A throwback to normality, looking forward to events such as this returning and enjoying what our wonderful city has to offer.
An event hosted by Italian Furniture Designers Cassina at Television Centre pre-lockdown inspired this latest blog post by Deirdre Dyson Company Manager Edison featuring some fabulous photographs of a London landmark taken by him that evening.
As a trained Interior Designer with a keen interest in Architecture it’s impossible not to notice London’s changing landscape and the repurposing of London landmarks for contemporary life.
With new residential developments popping up almost everywhere, the London landscape and skyline is forever changing.
It’s great that so many abandoned buildings and derelict central plots are being giving a new lease of life and regeneration.
You only have to witness the mass of red lights on the cranes by night that surround the likes of the Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms to see the extent of this activity.
One of the latest developments to happen is at the famous White City landmark- ‘Television Centre’; the former BBC headquarters and built in the true 1950’s modernist style.
With parts of the original building grade II listed, the architects (Stanhope) were kind to its preservation and restoration, with all the new residential extensions being located to the back of the plot and sympathetic to the original building.
The original Television centre building- ‘The Helios’ has now been transformed into both residential and retail, with adjoining studios TC1, TC2 & TC3 leased back to and used exclusively by the BBC and its subsidiaries.
As part of the developments marketing strategy, Cassina were invited to decorate a Penthouse Apartment at ‘The Helios’ in its entirety, with a focus on craftsmanship and materials, mixing a clever blend of design classics with modern pieces.
The highlight was the Veliero bookcase by Franco Albini, originally designed in 1938. A newly commissioned, limited edition piece by Cassina, it was displayed in the middle of the living space and just like the original Television Centre, its modern design has truly stood the test of time.
In recent years Deirdre Dyson has experimented more and more with hand knotted wall art and wall hangings, using the same principles of fine art which she applies to her carpet designs.
Common practice in Medieval times, hanging carpets and textiles has become an increasing contemporary trend and bespoke carpets accepted as artworks in their own right – equally enjoyed on the wall as the floor.
Easily transportable for renters wanting to inject personality into sparse apartments, wall hangings can instantly add colour and warmth to a large surface area with the additional advantage of the acoustic properties of dense pile against wall.
Wall panels create the perfect focal point. This is a version of Deirdre’s visually striking GLASS CUBES design, recreated here as a runner and hung to draw the eye on this rough stone wall.
Clever lighting from above and the side emphasise the silk panels which juxtapose satisfyingly with the stone surroundings adding an unexpectedly luxurious feel and relieving what could otherwise be a cold, austere space.
For this lifestyle image from the current collection Stylist Louisa Grey took the full-size version of GLASS CUBES and used it as a backdrop on a pink painted brick wall. Again, careful lighting highlights the vibrantly coloured silk panels and enhances the 3D quality of Deirdre’s design adding depth and interest to an otherwise dead space.
In this image Deirdre’s STAINED GLASS runner, hand knotted in 100% silk and inspired by a stained glass window in Amalfi Cathedral, is hung high to emphasise the highest point of this vaulted room, drawing the eye upwards. Here also, there is the satisfying contrast of silk against stone.
Ironically, given its inspiration, the panel creates an alternative ‘window’ in this otherwise windowless dining space.
Deirdre’s LOOKING THROUGH is a really clever design. The inspiration isn’t immediately obvious on the floor but when hung the rug creates an impact when the abstracted form of a water filled flask is revealed – as Deirdre says I knew from exercises in my student days that without trying, the flask would slowly appear and it did, and does in the [finished] carpet.
Any of Deirdre Dyson’s rug designs can be redeployed as wall hangings – we generally recommend lowering the pile height to reduce weight and make hanging easier.
Practically, hanging solutions range from the unobtrusive (high strength Velcro) to making a feature with a hanging rail (such as the wrought iron rails used in the first two images) Framing is achievable for smaller panels where weight isn’t an issue such as 2019’s UNBOUND (pictured below).
Continuing our exploration of inspiration and what keeps us #INspired, Deirdre draws inspiration for her designs from myriad sources but one recurring area of fascination is water – be it BULRUSHES reflected in a lake or lapping water on the shore in SEAWASH.
We thought exploring some of these rug designs would be fascinating – the source of inspiration being fundamentally the same, the designs themselves could not be more different.
One of Deirdre’s more figurative designs and one that has captured people’s imagination and become a classic and was inspired by Deirdre’s painting of the same name.
This rug features the naturally abstracted forms of bulrushes, their bending shafts reflected and refracted in lake water.
Deirdre uses a graded wool/silk mix background to recreate the skyline and lake water which merge on the horizon to create this perfectly framed design. The finished rug is so captivating one client choose to hang it on a wall of their home.
BULRUSHES won both the International Wool Carpet & Rug Awards (Design Sector) 2017 and the International Design & Architecture Awards (Flooring, Carpet & Rugs) 2017.
The success of Deirdre’s SEAWASH rug design is all in the grade – which required Deirdre’s exceptional eye for colour to achieve this seamless ebb and flow effect.
Originally Deirdre designed the carpet in two versions, INDIGO (above) and BEIGE (below) which have become favourite designs amongst clients, we have created both large scale carpets and runners from this endlessly versatile design.
