Photo: Publicity photo of Vern Yip
Photo: Publicity photo of Vern Yip

Vern Yip’s latest book wants to make your home feel like you’re on vacation

Originally posted Sunday, September 8, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Atlanta designer and “Trading Spaces” vet Vern Yip is a busy man who has traveled 80 countries and is both a UNICEF ambassador and a Washington Post travel and design columnist.

So when Yip enters his Brookwood Hills home, he wants it to feel warm, inviting and comfortable. This gave him an idea for his second book: how to make your home feel like you’re always on vacation which naturally became “Vern Yip’s Vacation at Home: Design Ideas for Creating Your Everyday Getaway.”

“My home is the most special place on the planet,” said Yip, 51, who will be at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta September 12 to discuss his book. (Buy tickets here.) “It’s the place that relaxes me, re-energizes me, rejuvenates me.” 

Here are several tips that are in the book about turning your home into a more inviting, comforting place without going full-on Marie Kondo.

- Restraint is good but you don’t need to go totally minimalistic. “Drawing a line in the sand at five photos or five books doesn’t work for me. I don’t think it works for anyone long term. But be honest with yourself: determine what you need and what you love. Outside of that, donate, sell or give away.” 

Ponder your items and why they are there. “Everything in your home, whether you realize it, sends a message. You have control over those messages. You want that message to be positive.

Have a place to display what you love and store what you need. “Selecting the right foundation furniture gives you storage opportunities to put things away.” 

- Employ materials in your home that reduce the to-do list. LED lighting, for instance, reduces the need to keep changing bulbs. Buy stain-resistant fabrics. Quartz countertops are easy to clean and looks like marble. And he recommends fresh flowers that last a long time like orchids. 

-Maintenance matters once foundation is built. “People need to get into the practice of keeping things up every single day instead of saving for those special occasions when company is coming over. At the end of the day, the most important guest is you. Your home shouldn’t just be beautiful when you’re having a dinner party. It should be beautiful when you come home from a long day of work.”

- Swap and move items around regularly. “The reason we enjoy new hotel rooms is we’ve never been there before. Things are in order. Things are in place. So even if you set your room up perfectly, it’s best to rotate your  stuff else it would eventually stop stimulating you.”


Vern Yip

7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 12

$13 members, $18 non-members $30 includes book

Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.