I was so excited when I learned designer and host of HGTV's Deserving Design Vern Yip was coming to the Junior League of Huntsville's Spring Market. What nuggets of wisdom would he have to share? A lot, it turns out. He was just as relaxed and affable as he seems on TV, and a great sport. He wanted to meet everyone! Vern stopped to say hello to Sanity Fair, and answer a question for you readers:
Sanity Fair: "What inspires you?"
Vern Yip: "Seeing new things and meeting people inspire me." On his show Deserving Design: "getting to know people [and seeing] their presence manifested into the space" is a really important part of the show. It's about "ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things." On travel: he loves to travel - it "expands horizons" and influences his work.
Vern also had some great advice on establishing your own personal style: "put something in your home because you love it and it makes you happy." Achieving an individual look is "about making sure your home is a true reflection of who you are." Mixing and matching designs is a great way to do this, according to Vern, and it's important to "think of your spaces creatively." He pointed out that one of the hottest trends right now is the home office, and you can easily turn a spare bedroom or empty dining space into a fantastic area to work. It's also cheap - "reallocating space is a wonderful way to save money."
Saying hello to Vern Yip.
Taking a few questions from Sanity Fair!
Talking to the audience about great design. He was really funny - calling fushia and purple "colors that don't make husbands happy" and telling the audience that his mother wanted him to be "a doctor, or a doctor."
This is one of the images Vern shared with us at the event. This restaurant was located in, of all things, a former gas station. The client wanted the ceilings higher, but that would have been a costly change. Vern's solution? Silver leaf the ceiling. The metallic sheen bounces the light and makes the room feel more spacious. No more oppressive ceiling! (No word on if he had to redo the floor for oil stains.) I also love the use of grass as a space divider here - everything else in the world of flora and fauna gets shoved into restaurant designs (why do we think dusty plastic flowers whet the appetite?). This use is fresh and unobtrusive.
Another view of the restaurant - very serene. You can better see the silver squares applied to the ceiling.
Here's a little bit more of his work. Vern advised us to "stay monochromatic in your color schemes" for small rooms, and he does that very nicely here. I love the apple "squares" as an extra touch.
Hurrah! - it's more CORAL! Both the accent color AND those fab chandeliers. Notice the use of personal photographs in these rooms. Vern Yip's designs are really reflective of the people he works with - this is a living room from his show for inspiring people, Deserving Design. Nothing makes a space feel more like home than seeing the faces you love most.
LOVE this space. I'm a huge fan of Asian fusion, and this functional hallway carries off an ethnic look with polished flair. A tough spot though, because people won't want to leave the hall and go into the actual rooms!
A BIG thanks to Vern Yip, for sharing his advice and time, and to Katy, of the Katy Forester Blog for taking the pics of me with Vern! Be sure to catch new episodes of Vern's great show, Deserving Design. Every week he re-does a room (or two) for someone who has faced a special challenge. It airs every week on HGTV on Saturday, at 3:30 Central.
Restaurant images, from Vern Yip. Other rooms, Deserving Design.
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