Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we were all born with a “Designer’s Eye?” One which viewed the world in sophisticated colour palettes, tony tones and could transform even the most unappealing room into one that had timeless appeal. Or better yet could take a multi-million dollar private jet, and voila the interior becomes a deftly curated mix of fine leathers and baccarat crystal. That would be the world of our third “Tastemaker”-Amy Vermillion.
Relocating from Chicago to Charlotte in 1995 this “Windy City” transplant has made an indelible mark on the world of design. Her talent rivals that of some well-known Southern designers such as Suzanne Kasler or Barbara Howard. It’s that”eye” that separates the good from the great, designers from decorators, the rising stars from the “designer du jour.” I have seen many come and many go, and I have no doubt that this uber talent is going to be here for years to come.
I first became aware of Amy several years ago. My sister also lives in Charlotte, and one sleepless night I started reading a magazine that she had laying on a side table “Charlotte Urban Home Magazine,” Amy was highlighted in an article, and of course she stood out (way out).Then as with any evolution, I started following her Instagram feeds, and the rest is history (okay maybe I cyber-stalked just a tiny bit). As a decorator, I was envious of her talent and as a blogger I was in awe. I want to thank Amy for being so gracious, and being such a good sport on such short notice, (and then of all weeks we had technical difficulties in posting, or growing pains as I say. But, we are back).
How would you describe your design aesthetic? AV- “My design aesthetic has been described as clean, tailored, and casually elegant.”
You work on a large number of high-end interiors, do you mix high & low within a big budget? AV- “I am very fortunate that my clients have larger budgets and therefore I have a wider net of resources to choose from. However, I think there is a misconception out there that just because someone has the money to spend that- they will. My mother always told me that wealthy people don’t stay wealthy by throwing their money away and I agree with that. There has to be perceived value in what clients will spend their money on. Therefore, not every piece I choose is uber expensive. I have been known to pair a Baccarat chandelier in a room with $40/yd fabric. One of the private jets I designed has Crate & Barrel wine glasses that I picked out. Also, there is a lot of value based fabric divisions from top fabric houses today and I think combing local tag sales and thrift shops has yielded great pieces!”
What’s the easiest way to achieve the “Amy Vermillion look”? AV- “I like to keep my upholstery and my large pieces rather simple- in color and texture. Layering with beautiful art, rugs and pillows provides a richness and an ease for the eyes. I love linens mixed with velvet–I’m very attracted to opposites mixed together. Also, editing is very important. Getting rid of “”clutter-y”” decor helps you see what’s really there.” As a side note: I do want to mention that Amy was flattered that I considered she had a “look,” but it’s true and I want to clarify my definition-Regardless of what style a designer is working within, the really great ones (like Amy) can transform any space into one of timeless appeal, while reflecting the personality and lifestyle of those who live there. It’s all layered with a subtle touch that I consider a unique “Designers Signature.” It’s that nuance that separates the “good from the great.” Amy falls into the latter without a doubt…
Favorite Colors? AV- “My favorite colors right now are blush (the inside of a seashell), warm stone, rich cream and “”gil-ver”” (not silver, not gold but a little bit of both).”
Do you have a “Design Idol?” AV- “I have current design idols– Alexa Hampton and Jan Showers are among the many. But I am fascinated (slightly obsessed) with the work of Syrie Maugham and William Haines from the 1920’s-1940’s. The way we used to live is so different than presently and yet some of the lines and looks could be straight out of today’s top design magazines.”
AV- “What designer wouldn’t want to do a villa in Italy or a seaside cottage anywhere? Actually I think an architecturally rich Moroccan palace would be a ton of fun, and I would really like to do a yacht now that I have tackled jets. Air and sea I suppose.”
Where will we see you in five years? AV- “In five years I hope to be doing what I do now–working with amazing clients who trust me and maybe even mentor a bit. I have been honored to speak to interior design students and new designers in the past and I find that sharing what little bit of knowledge that I have scooped up along the years has been very rewarding.”