A Very Vern Beach House

No bad oil paintings of sailboats here—just the highly stylish Florida retreat of Trading Spaces’ Vern Yip and his family.

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Vern's (Second) Florida Dream Home

Vern Yip has had a love affair with Rosemary Beach, FL, since the ’90s, when he first visited the town and fell for its walkable, bike-friendly layout. In 2014, he and husband Craig Koch built a dream home there. But just two years later, someone made an offer on their place they couldn’t refuse. Dream home number two became a possibility when they found a ripe-with-potential property not far from the original one—and it looked right out onto the Gulf of Mexico. Pictured here: Vern and Craig with Gavin, 8, Vera, 7, and dogs Lars (left) and Juno.


“I always have a soft spot for a house that needs love,” says Vern. He revamped all 3,500 square feet, knocking down a wall that blocked the water view from the kitchen and turning a third-story outdoor space into the master bedroom. The decor is Vern's take on beachy: bright and built for easy living, with stunners like a giant wave mural and quirky pieces like a deer bust. A beach house doesn’t have to fit a nautical mold, says Vern: “Nobody should feel pressure to go overboard with mermaids!”


This may be the family’s parttime home (they live in Atlanta), but Vern went all in on storage, taking the cabinets—from Omega Cabinetry, with polished chrome pulls by Emtek—up to the 12-foot ceiling. “Part of feeling like I’m on vacation is not having clutter,” he says. The Cambria quartz island is both dining table and food prep station. The blown-glass lights above it, by Donghia, are a nod to a trip to Venice, Italy. Another travel memory: the carousel animal, a Paris flea market find.

Living Room

Instead of typical coastal blue and white, Vern did the living room in shades of gray. “I didn’t want to compete with the amazing view,” he says. The gray sofas and ottomans are upholstered in performance fabric he designed (available at Calico); the custom coffee table is quartz; and the nylon rug is by Milliken. Vern kept the existing stone fireplace because he liked the unexpected warmth it added. “It has brown and amber tones that make the color scheme a little less stark,” he says.


Vern replaced the old wood stairs with tile ones and added metal trim to the edges of the risers to play off the welded-steel railing. Then he hired artist pal Michael Boudreault to paint the mural that spans three stories; it was inspired by The Great Wave by Japanese artist Hokusai. “With so much of this house view-focused,” says Vern, “the giant wall felt like leftover space—it needed a big statement that I couldn’t have achieved with framed art.”

Master Bedroom

Like in the living room, Vern started with a gray-and-white palette in here. The bed frame, designed by him and built by a friend, faces 16-foot-wide sliding glass doors that open to a balcony overlooking the water. Behind the headboard is a built-in double desk, so when Vern and Craig have to get work done on vacation, the view is part of their office. The ocean is even visible from the shower, since the bathroom has a glass wall. The chandelier is by Vern, designed for Stonegate by AFX.

Kids’ Bedroom

Gavin and Vera get a kick out of sharing a room—back in Atlanta, they each have their own. “We kind of grilled them about what they wanted,” says Vern. The resounding answer: bunk beds—two sets by Ducduc, so there’s room for friends. The elephant-print bedding they chose (designed by Dad!) was a jumping-off point for the wall stripes (Naval and Pure White, both by Sherwin-Williams) and the pendant.


It’s a great space for family meals and entertaining, but Vern wanted to get even more out of it. So he had a custom Ping-Pong table made from quartz that doubles as a dining table. The “net” is a removable piece of quartz. “If we get into playing before dinner it can be tough to take a break,” says Vern. “The ‘just one more’ match turns into seven!”

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