SEAWASH comes alive hand knotted in lustrous 100% silk (as in the versions above), providing the perfect watery, iridescent finish but has also been recreated several times using varying colourways in hand knotted and gun tufted 100% wool versions.
In NAUTICAL Deirdre again treats her source inspiration completely differently – abstracting sea water into fluid but solid geometric shapes, creating a feeling of depth and movement by alternating the same colours in wool and silk.
Clients can of course change these colours from the original water based palate but fundamentally this ‘breaking down’ of the sea to its most basic elements is the key to this design.
Whilst not strictly inspired by water itself, the first of Deirdre’s mosaic designs was inspired by mosaic lined Roman ponds, the intricacy of ROMAN POND poses a challenge to our weavers as the thin lines of wool ‘grouting’ around the ingots of silk are incredibly complex to achieve (and individually carve out) but the finished effect is stunning.
The everyday source inspiration for this rug only adds to its allure – RIVULETS mimics the trail of rain drops on a window pane – the simplest of inspiration led Deirdre to this wonderfully subtle graded design.
Given the unprecedented CV-19 situation, for our staff and clients safety and wellbeing the gallery will close from Thursday 19th March until further notice.
Despite our gallery space closing temporarily, the Deirdre Dyson website is a great resource to browse Deirdre’s rug designs and our handy quote calculator gives you an immediate retail price.
We’ll be working from home so the best way to contact us is via email if you require quotes, shipping quotes, samples or anything else and we’ll get back to you as soon as we possibly can.
We are working hard to ensure we continue to provide normal service levels to all clients awaiting deliveries and we endeavour to continue to meet expected delivery times. We will of course be in touch if this changes in any way.
Stay safe and well everyone and we look forward to getting back to normal when this extraordinary time passes.
Part two of Edison’s blog post on behind the scene facts about the unique and timeless quality of your bespoke hand knotted rug.
Your Carpet could be an antique of the future.
Our carpets are made to the highest standards and are heirloom quality pieces that will be enjoyed and appreciated as much in the future as they are today. As a trained artist, Deirdre Dyson approaches every design as a work of art, each being able to compliment the breadth of different interior styles and trends. Hand knotted carpets also hold their value very well.
Quality materials make a quality product.
Quality is key. From Deirdre’s initial ideas and design sketches, to the materials employed and the skill of our weavers and London team, we make sure that only the best factors and considerations are invested into creating carpets for your home and interior space.
A design consultancy service is available at our London gallery which is located in the heart of the Chelsea Design Quarter. We are here to assist and guide you in making the right choice and using the best combinations of materials and colours (from 5,000 available colours).
The Tibetan wool used in our carpets are rich in natural oils, making them not only soft and naturally stain resistant but also very hardwearing. The superior Chinese silk that is incorporated into many of our designs is smooth, cooling and full of vibrancy.
“Time is what we want most…and what we use best”.
Okay, so we’ve adapted the old saying by William Penn, but we think it describes our work ethic well, as every carpet creation requires time and consideration.
The design process in adapting and creating designs for our clientele takes as long as it takes to make our customers dream a reality but generally from sign off, a carpet will go into production and be ready within 3-4 months (as a general guide to lead time). We use the latest design technologies available in the carpet industry and for every carpet we make, a full-sized graph of the design is produced and hung from the back of the loom, for guidance precision. These graphic sheets look like works of art in their own right and are protected to ensure that they can’t be copied or reproduced elsewhere. We take copyright infringement very seriously
The finished carpet, hand knotted in graded wool with silk
At Deirdre Dyson carpets limited, we want to share with you as much useful information as possible, so our website is full of valuable tools, tips and advice. Take a look at the current collection or browse our extensive catalogue in the design library section. We’ve made finding a suitable design very easy. Our price calculator will help you cost up a design as well as offer some useful information on sizing. Please remember that nothing is set in stone as all of the designs available are bespoke and can be adapted which may affect the sqm price.
Why not take a closer look at the production process on our video links and find more information about Deirdre herself and what we’re generally up to by visiting the profile and blog pages which are regularly updated.
A two-part blog post where Edison reveals some fascinating facts about our hand knotted rugs, their history and production…
The history and production of carpets goes back centuries and there are countless facts, tales and accounts of the evolution of carpets from past times to the present day.
At Deirdre Dyson Carpets Limited, we pride ourselves on supporting the ancient technique of hand knotting on the loom, using only natural wool and silk. This combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern design, guarantees the livelihood of our Tibetan makers (the majority being women) and supports their local communities, whilst guaranteeing our customers a unique, quality product that is both timeless and exclusively theirs.
Historically, carpets were not used on the floor but were used as textile coverings for walls and tables and only became associated with floor treatments in European interiors from the 15th century onwards. The term “carpet” is widely used interchangeably with the term “rug” although nowadays we typically refer to smaller, free standing pieces as rugs. But who say’s rugs should only ever be small?!?
Behind every Deirdre Dyson carpet lies a story and here are a few interesting facts and snippets of information that you may not be aware of but might be interested to know more about.
Take a look from behind.
