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Staff Profile: Sonia McEwen

The final member of staff to be profiled is part-time Company PA Sonia McEwen who joined Deirdre Dyson last December.

Sonia McEwen

No two days are the same but a large part of Sonia’s time is spent managing Deirdre Dyson LLPs social media, including this Blog.

1) Looking back over the past year, what would you say was your most memorable moment working at Deirdre Dyson?

Having seen the design process from start to finish for the first time; the arrival of the 2015 Collection of rugs from Nepal.

2) From the choice of Deirdre Dyson designs, is there a particular favourite that you have and if so, why?

DAWN from the 2015 collection – at first glance it appears to be a really simple design but it’s so cleverly graded and the colours used blend so well that it creates an optical illusion.

DAWN
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs DAWN

3) As a member of the CDQ, (Chelsea Design Quarter) is there a particular company or showroom within the vicinity that you like or would recommend to others?

VILLAVERDE for their elaborate lighting, it’s always worth a glance in the window.

Murano

4) Seeing that Christmas is fast approaching, what would be on your ‘Christmas wish list’ as the ultimate present?

I can’t think of anything for myself but if you asked my children it would be Lego, they can’t get enough of the stuff!

5) And what are you looking forward to in the New Year?

Moving back to our newly refurbished showroom, it’s been really exciting watching it’s transformation over the past few months!


Staff Profile: Nichola Webb

Nichola Webb is the longest serving staff member and has worked with Deirdre since 2002.  Nichola is a CAD Designer and converts Deirdre’s hand drawn and coloured designs to digital artwork which is then used as a template by our weavers.

Nichola Webb

1) Looking back over the past year, what would you say was your most memorable moment working at Deirdre Dyson?

I really enjoyed the CDQ summer street party in June.  It was a fantastic evening, a nice celebration and introduction to our temporary showroom as we had just moved in.  I also enjoyed visiting Designjunction, it was so contemporary and inspirational. A nice balance between creative and commercial.

2) From the choice of Deirdre Dyson designs, is there a particular favourite that you have and if so, why?

I think all the ‘Butterfly Collection’ is fabulous but my favourite is FARFALLA. It is such a beautiful design, well balanced with a combination of natural colours and  lovely silk red spots. It makes you smile and could be used in various locations.

FARFALLA

3) As a member of the CDQ, (Chelsea Design Quarter) is there a particular company or showroom within the vicinity that you like and would recommend to others?

GO MODERN specialises in contemporary design-led furniture. They have really lovely, unique furniture for the whole home.

Go Modern

My favourite lunch spot is Jaks, hidden away in a basement on the Kings Road with amazing Mediterranean food, authentic décor and a great relaxing atmosphere.

4) Seeing that Christmas is fast approaching what would be on your ‘Christmas wish list’ as the ultimate present?

As I have all my family in New Zealand, spending time with my nephew, niece and family is my ultimate present.  Nothing comes close to this.  I’m so excited as it is so close now.

5) And what are you looking forward to in the New Year?

We are all very excited about moving back to 554 Kings Road, into our newly refurbished showroom next year. The showroom is going to be spectacular and a beautiful space to work in. Definitely a highlight of the year.


Staff Profile: Edison Abidi

Edison Abidi is a qualified Interior Designer and has been working for Deirdre Dyson since February 2007 as Showroom/Company Manager.

Edison Abidi

1) Looking back over the past year, what would you say was your most memorable moment working at Deirdre Dyson?

Memorable moment or should that be most memorable challenge?  Yes, definitely most memorable challenge. That was to project manage our participation at the May Design Series, whilst organising the refurb of our temporary showroom at 602 Kings Road as well as arranging our exit from 554 Kings Road to make way for the exciting refurbishment taking place there…and all this happening at the same time.

2) From the choice of Deirdre Dyson designs, is there a particular favourite that you have and if so, why?

