Design Wise With Vern Yip: The "Trading Spaces" Designer Shares Tips, Trends & More! by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Fellow 30Seconds contributor Renee Herren and I attended the Southern Women’s Show in Richmond, Va. We received a press pass to attend the VIP Meet and Greet with designer Vern Yip, then attended Vern’s public presentation, followed by a book signing ("Vern Yip’s Design Wise" is beautiful and full of practical design tips!).
We found Vern to be every bit as charming, authentic and down to earth as he appeared on "Trading Spaces," which first aired in 2000. At the meet and greet he spoke about his children, husband and their rescue dogs. Vern also talked about the relaunch of "Trading Spaces," premiering this spring. During the Q&A we asked him, “What is a memorable design trend from the original 'Trading Spaces' and how does it compare to current trends?” Vern got a laugh from the audience when he replied, “Number one, everybody who had a kitchen wanted a Tuscan kitchen ... I think everybody wanted their kitchen to look like Cheesecake Factory...”
As far as trends then and now, Vern shared, “It’s not just that the trends are different. When the show first came out, people were not nearly as bold in their personal style because we all felt like we had to look like what we saw in the neighborhood, among our peer group ... we thought we had to look like what we saw in the catalogs. Because of 'Trading Spaces' and shows like 'Trading Spaces,' everybody just kind of evolved to where they feel like it’s OK to be individual, to have a personal style that is not pigeonholed ... Now people are totally OK with the idea that they can be a variety of things ... that they can have a design style that is across the spectrum. I really, really love that.”
We found both the meet and greet and the presentation to be informative and inspiring. We learned about design and about Vern’s other passions and priorities, too: his family, his rescue dogs and his role as a UNICEF Ambassador. Here are some of our favorite “Vern Gems” about wise design and living well in our homes:
- “A home should reflect you functionally and aesthetically.”
- “Everything that you own sends you a message.”
- “The best designs always come from compromise.”
- “If you don’t smile every time you walk through the door, something is wrong.”
- “Great design belongs in every home.”
In addition to sharing design tips, Vern talked about what we could expect from the relaunch (though he wouldn’t give away any spoilers!). For instance, the designers will have $2000 to spend on their room makeovers, an increase over the original $1000. He spoke highly of his fellow "Trading Spaces" designers: “Every designer on the show is talented and has a different perspective and point of view.”
We agree, and we can’t wait to watch it all unfold again on April 7 on TLC. Stay tuned for more on Vern Yip and the talented cast of "Trading Spaces!"
Be sure to follow Laurie Smith, Paige Davis, Doug Wilson and Carter Oosterhouse on 30Seconds, visit TLC.com and follow @TLC! (Special thanks to the Chesterfield Observer for the admission tickets and the Southern Women’s Show for the press passes to the VIP event.)
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