams said that they enjoyed doing the show because they got to meet with an acting coach and they received a lot of building experience.

"My favorite part was the nail gun," said Andrew. "I also helped paint and wall paper."

Both teams mentioned that it was a lot more work than they expected but they would do it again.

The Kallas family would like to thank the Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls staff for all its hard work and time. They said the crew was very professional and made the experience truly memorable.




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