Designer, architect, and television star Vern Yip stops by the podcast to talk decorating, parenting, and much more

Our guest today on the How to Decorate podcast needs no introduction. If you’ve watched a decorating TV show in the last two decades, you most likely know Vern Yip — from TLC’s Trading Spaces, HGTV’s Design Star, and Bang for Your Buck. We love his book Design Wise: Your Smart Guide to a Beautiful Home, so we were thrilled to sit down with him and talk shop.

What You’ll Hear on This Show:

  • Vern tells us his background, how he ended up living in Atlanta, and his path to becoming a designer
  • He tells us about his first design project for Disney
  • We talk about how incredible Vern’s book Design Wise is, especially as an instructional tool
  • Why designing is actually a lot simpler than you’d think and why Vern’s book is so helpful in making it easy
  • We talk about value in furniture and why a deal isn’t always the best choice and why a splurge isn’t always smart either
  • Why space planning is the first crucial step before shopping
  • Why embracing your personal style can save you money
  • Vern shares his favorite exercise for uncovering someone’s personal style
  • He tells us about designing his childhood bedroom and how he sees his own style in his son
  • We talk about mixing styles together and how to create a ‘thread of continuity’
  • Why you shouldn’t be in a hurry to fill your space
  • Why it’s important to collect pieces while you’re traveling
  • The most dramatic travel souvenir he brought home
  • Taryn tells us about her most recent travel treasure
  • Vern tells us about why he’s always redecorating — it’s not the reason you think!
  • We talk about how Vern’s house has changed becoming a dad
  • We talk about the incredible antique education Vern got from his mom
  • We talk about how his kids are already developing their own unique sense of style
  • Vern tells us about his favorite place to visit
  • Why it’s worth it to spend the time making your home a reflection of you

Decorating Dilemmas:

Hi Ballard Team!

I am a new listener to your podcast. I recently renovated a home and I noticed that we have fan lighting combinations in the every bedroom and in the kitchen and living room errors. Is this stuck in the 90s? What is the design advice on fans? Should I replace them with ceiling lighting? My husband thinks we will use them but honestly we have central air conditioning! Help.

Thank you,
Apryl Clark

Vern is in favor of removing the fan, especially since you say you aren’t really using them. Those spaces are great opportunities to make a beautiful statement with lighting. Pick something special and set it up on dimmer.

I am very pro-fan because I like the way they feel. My general rules are to keep them simple, neutral, and blend into the spaces. Skip the light kit and use can lighting instead, and definitely skip the fan in rooms like dining room and kitchens where you’re eating.

Karen suggests living in your home for a while and deciding whether you actually need or will use them, then remove them from rooms you aren’t using.

Show Notes:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, pleasesubscribe to the podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode. Of course, you can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

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