"This place is less than 800 square feet, but it's designed to be incredibly functional," the Trading Spaces vet says

By Mackenzie Schmidt
August 18, 2017 08:30 AM

When Atlanta-based interior design guru and Trading Spaces alum Vern Yip visits New York City, he stays at this tiny pied-a-terre high above Manhattan.

“This place is less than 800 square feet, but it’s designed to be incredibly functional,” Yip explains, giving a tour of his city pad on the next episode of Open House, airing this Sunday and hosted by his fellow TLC and HGTV star Genevieve Gorder. Flexible features like a trio of storage ottomans in the living room that can also be used for extra seating at the dining table make the most of the small space.

But it’s Yip’s clever use of layered patterns — a frightening tactic for many home decorators — that pulls the space together and makes it much homier than a hotel room. “I’ve employed it on almost every surface in the home,” he explains. The secret to not creating something too kooky? “I’ve made sure they’re all in the same color palette,” says Yip. In this case, it’s soothing grays.

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Even if punchy patterns aren’t your thing, the designer notes there’s one way to ensure you’re house is beautiful: do you. “My number one rule in interior design is to make your home a physical manifestation of you,” he says. One peek at Yip’s crisp, tailored and patterned outfit shows he’s taken his own advice. “Every time you walk through that door you [should] feel like you’re the most comfortable here, more so than any other space.”

Watch Open House Sundays at 9am on NBC in New York City (or check your local listings).