I simply must stop starting stories with, "So the other night I met Design Star's Vern Yip," but now is not the time.
So the other night I met HGTV Design Star's Vern Yip. He was in town offering design tips and exchanging pleasantries with local yocals at I.O. Metro. I caught up with him at the Fairview location because if there's one thing I love it's an unnecessary commute.
I took him a design challenge for the ages, my parents' living room. It's an odd, long space that feels disjointed from the rest of the house, an isle of what-the-hell-do-we-do-with-this. Vern had some awesome tips, so if you have this identical living room you just hit the jackpot. But even if you don't, you'll find his tips are worth their weight in lush fabric swatches.
Tip #1: Pick a floor. Any floor. The hardwood and carpet combination is largely to blame for the disjointedness. Vern said pull the hardwoods through the living space. I then said, "But my mom is a real carpet lover." Yes, I said that. To Vern Yip. Fortunately, his head doesn't live in the gutter with mine and he simply replied, "That's what rugs are for, right?"
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Tip #2: Move the couch. The couch running alongside the carpet is creating a wall further separating the rooms. Vern suggested moving the couch to the back wall and adding a larger piece of art.
Tip #3: Curtain call. Vern suggested bringing color into the stark space by adding curtains. He said straight panels in a single color should do the trick. He also suggested adding similar curtains in the adjacent rooms to create a common thread that ties them all together.
Tip #4: Lighten up. Vern said the metal floor lamps is creating a flashlight effect that adds to the starkness of the room. He suggested softening the space with a few shaded lamps.
Tips aside, I know you're all dying to know what Vern was really like. Tragically, he was the nicest, most patient and thoughtful person you could imagine. I say tragically because you know we were all rooting for a diva. Talented, adorable and gracious? It just doesn't seem fair, right? But he really is. He took time with each fan answering questions and posing for pictures. He's so nice he wouldn't even pose in a fake fight with me, but, hey, a girl's gotta try. Oh, and that press hat? That was a dare and much like Mr. Yip, I never back down from a challenge.