I’ve quite an eclectic taste and I’m often drawn to bold, statement pieces. The PALOMA design from the ‘Butterfly Collection’ is one of my favourites. I love the colour pink. It’s a happy, ‘feel good’ colour and this works well against the neutral background and black patterning of the wings.

PALOMA
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs PALOMA

3) As a member of the CDQ, (Chelsea Design Quarter) is there a particular company or showroom within the vicinity that you like or would recommend to others?

Orchid, which is next door to our temporary showroom.  As well as very friendly staff, they have a beautiful selection of modern and vintage oriental furniture and accessories. Some great pieces that mix well into most modern interiors. I bought a 20th century pink children’s chair from there, to use as a small, low bedside table.

Edison Chair

 4) Seeing that Christmas is fast approaching, what would be on your ‘ Christmas wish list’ as the ultimate present? 

(laughs). Ultimate present? I have much more than just the one. That ‘Christmas Wish List’ is way too long to print on here.

 5)    And what are you looking forward to in the New Year?

I’m not the first  to say it, but the move back to our refurbished showroom at 554 Kings Road. It’s going to be an exciting time for everyone and with a stunningly, modern interior, the showroom will act as the perfect backdrop to the beautiful carpet designs. It will definitely be a talking point for some time to come.


Staff Profile: Agnes Guillard

Agnes Guillard is our European Sales & Marketing Manager. She is in charge of our Parisian office and is developing the B2B market in France and Europe. She began working with the company in March 2013.

Agnes Guillard

1) Looking back over the past year, what would you say was your most memorable moment working at Deirdre Dyson?

The most memorable event of the past year was to organise and participate to the Maison & Objet exhibition in January 2014 in Paris, as we had a very positive response from visitors. It was a great experience to meet clients and to present our new collection to the International press.

2) From the choice of Deirdre Dyson designs, is there a particular favourite that you have and if so, why?

My favourite design is SEA WASH because it is stunning with lovely graded colours. It stands out from our last collection thanks to its minimalist style with an original twist. It is a very elegant design, which I think is a perfect for the French market.

SEAWASH beige
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs SEAWASH BEIGE

3) As a member of the CDQ, (Chelsea Design Quarter) is there a particular company or showroom within the vicinity that you like or would recommend to others?

I would recommend Paris Ceramics with their unique craft techniques. They do make some beautiful stone floors.

Paris Ceramics
Example: Antique Grey Barr

Antique Grey Barr shares many of the same qualities and history as its sister stone Antique Blonde Barr. Both stones come from the Languedoc region of France, the main difference being colour. Antique Grey Barr ranges from rich to palest grey with subtle undertones of golden beige.

4) Seeing that Christmas is fast approaching, what would be on your ‘Christmas wish list’ as the ultimate present?

My ultimate present would be a reflex camera, as I love photography and want to learn more about numeric technique.

5) And what are you looking forward to in the New Year?

I am looking forward to the next Maison & Objet, it is such an important event for our brand: the launch of our New Collection. It’s so exciting!


Staff Profile: Alice Price

In the lead up to Christmas we thought it would be nice to profile the people here at Deirdre Dyson and give a brief review of the year through their eyes.

Company Manager Edison Abidi has put together some questions, and over the next five weeks we’ll introduce you to a staff member.

First up is Alice Price. Alice heads up our Commercial Sales and Marketing division in the UK and abroad. She began working with the company in October 2013.

Alice Price

1) Looking back over the past year, what would you say was your most memorable moment working at Deirdre Dyson?

There have been a few moments this year that really stand out.   Due to my role, my first sale was a real high point and a step in the right direction.   I also enjoyed being involved with Maison et Objet (Paris) in January as this was the first time Deirdre Dyson had a stand there and we were launching the 2014 collection too.  Also the photo shoot for the 2015 collection toward the end of this year was a really fun experience.

2) From the choice of Deirdre Dyson designs, is there a particular favourite that you have and if so, why?

