Yip Threads A Narrative for Burnes

Yip addresses the  crowd at AmericasMart last month.

Yip addresses the crowd at AmericasMart last month.

By Sharyn Bernard

Burnes of Boston unveiled its line of home decor products at the Gift & Home Furnishings Market in Atlanta last month. The line, called Burnes Interiors, includes frames, mirrors, candleholders and other items designed by several prominent interior designers—Candice Olson, Vern Yip, Paige Hemmis, Kenneth Brown and Genevieve Gorder.

Yip was on hand at the market to discuss the inspiration and vision for his line, which includes a boxed set of three mirrors, a set of two mirrored candle sconces with a large mirror, and frames. Retail prices range from $19.99 to $179.99. He said his collection is designed to help consumers work with their own style rather than fit a cookie-cutter definition.

“The way people are decorating today is toward eclectic styles,” not all traditional, all modern or all cottage, he said. “The home is a physical manifestation of you. The problem is, how do you find a common thread,” among so many disparate styles? For Yip, the common thread is signature pieces in the proper size, scale and color that can instantly pull a room and a variety of styles together. In addition, Yip believes that the products need to be problem solvers as well as attractive. “There has to be a successful complement of function and aesthetics. It has to be a reflection of how people are really living their lives.”

All these factors went into his collection. For example, the set of three mirrors is designed to fit either over a bed or over a sofa; multiple sets can be hung on a larger wall. The mirrored candle sconces are designed to provide elevated illumination, either with or without an additional center mirror. The frames sit on a ledge stand rather than use a leg, giving whatever is in the frame more of a presence. These are ways Yip seeks to “lend elegance and atmosphere in the room.”

Yip, who appears on HGTV’s Design Star and HGTV Urban Oasis 2011, which debuts this month, has always been a big fan of accessories, so it was natural for him to design a line. “Accessories are such a wonderful way to finish a room. It takes it from a house to your home.”

Yip said he had wanted to create a line of accessories but “didn’t want to design something just for the sake of putting my name on it.” He was pleased that Burnes allowed him to follow his vision. “It’s something I’ve always held out for. It takes a long time to build a reputation,” but not much time to negatively impact it. “Burnes was about problem solving, not just cranking out product.”

The line, which will start shipping later this year, will be expanded, Yip said. “I hope to continue this collection.”