Take a 360 Tour of Vern and Genevieve’s Trading Spaces Room Renovations

posted: 04/22/18
by: TLCme

Vern Yip and Genevieve Gorder marked their big return to Trading Spaces with two INCREDIBLE rooms. Go on a 360 tour of the final renovations with Paige Davis, and hear about the inspiration behind the designs from the designers themselves below!


Tell us about your design?

Modern but classic with a moorish edge I wanted to design a room for Mike and Laura that honored both the masculine and feminine. Big matte black bed with brass knuckles, sweet ancient, feminine textures on top of bed and a nook that seduces EVERYONE.


How was coming back to Trading Spaces after such a long break?

Coming back to Trading Spaces is a little like riding a bike. Once you've mastered creating something out of nothing, you hop right back on like it was yesterday! Even after all of these years since my last episode of Trading Spaces (I left sometime during season four), I've stayed true to my design philosophy of creating rooms tailored to the people who live in them rather than creating something just for the sake of putting my stamp on it...even when that look is radically different from my own design point of view. People's homes are often the biggest investments they'll make in their lifetime and I want to respect their homes and their things just as I would want someone to respect my home and my things.

What were you trying to do with your room in this episode?

For my return episode, I was given the opportunity to create a master bedroom retreat for the lovely Janis and Frank...or really for Janis since Frank pretty much wanted what Janis wanted. Although I always encourage both sides of a couple to weigh in on their desires, this is often the dynamic encountered with married couples. Janis is a student of Feng Shui and is very much in touch with her spiritual side. She's a medium after all! And Janis and Frank are still very much in love, even after several decades of being married, and wanted a master bedroom with a clear focus on them as a couple...so from the beginning there was a clear directive that there should be no pictures of anyone in the room other than them. Helping me to make all of this happen were Frank and Janis' son Michael and his wife Laura who were so fun to tackle this with! I worked them so hard and they were complete troopers! To say that Michael and Laura didn't want to disappoint their parents/ in-laws is the understatement of the year. Talk about pressure!

What requirements challenged you the most?

Right off the bat, I knew that Janis wanted a calm and uncluttered space informed by some principles of Feng Shui. And that she preferred that I not remove her carpet (it was recently put in), alter her bed, or change her furniture in a permanent way. Or touch her white wood blinds. Or use the color red in any capacity. And this master bedroom is HUGE!!!! Plus, there's not really not much furniture in it because Janis and Frank don't know what to do with all of their space...a problem not typically encountered on Trading Spaces.

Quickly, I ascertained that problem number one is that my $2000 (twice the budget than my old TS days) now has to cover twice the room. Even painting this double-height master bedroom will take both lots of paint and lots of time.

Trying to stay true to her request to not alter her furniture permanently, and wanting to give her all the function in the room that she's requesting (a contemplative space, a conversational space, a soft landing spot at bedtime), I knew that I had to create the perfect space plan and outfit their master bedroom with high quality furniture that would last. I'm pretty over furniture that looks good but is essentially particle board.

How did you get around these challenges?

One of my absolute FAVORITE parts of designing rooms in 2018 is the wide spread ability to access quality furniture and home d?cor on-line and through flash sales! These days, everyone can find great deals on well-crafted goods nearly every single day! Although making things will always be a vital part of the DNA of Trading Spaces, not everyone has a carpenter situated outside their front door or has access to someone handy at home. Almost everyone can, however, access a great sale and we can now show people how to creatively spend those hard-earned dollars on-line and in the smartest fashion possible. That's something we couldn't do during the original run of Trading Spaces! By shopping on-line, I was able to affordably access new and well-made furniture including an upholstered bed to replace their wood one (Feng Shui says to surround yourself with softness), new conversation chairs, and a new daybed to provide Janis with her retreat within a retreat. That's not to say that we didn't roll up our sleeves and let our creative juices flow in the room. We still made plenty of stuff.

What were some of your favorite projects in this room?

One of my favorite projects involved making some super-sized string globe pendants to help take up the volume and surround Janis and Frank with more light and softness. Light fixtures don't get softer than ones made out of string! Plus, by using exercise balls to wrap the string around, we got in a little bit of a work out in too. We also created our own versions of "frames" by silver-leafing over-sized rectangles onto the walls that then highlighted some stunning images of Janis and Frank that had been printed onto wood...a cool, new technology not available in the old TS days.

Joanie, one of our super-skilled new carpenters, made some beautiful pieces for the room too. I loved the storage bench for the foot of the bed. Janis wanted an uncluttered space and having plenty of storage is key to providing that. We also made use of her antique trunk (without changing it) by building some C-shaped tables that we then upholstered to slip over the trunk, turning it into a usable coffee table without taking away any of its storage capabilities or altering it in any fashion. And there was lots and lots of sewing. New bedding, new drapery, and lots of upholstering of carpentry projects meant that we were racing to the finish line...just like the good old days.

Were you pleased with the final product?

In the end, I'm so pleased that Michael and Laura were happy with the room they helped create for his parents and her in-laws. We all worked so hard to tackle this enormous room with so little to start with. And this was one situation where disappointing your neighbors meant disappointing your family! You can move but those family ties will stay for life! Thankfully, Janis and Frank loved the room and appreciated all of the sweat equity, skillful bargain-hunting, and thoughtfulness that went into the creation of this customized, Feng Shui inspired bedroom.

And by the time you've completed reading this, I should have...more or less...recovered from my return episode of Trading Spaces.

Watch Vern and Genevieve's full episode on TLC GO!