This is a difficult question to answer, as I love all of the designs.  However if I had to choose one design that stands out for me though it would be SWEET LIPS.  The design to me is flawless and I would not change a thing.  I also like the simplicity of the Graded Stripe elements, and how the subtle grading of colour can be so effective.

SWEET LIPS
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs
SWEET LIPS

3) As a member of the CDQ, (Chelsea Design Quarter) is there a particular company or showroom within the vicinity that you like or would recommend to others?

Lapicida, the stone specialists on lots road make some beautiful pieces, including this butterfly side table.  I also think that Tom Faulkner makes exceptional furniture and his showroom is definitely worth a visit.

Butterfly Table

4) Seeing that Christmas is fast approaching, what would be on your ‘Christmas wish list’ as the ultimate present?

I love this time of year and my ultimate Christmas present would be skiing with friend and family every time.

5) And what are you looking forward to in the New Year?

I am looking forward to the launch of our new 2015 Collection, Illusions at Maison et Objet in January.  It is a fantastic collection, packed full of innovative designs and skilled craftmanship and I am of course looking forward to visiting Paris once more.


The Lifecycle of a Hand-knotted Carpet or what happens while you are waiting 14-16 weeks

After we’ve helped you choose the right design in the right colours and size to suit your scheme, the finished artwork and exact colour palette is sent to Nepal.

It takes 14-16 weeks to produce a hand knotted carpet, which can seem a long time in our world of instant gratification.

These images show just why your bespoke rug takes such a long time to make and some of the age-old artisan processes used at each stage of its production.

Sorting Wool
Sorting the raw wool
Carding Wool
Carding the wool
Yarn making
Spinning the yarn
Raw Yarn
Bales of yarn ready for dyeing
Bales of Yarn
Bales of yarn ready for dyeing
Dyeing Yarn
Dyeing the yarn
Dyed yarn drying
Dyed yarn drying
Weavers at Work
Weaving
Weavers at Work
Weaving
Finished WINDOWS carpet on loom
Finished WINDOWS carpet on loom
Washing
Carpet being washed

Once it’s washed, dried and checked your carpet is shipped directly to our London showroom and the finished product is revealed!


All about GoodWeave

Ethical production is hugely important to Deirdre and all our hand knotted rugs are GoodWeave certified.

GoodWeave logo

GoodWeave certification is your guarantee that no child labour has been used at any stage of your rug’s manufacture.

By buying a GoodWeave labelled rug, you are supporting the work GoodWeave does to ensure children discovered manufacturing rugs are returned to their families, given an education and taken out of child labour permanently.

Goodweave School

Though GoodWeave’s ultimate goal is to end child labour in South Asia, it also actively supports weavers, improving training and working conditions and provides essential day care and schooling for their children, who would otherwise be left hanging around workshops whilst their parents work.

Goodweave School

GoodWeave labelled rugs may cost a little more but the work they do is essential in increasing welfare standards for weaving families and expediting the end of child exploitation in the rug industry.

On 10th October 2014 GoodWeave founder, Kailash Satyarthi, deservedly won the Nobel Peace Prize. You can read more about Kailash and what inspired him in his mission to end child labour.

GoodWeave recently highlighted the plight on one child, Sanju, in this award winning short film Stand With Sanju:

You can donate to GoodWeave here.


PLECTRUMS at the British Consul-General’s Residence in Hong Kong

We were delighted when the British Consulate in Hong Kong chose Deirdre’s PLECTRUMS design as part of the interior scheme at the Consul-General’s residence.

Plectrums

The Consulate makes a point of showcasing British Designers and goods and we are thrilled to be in the company of  well established British brands such as Liberty and Colefax and Fowler.

The Consulate’s representative selected Plectrums for the scheme and our Designer Nichola created a pair of oversized versions  in a slightly different colour arrangement to Deirdre’s original colour choice.

They were then hand knotted in 100% wool in Nepal.

The rugs have been positioned to mirror each other, creating two distinct seating areas and look stunning on the parquet floor, blending brilliantly with the residences existing colour palette.

