Designer Vern Yip travels the planet, but his favorite place is home, where memories of special places, times, and people surround him
Atlanta-based interior designer Vern Yip and husband Craig Koch bought the 1925 stucco house about seven years ago. They updated the mechanical systems, tore up carpeting, and refinished the oak floors. Next up was converting the front screen porch into a foyer and creating a gracious entry. The porch’s elegant arched openings were fitted with custom windows and French doors that flood the room with light.
Red, a color associated with good fortune in China, dominates the palette, beginning with the foyer, where a chandelier drips red crystals. “Even though I’ve been in this country since I was two months old, when you grow up being exposed to something, it becomes a part of you,” Vern says. “You weave it through.”
A modernist Baccarat crystal-and-wire chandelier and Asian artifacts set the tone for the house. The center table belonged to Vern Yip’s mother.
“For me, growing up with beautiful things and seeing them every day was critical to me being who I am today and knowing what I know,” says the designer, who recently wrote Vern Yip’s Design Wise, a book to help others beautify their homes.
Even the couple’s five big dogs—including two Great Pyrenees—seem to understand the rules. “They know which rooms they can go into and what furniture they can climb on,” Vern says, though it’s not always easy. “We have 500 pounds of dog in our house.” Of course, it helps that Craig operates WAG-A-LOT dog-care facilities in Atlanta and is pretty adept at handling the big canines.
Living room sofas from Donghia are covered in “Trellis” in Siamese Taupe from Jim Thompson. Walls are Sherwin-Williams’s “Worldly Gray.” An art photograph by Andrew Moore hangs behind a wooden Hindu Ganesh figure, which was purchased in India. The elegant fan-top French doors are original to the 1925 house.
While rooms are filled with fine art and elegant furnishings, this is a family home, Vern insists. Draperies and dining chair seats are made with easy-care synthetic blends from Vern’s fabric collections. “I have to be practical. We have kids and dogs. We need things to be beautiful and low-maintenance,” he says. “I want a home that is warm and welcoming—a home that says who we are.”
Spice-colored fabrics and trims for the draperies, chair upholstery, and table runner are from Vern Yip for Trend, a division of Fabricut. “I love fabric blends from the performance standpoint. They don’t wrinkle and are colorfast and durable,” he says.
The play room, just as well appointed as every other room in the house, is a vision in blue perfect for the couple's two children. Miniature versions of Philippe Starck's classic ghost chair circle around a driftwood table.
The bold master bedroom features a “Modern Metropolis Bed” from Ralph Lauren Home layered with duvets made with Jim Thompson’s “Kosa Pan” print and Vern Yip for Trend “Manhattan Texture” in charcoal. The red pillow sham is from Marrakech.