The best way to appreciate the skill of making a quality hand knotted carpet is to take a look at the back, an area of the carpet so many of us rarely focus on. It’s from here that you really understand just how many knots it takes to make a rug, and the particular time and skill required when changing or grading colours across a large area. It reminds us of just how unique each bespoke carpet is; each one being entirely handmade and finished.
On the back of every Deirdre Dyson carpet, you’ll also find the ‘Goodweave’ label, with a unique code to ensure your carpet was made ethically and in line with Goodweave standards. Additionally, through our Goodweave membership, a percentage of our profits go back into local community projects such as schooling and education for the young. By purchasing our carpets, you are directly supporting the Nepalese carpet industry and communities in a positive way.
Custom made is best.
With the environment on everyone’s minds and lips, a bespoke carpet offers one of the best solutions for interior decoration.
Being custom made, we’re creating a carpet that is tailored to your needs in size, shape, design and colour and therefore you will most likely want to treasure it for a long time. Custom made also decreases unnecessary waste, as every rug is created on a ‘made to order’ basis. Our carpets are knotted in the traditional method just like antique carpets but are created with contemporary style and superior materials that are made to last.
Deirdre herself does not follow trends and lets inspiration and her instinctive eye for colour and form lead the evolution of new rug designs however Maison gives Company Manager Edison, a trained Interior Designer, the chance to keep an eye on trends and report back on his top design picks when he takes a break from meeting clients on our stand.
Here are a few of his favourites from this year’s show.
Detail of a sublime porcelain panel by Italian company Villari
Fun and colourful glass character vases by Murano Design
Last summer I found myself mesmerised by everything I could see through glass and water, particularly on holiday where the sun made everything glitter.
I decided to try to make my designs seem ‘glassy’ even though I was working in wool! If I failed, I might create something unexpected – I love the challenge of the unknown result and you only discover if you explore.
I started with two little rectangular vases of different colour, photographed them and analysed the colours they created when they were overlapping each other.
I designed two simple geometric shapes representing the cubes and inserted the exact colours from my palette of wool poms to represent where the two colours overlapped which gives the illusion of looking through glass.
I finished the piece with wide silken borders to add the shine and glitter of glass. I was hugely surprised and excited at the finished carpet which really looked glassy and also very three dimensional. This encouraged me to explore several different ideas about glass.
The next attempt led on from this overlapping idea. I didn’t even need real glass, I just created four shapes, selected four colours and overlapped them creating the colour I imagined would occur if they existed.
What made this carpet successful was the grading I decided to do within each piece. I had to select about 8 grades of each colour to grade from dark to light, and from the outside in, to give the illusion of seeing through the glass.
This was the first time that we had tried to grade within a random shape which was very difficult to specify for our craftspeople and a new challenge for them too. Again they succeeded and have given me a new skill to work with in the future.
TRANSPARENT was designed from an existing vase with various shapes and colours in the glass.
I created my own shapes and colours and again looked for the overlapping colours that I knew would occur. Because the inspiration was a vase I added some silk highlights to represent light against the outside of the vase. Each of these highlights was a paler colour of the colour underneath.
I have a very simple water flask and thought of two different things that I could do with it. One was to paint exactly what I could see inside through the water which were random abstract shapes and colours which looked distorted and bent through the water and also to add highlights again of paler colours and in silk as seen on the outside of the vase.
The second idea was to paint what was behind the vase ie. boat rigging and blue cushions with reflections on a shiny table and then paint the distortions of these within the flask without drawing the outline of the flask. I knew from exercises in my student days that without trying, the flask would slowly appear and it did, and it does in the carpet, although I made the colours within the flask a tiny bit paler to help it reveal itself.
I had used a great deal of colour in the collection so finally decided to do some monochromatic grading with a path of light and two simple glassy bars in silk that you feel you can see through as they pass over the greys and light between.
This was an accidental idea caused by placing a plain glass bowl, which had a glass ball as its base, on top of a patterned glass plate. This created a magnification which I decided to represent in silk with just a tiny lightening of the colour inside the area.
On a visit to the Amalfi Cathedral and in one of the small rooms at the back behind all the magnificence of marble and gold was a small plain window high up with beautiful, simple pale colours. The light behind it made it impossible to photograph but the colours stayed in my mind and I thought that in silk, it might make a lovely wall hanging for a windowless room.
Chelsea Physic Garden is a fascinating place established in 1673 by Apothecaries, the oldest botanical garden in London and an oasis by the Thames which occupies a four-acre plot beside Chelsea Embankment.
The garden includes over 5,000 different edible, useful and medicinal plants including numerous rare and endangered species.
Thanks to its warm micro climate, the garden features the largest outdoor fruiting olive tree in Britain and the world’s most northerly outdoor grapefruit tree. From pomegranates to ginkgoes, mulberries to eucalyptus, there are over 100 different species of tree in the Garden, many of which are rare in Britain.
The historic Glasshouses hold a collection of tropical and sub-tropical species, complemented by a Victorian Cool Fernery.
Enjoy some of Edison’s fabulous photographs of the plants on view in stunning autumnal light, particularly some fantastically sculptural succulents!