Plectrums


From Rug to Runner

We can alter any of our rug designs to suit your specific requirements.

Runners are particularly popular and a great way to inject interest  into a hallway, landing or stairs.

We’ve recently finished some commissions where our Designer Nichola has cleverly altered Deirdre’s rug designs, creating particularly effective results.

Angulus

For this project Nichola adapted ANGULUS and used the client’s chosen colour ways to create a really vibrant entrance runner for a solicitors office in London.

The client’s colour selection worked particularly well in this long form version.

Rhythms

RHYTHMS is one of Deirdre’s classic designs, incorporating her trade mark ribbons.

In this case the client chose a slightly lighter colour palette with the elongated copper ribbon trailing through the design.

Sand Trail

In the example above the Interior Designer wanted to transform SAND TRAIL from the 2014 collection into a runner for a hallway.

As the name suggested SAND TRAIL was inspired by the patterns left by the sea on the sandy beaches of the stunning Archipiélago de las Perlas, near Panama, Central America and the extended pattern in the original colour selection looks spectacular.


RHYTHMS at the American Cemetery in Cambridge

Rhythms at the American Cemetery

Several months ago Interior Designer Andrew Thorne of Think Thorne commissioned us to create a hand tufted 100% wool version of Deirdre’s RHYTHMS design for the Grade I listed American Cemetery at Madingley in Cambridgeshire.

Rhythms at the American Cemetery

As part of a £4m refurbishment plan which has seen the construction of a new interactive visitors centre, Andrew was enlisted to design the interior of what was the visitor building but is now the cemetery’s reception area.

Rhythms at the American Cemetery

With a 1950s aesthetic (the cemetery was founded in 1956) Andrew has turned what was a sombre and functional area into a bright, light contemporary space whilst maintaining a reverent atmosphere.

Cleverly Andrew’s choice of ‘Rhythms’ echoes the shades of green in the mosaic mural on the back wall of the cemetery Chapel which is housed in the Memorial Building.

Memorial Chapel


Uncovering History

We thought we’d share this piece of history uncovered during the refurbishment of our showroom at 554 Kings Road – a newspaper from 1897, parts completely preserved and stowed away behind a wall.

Newspaper

The Situations Vacant page has an interesting entry showing the rates of pay for various household staff – from £20-28 for cooks to a mere £10 a year for ‘girls’.

Newspaper (close up)

It’s been fascinating watching layers of history appear as the building has been gutted. Pictured below are scraps of wallpaper and paint revealed on the first floor.

Wallpaper

And most exciting of all the original sign for ‘Loud & Western Ltd’ laundry was preserved almost perfectly beneath the existing shop front.

Refurbishment


Widder Hotel, Zurich

Widder Hotel, Zurich

Deirdre recently visited Zurich and stayed at the wonderful Widder Hotel in the Augustiner Quarter.

Its refurbishment  some years ago was lead by Swiss Designer Tilla Theus.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

The hotel prides itself on its design credentials and this extends to the flooring – Deirdre was immediately taken by the carpet treatment in the foyer and suites.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

The carpet melds almost seamlessly with the geometric terrazzo in the reception area.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

…and with the hardwood flooring in the bedrooms.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

This very clever design feature works so well with the Widder’s extraordinary collection of mid-century furniture and illustrates how perfectly this unique hotel mixes the classic and contemporary.


Summer Sale Now On

Our Summer Sale runs until Saturday 2nd August.

ALL bespoke orders received during this period are reduced by 20% so it’s the perfect time to order your dream rug or carpeting.

