Long before Vern Yip became a dad, he was decorating his baby's nursery-in his mind. "For 4½ years," says the HGTV mainstay, "we were collecting things," including ceramic penguins from Canada and a silver elephant from Indonesia. "We'd acquire something new, and I'd move something in my head."
On Jan. 6 he and his partner added the most treasured piece of all: Gavin, who was born via a surrogate. "Sometimes you can't believe this amazing person is now in your life," says Atlanta-based Yip, 41. And what if Gavin doesn't appreciate his earth-toned, globally inspired bedroom? "The most important thing is that he's happy," says Yip. "If what makes him happy is painting his room bright yellow, then that's what's going to happen."