Vern Yip tells PEOPLE he strives to expose his children "to as much as possible, and to really get them to take a bite out of life"

By Jen Juneau
May 08, 2017 03:30 PM

It’s probably not quite a fair comparison to weigh the home of design extraordinaire Vern Yip against others’, but the father of two admits his own children have done so.

In an interview for PEOPLE’s Celeb Parents Get Real, the Trading Spaces alum, 48, says one embarrassing parenting moment for himself and husband Craig Koch has been when daughter Vera Lillian Beatrix, 6, and son Gavin Joshua Mannox, 7, have commented on the state of others’ living spaces.

“We have been in that situation where our kids have gone to somebody else’s house and they’ve said to us, out loud, ‘How come this house is so messy?’ ” Yip recalls, referring to himself and Koch, 46, as “complete neatniks.”

“We just have to reel that back in,” he adds of the couple’s plans for correcting their son and daughter’s behavior.

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Credit: Fabio Chizzola

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Koch, Yip and their children recently graced the pages of PEOPLE’s 2017 World’s Most Beautiful issue. For the former Design Star judge, one of the things he takes the most pride in imparting onto Vera and Gavin is the ability to really get the most out of their surroundings.

“I think it’s really just trying to expose these kids to as much as possible, and to really get them to take a bite out of life,” Yip says.

On the flip side, the proud dad admits of his little ones that he and Koch are “probably on top of them too much” with their parenting: “We are not loosey-goosey parents. And I think that there are times when we probably could be more loosey-goosey.”


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Yip shares that one of his greatest wishes for Vera and Gavin is to do something their dads did: pursue career paths they’re passionate about (Koch owns a doggie daycare).

“I want them to be able to pursue something in life as a profession that they’re passionate about,” he says. “For me, it’s also been incredibly fulfilling to have a family.”

Continues Yip, “So if they want to be in that same situation — if they want to have families of their own — I really hope that that happens, and that they meet that one person who can show them how great life can be, and to go through life with that person.”

Although the designer has “always wanted to be a dad and to be a family man,” he confesses there is one thing he misses about life before kids.

“I dream about things like reading the Sunday paper for an hour uninterrupted. I dream of sleeping in past 6:45,” Yip says with a smile, insisting, “But it’s worth it.”