Browse our Design Library for inspiration or arrange an appointment for a consultation either in our 602 Kings Road showroom or at your home (within the M25)


The Tale of the Prince and the Magic Carpet

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

This beautifully illustrated children’s book The Tale of the Prince and the Magic Carpet was written by James Dyson’s father Alec, whilst posted in India during the Second World War.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

The book, published by Blackie & Son of London and Glasgow, was inspired by his surroundings and was written for and features his three children – a blonde James and his brother and sister.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

Whilst discussing blog content, Alice (our Head of Contract Sales and Marketing) suggested exploring the origins of the magic carpet at which point Deirdre mentioned this book.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

We thought it would be lovely to share some of its beautiful illustrations and background with you.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

Only one tatty copy of the novel remains which James Dyson has now copied for his siblings and grandchildren to enjoy.  A lovely legacy given that Alec Dyson died when James was only 9 and a wonderful link to Deirdre’s passion for carpet design.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet


May Design Review 2014

Our second year at May Design Series was an exciting three day event held at the London Excel.

May Design Review

We were there showcasing our 2014 collection, ‘Designs from the Seashore’, including the increasing popular design, Sea Wash.  Deirdre also designed a special fitted carpet inspired by ‘falling sticks’, which was all manufactured here in the UK.

May Design Review

We did not have to go far to find some fantastic and innovative designs from the likes of Sharon Marston and Tom Raffield. It was also exciting to view a selection from the AIMMP group in Portugal at stand I22, where a table with a spinning levitating bowl was a highlight for us, which can be seen below.

May Design Review

Again thank you to all who came to visit our stand, it was lovely to meet you!

Alice & Deirdre Dyson Team


602 …find us under the Clock!

602 Kings Road

Our showroom at 554 Kings Road is undergoing extensive refurbishment so we’ve moved a few doors away to our temporary showroom ‘under the clock’ at 602 Kings Road, right in the heart of the Chelsea Design Quarter.

We thought you’d enjoy a pictorial tour of our new home.  Deirdre decided to decorate in grey including a fabulously luxurious fitted carpet throughout which showcases the vibrant colours of the rug collections perfectly.

The layout was Edison’s vision including the stunning murals featuring lifestyle images of some of our favourite designs.

602 Kings Road

602 Kings Road

We will be here for the next 12-18 months whilst our old showroom undergoes a complete renovation.

Watch this space for updates on the works at 554 the end result of which, if even a fraction the architect’s vision is realised, should be spectacular!

602 Kings Road


Chelsea Design Quarter Summer Street Party

CDQ Summer Street Party

We are proud to be part of Chelsea Design Quarter’s (CDQ)  and delighted that the first CDQ  Summer Street Party on Wednesday 4th June coincides with our relocation to the new Deirdre Dyson temporary showroom at 602 King Road (we’ll be there for 18 months or so while our showroom at 544 receives a hugely exciting refurbishment.)

All participating showrooms will be open late (until 9pm) and the hub of the party runs from the ‘bridge to the bend’ stretch of the Kings Road.

Spend a relaxed summer evening enjoying street food, complimentary drinks and entertainment as well as browsing our showroom, and those of our neighbouring CDQ members, in this design hot spot.

The party is a unique opportunity to meet Deirdre and the team here, view this year’s Designs from the Seashore collection (including the much-admired SEA WASH, which features our innovative colour grading technique) and receive a copy of Deirdre’s exclusive colouring book featuring some favourite designs with a chocolate treat (limited stock).

CDQ is an interiors Mecca, with more than 50 showrooms covering rugs and lighting, fabrics and furniture, kitchens and bathrooms, antiques and collectibles, prints and paintings and bespoke galore. Classic and traditional sit cheek by jowl with contemporary and modern – come and see what this unique design zone has to offer!

Follow @ChelseaQuarter for more information.


Welcome!

Deirdre

At such an exciting time in the company’s development, my team and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to reveal more about Deirdre Dyson the company.

The journey from initial concept to finished carpet is a fascinating one and I want to use this blog to take you behind the scenes of the entire design process.

We also want to share what inspires both myself and my team here, highlight good art and design, give updates on the exciting refurbishment project for our showroom on 554 Kings Road and most importantly showcase our bespoke carpets in their new homes.

We’re really looking forward to updating this blog regularly and hope you enjoy it!

Deirdre Dyson