“The sweetness of life’s still here”: Thoughts From Designer Amy Vermillion

Amy Vermillion

Thoughts From Designer Amy Vermillion 

From the QCE Team: In moments of changes, disruption, and confusion, we are always moved to see the connections, big and small, amongst and between people. In this series, we will feature the thoughts of Charlotteans: How they’re nagivating these times, what’s hard, what’s easy, and what’s next in their own words.

 Amy is the owner of Amy Vermillion Interiors. As one the Southeast’s leading interior designers, Amy is endlessly stylish, unique, and collaborative in her approach. She’s also quick to laugh, always up for a good party and a good clay shooting course, and she is a true supporter and selfless encourager of her fellow community members.

Amy Vermillion at Rocky Creek Sporting Clays

Words By: Amy Vermillion

“I’ve been trying to see the positive outcomes from all this. I think we have steadily become a world that is self consumed. We overspend, we are ‘too busy’ and we tend to take life’s conveniences and luxuries for granted. Now the world has slowed to a stop. It’s allowed me to be of service to my elderly mom (by doing her grocery shopping and errands), spend quiet time reading (since I’m so sick of television) and have gratitude for all the things that I miss. I miss hugs, I miss dinner with friends, I miss face to face meetings with clients. But, I have food, no one I know is sick, and my daughter is thriving with online schooling.

A long time ago, when I was going through a very difficult period in my life, my beloved late father told me to just keep going. He told me to get out of bed, have a cup of coffee and keep moving – that my routine will give me focus and stop the conversation in my head. He too had had a dark time in his life, when he lived in Germany after WWII investigating war criminals. I figured if he could get through that, I would try it.

So, as tempting as it is to spend the day in my pajamas and binge watch endless hours of Netflix, it’s important for me to stick to my routine as much as possible. I get up, and I make my bed. I get dressed (even if it’s a clean pair of yoga pants), I make that cup of coffee, and I go to work… albeit in my home office. Work has saved me mentally. I’m so grateful for the graciousness of our clients who are on board with FaceTime presentations and adjusted delivery/installation times, and for our suppliers and vendors who are keeping us updated and protecting their staff. Being a creative, it’s crucial that I keep my mind busy, and I’m finding happiness in hand drawing cabinet elevations and space plans, things I never had time for since I was always out in the field.

One of the greatest things for me besides prayer and meditation is walking barefoot in the grass. Weird? Maybe. But it grounds me and reminds me that the earth is in bloom, the grass continues to grow, and we will go on after this is over. We are resilient creatures. And I’ve seen some wonderful examples of kindness and community as we battle this all together. I’m starting a painting (my dining room has a great spot) and even though it might not be great, it will be a reminder of the time we all had to sacrifice, hunker down and get through.

Every tough time in my life has brought blessings, but the greatest one is knowing that I made it through that and I will make it over the next hurdle, too.

Allowing myself the grace to move through the stages of emotions has been good for me. If I am sad or scared, I acknowledge it, pray about it and then do something to change those thoughts. Usually a phone call with a friend does the trick. But moving around and accomplishing something is key for me. I haven’t started the extreme organizing phase yet, but I just bought a pressure washer and seeing that pollen leave my porch is extremely satisfying. Who knew?

I also think it’s really important to keep supporting our local businesses. Ordering gift cards from your salon or take out from your favorite restaurants will go a long way to keeping these businesses afloat. Even the dry cleaners and car washes offer gift cards! Thinking of all the places I patronize (and missing all the great food and service) makes me realize how much we need those interactions. Charlotte has such a vibrant and tight knit business community, and we will rise again.

We are all in this together, and I can’t wait to hug my friends, clink our glasses and reminisce about a time when we were asked to sacrifice. As bitter as it can be, the sweetness of life is still here. We just have to look for it.

See more from Designer Amy Vermillion & Amy Vermillion Interiors here.