Today is the first day that HGTV Magazine is on newsstands! Did you get yours yet? I’ve gotten mine and I have to say, it’s one of the prettiest and most useful design magazines I’ve ever seen (even if I am a little biased).
In its inaugural issue Vern Yip, judge for HGTV Design Star lets readers into his family’s home in Atlanta, Georgia to get a look at his unbelievable dog room (page 35 in case you’re following along with your magazines). With four dogs and two young kids in the house, it’s hard to believe that anything is organized, but this chocolate-colored room is perfection. I recently talked to Vern about his home and his article for our brand new magazine. Here’s what he had to say:
LZ: Have you seen the magazine yet?
VY: No, not yet! But I’m very excited to see it.
LZ: So we know you’re an old pro at being in other people’s homes with the cameras rolling, but what was it like to be interviewed for the magazine having the photographers at your house?
VY: It’s always good. Your home should be a physical manifestation of you. It’s a way for people to experience who you are. It was fun to share my personal style with readers.
LZ: In your article for the magazine, you show us your fantastic pet room just off your kitchen. What do you suggest people do who don’t have enough space to make a separate room for their pets?
VY: I’ve always been a dog person, but I haven’t always had a dedicated room for the dogs. Before having this room, I didn’t compromise between practicality and not having a dog at all, though. A couple of tips for keeping a clean and neat house:
Number one: get a great vacuum cleaner, and number two, look at the materials that your dog comes in contact with – the floor, the upholstery – and make sure you select those correctly to be soil and stain resistant.
To corral the clutter, use the same the same ideas you would in dealing with clutter in general. Instead of having a coffee table, use a storage ottoman. The lid flips open and you can quickly put away dog toys and leashes.
LZ: What’s your number one rule about the dogs in your house? No people food? No jumping on the couch?
VY: I wish I was that kind of disciplinarian with them! Before we had kids they had the run of the place. The one thing I don’t do, we don’t allow our dogs in our beds. It’s one area that I like to keep super clean and tidy.
LZ: Given that you’ve got pets and kids in your house now, are there any design decisions you’ve made wish you could do over? Do you make different choices now?
VY: No. My choices aren’t primarily driven by dogs or kids. Our decisions are reflections of us and who we are. Successful design is a confluence of function and aesthetics. It needs to function on a high level. I need to be able to sit on the sofa and not worry about getting a stain on it. That’s who I am. You can have great looking things that are also practical.
LZ: OK, Vern, lightning round. I’m going to ask you a question, and you give me your gut reaction:
Dogs playing poker – kitsch and cute, or tacky and awful?
VY: Kitsch and cute.
LZ: Painted animal portraits – yea or nay?
LZ: Dogs in the bed – snuggle up or get out!
VY: Get out!
LZ: Leather furniture and pets – for sure or forget it?
VY: For sure!
LZ: And last but not least: I know I’m not supposed to ask this – because dogs are like kids – but do you have a favorite dog?
VY: [Laughs] Yes, I do! I’m so embarrassed to admit that. But I can’t tell you which one it is!