'Trading Spaces' interior designer Vern Yip to speak here a week from today

‘Trading Spaces’ interior designer Vern Yip to speak here a week from today

Vern Yip, known to television viewers as the interior-design expert on The Learning Channel’s “Trading Spaces” and NBC’s “Home Intervention,” will speak at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus.

His talk on “Creating Signature Spaces” is free and open to the public. The talk is the first in a series this semester sponsored by St. Thomas’ University Lectures Committee.

The author of Designing Spaces, Yip first became known nationally for his interior design skills on “Trading Spaces” in 2000. That led to other television work, including appearances on programs like “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and NBC’s “The Today Show.”

On “Trading Spaces,” neighbors decorated a room in each other’s home with the help of a designer in two days with a budget of $1,000.

Yip, 37, was born in Hong Kong and raised in McLean, Va., on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. He earned an undergraduate degree in economics and chemistry from the University of Virginia. On track to attend medical school, he changed his mind to pursue interior design. He went on to earn a master’s in architecture and an M.B.A. from Georgia Tech University.

He began work with Atlanta-based architectural firms and honed his craft on projects no one else wanted to do, such as designing toilet details. He later became a certified interior designer, opened his own design business in Atlanta, and among other awards, in 2000 he was named Southeast Designer of the Year. His client base includes rock stars, celebrity chefs and heads of major companies. Budgets for his projects range from the low-cost transformations featured on television to eight-figure projects for wealthy clients.

His designs are described as a blend of simplicity and elegance, dynamic and peaceful. He characterizes himself as a “classic overachiever” who gets about two hours of sleep a night.

For more information about Yip’s talk, call Jennifer Perusek, chair of the University Lectures Committee, (651) 962-6136.