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Fit for the Whole Family
Interior designer Vern Yip's new book, Design Wise, gives readers a glimpse into his family's stunning 6,700-square-foot Atlanta home. The designer and Trading Spaces alum, 48, and his husband, Wag-A-Lot doggie daycare and grooming owner Craig Koch, 45, call the city home base while raising their two children — Gavin, 6, and Vera, 5.
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Yip designed the playroom to look more sophisticated so his two children can grow into the space. "I liked the idea that you're not constantly, as a parent, having to redo a room every two or three years because your kids have gotten over Winnie the Pooh or are done with Superman," Yip tells PEOPLE. "So if you design a room that will last, it's not only more friendly for the environment and friendly for your wallet, but it also introduces your kids to a higher level of design and a higher level of taste and it hones their eye pretty early, which is something that I experienced growing up."
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Handle with Care
The entire home is decorated with pieces of artwork from Yip's travels. And, he explains, Vera and Gavin know what they can touch gently and what they should only observe: "We all like living in a beautiful house so for that to happen we all have to treat the house with respect."
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The kitchen is where Yip's family spends most of their time, so he took precautionary measures and childproofed the counters. "White marble is really soft, it stains easily, it's susceptible to ketchup and red wine and all kinds of crazy stuff," he says. "I used a product called Cambria, which looks like white marble but it's not. It never needs to be sealed, it's scratch resistant, it's anti-microbial, it's all the stuff that you want when you have kids."
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"We have fine art photography throughout our entire home," says Yip of his Daniel Craig photograph in the master bedroom. "It's my thing. I'm not a car guy. I'm not a clothing guy. I'm not a watch guy. I could care less about any of those things. I'm a fine art photography guy."
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The family dogs have their own room, too. The den hosts their beds, leashes, toys and treats — and is complete with adorable portraits of the four-legged family members.
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A Page Out of His Book
Pick up a copy of Yip's Design Wise (out 9/13) to see more of this home and his family's two others!
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