Earlier this year, Marketplace Events interviewed one of our favorite designers, Vern Yip. Here is a reply of the interview:
Iconic reality television star, architect, interior designer and author are just a few of the occupations Vern Yip has acquired through the years. Now, he’s taking over the Living IN KC Stage by IN Kansas City Magazine to show Kansas residents a trick or two about designing beautiful, functional and comfortable homes. If you want to know more about his time on TLC’s Trading Spaces or HGTV Design Star this is the perfect opportunity to see the legendary interior designer.
Q. What’s one thing we wouldn’t guess about you?
A. I am a huge tennis fan. I love watching the sport, playing the sport…really anything that involves the sport piques my interest. I once spent the year going to all the grand slam events around the world – it was remarkable!
Oh, and I also have a big passion for fine art photography. I know everything that is happening in that world!
Q. What’s are two common mistakes homeowners make when they take on a home improvement project themselves?
A. First of all, homeowners often don’t take the time to plan out their project. From measuring their space to calculating their budget, I find that many homeowners tackle a project before they have done their research and due diligence. I understand and respect that it’s more fun to be impulsive or take advantage of a big sale, but if you don’t plan correctly, that sale really isn’t worth it. More times than not, I find that homeowners end up asking themselves if they really saved any money in the long run when the project wasn’t prepped accordingly.
Secondly, I often see homeowners tackling installation projects that require a great deal of knowledge and expertise. My advice to my clients is to have a realistic understanding of their skills and tools before setting out to fix a problem. The last thing you want to do is put yourself further behind on a project by making the issue worse.
Q. What’s a must-have at any party you’re throwing?
A. I love filling a giant tub of ice with wine, beer, champagne, etc. and letting those drinks chill throughout the party. This is an easy way for your guests to serve themselves and the presentation is decorative yet sophisticated.
On that note, it is so important to have multiple party elements that allow your guests to relax and have fun while also making your life easier. When the host is scrambling and not having a good time, everyone can sense it and the vibe of the party could possibly be tainted. So, when hosting your next party, make sure to include elements that allow you to be both prepared and relaxed.
Q. What’s one thing you wish every homeowner knew?
A. It’s ok to be yourself! So many people feel that they need to live up to someone else’s standards or that their home needs to reflect the latest trends in the market. That is simply not the case. In my opinion, the best designed homes reflect the homeowner’s nuances, quirks, passions and differences.
In order to make your space unique to your personality, budget and family dynamic, you must allow yourself the complete freedom to feel secure about the space in which you are living.
Q. What are your best small space living hacks?
A. My answer is two-fold:
1. From an aesthetic standpoint, buy the largest mirror you can possibly fit on the wall opposite your window wall. It makes a singular statement with double the view. The mirror adds space, makes the room feel bigger and takes all that natural light and bounces it back into the room.
2. From a functional perspective, find furniture that is multi-purpose. Open book shelves and end tables with long legs do not suit small spaces. Instead, look for drawers and doors. Small spaces can’t handle visual clutter, so it’s best to find furniture with tasteful, built-in storage.