Design Wise With Vern Yip: The "Trading Spaces" Designer Shares Tips, Trends & More! by Ann Marie Patitucci

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6 years ago

Design Wise With Vern Yip: The "Trading Spaces" Designer Shares Tips, Trends & More!

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 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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Doug Wilson Gives Us the Inside Scoop on the Relaunch of "Trading Spaces!"

Laurie Balles Simpson
"Everything that you own sends you a message"... Love it! I'm so excited for the relaunch. Just marked it on my calendar!
Heather Murphy-Fritz
I had a Tuscan kitchen in my last home and still have the red, orange, & yellow dish towels! I agree that styles have evolved and homes do look more like a mix of styles instead of like a page out of a catalog. As someone without innate design sense, I will definitely be watching! Can’t wait!
Katie Sloan
The comment about smiling when you come home made me smile. Home is where I feel most at ease! I am really looking forward to the new series to start. The designers are unique and bring so many good ideas to the table. Thanks for the tip. I enjoyed learning more about Vern and his family as well as charitable work.
Elisa Schmitz
How exciting! Thanks, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead and Renee Herren , for representing 30Seconds so beautifully! 💗
One of my favorite quotes was in regards to his approach to designing the spaces of others on the show... “Your home is probably one of the biggest investments that you will make in your lifetime...and that should be considered and respected.” I think this speaks volumes to his character!
Ann Marie Patitucci
Yes! I loved that, too!
Tiffany Zook
Is it April 7th yet??!!!??
❤️ Vern’s decorating tips and ideas!
Love this! Can't wait for the relaunch tonight!
Reene McGreevy
Love this! I used to want my kitchen to look like the Cheesecake Factory too🤣🙋🏼‍♀️
Melissa Hurt
Vern was my fav! I remember a bedroom had a wall of votive candles all over it. It was awesome!!
Ann Marie Patitucci
“If you don’t smile every time you walk through the door, something is wrong.” This brilliant quote may just have inspired me to order a custom made shoe rack and coat hooks for my entry way because walking in the door and seeing shoes and coats everywhere was NOT making me smile. :) Thanks, Vern!
Terri Kendrick
I totally agree with this! I spent hours of surfing the Internet and shopping to get my MCM living room just the way I wanted it. Three years later, it still makes me smile!
Same Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead! I now have plans to help me smile in my home too!
Cindy Hlywa
The “Vern Gems” are inspiring!!
Sue Westervelt
“The best designs always come from compromise” is so true !! Love that !!
Susan Masterson, PhD
OMG I love Vern Yip! Glad to see the other designers on here!!!

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