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Deirdre Dyson’s inspiration for the LOOKING GLASS rug collection

Deirdre’s 2020 collection has just launched at Maison et Objet, Paris.

These hand knotted designs were inspired by Deirdre’s observations of colours and forms through glass, glass objects and water.  Nine new designs takes her carpets in an entirely different direction.

Read all about Deirdre’s inspiration for each carpet in the LOOKING GLASS Collection here in her own words:

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.

GLASS CUBES

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.

SLIVERS

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.

LIGHT FRAGMENTS

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.

LOOKING THROUGH

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.

 

FLOATING GLASS

Being on a boat made me think of all the bits of worn glass that we often find washed up on beaches so another idea was to include chinks of floating glass in a flowing, watery setting.

LIGHT BETWEEN

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.

STAINED GLASS

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.
Click here to view all Deirdre’s new designs online or contact us to arrange a viewing of the new collection at our Kings Road gallery.

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Botanical Inspirational – Edison’s visit to Chelsea Physic Garden

A perfect Autumn day provided the ideal opportunity for Edison to visit a hidden gem nearby, Chelsea Physic Garden.

Flowers, plants and botanicals have long been a source of inspiration for Deirdre’s rug designs from HAIRY SEDGE to RIBWORT PLANTAIN to FALLING LEAVES , WINDSWEPT and the award winning AUTUMN LEAVES and the wealth of plant life at Chelsea Physic Garden would prove hugely inspirational to any designer.

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!


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CDQ Autumn Event Collaboration with Stephenson Wright and Jan Erika revealed

We are huge fans of Interior Designers Stephenson Wright whose combined attention to detail, eye for colour and refined aesthetic translate their clients needs and requirements into beautiful homes.

Juliette and Natalie recently expanded their portfolio to include bespoke furniture design and have created a capsule collection which launched at this year’s Decorex.

Some of these beautiful and functional pieces such as their Plink and Plonk occasional tables and Barrel stools, are uniquely customised by Artist Jan Erika.

Jan is a prolific artist whose bold graphic style works brilliantly with these classic contemporary Stephenson Wright designs.

We love to celebrate all things handmade and bespoke and the launch of Chelsea Design Quarters Designers page, a directory of local Interior Designers celebrated by the CDQ Autumn Event allowed us to showcase the exceptional talent of Stephenson Wright and Jan Erika with Deirdre’s bold and vibrant MANDARIN wool and silk rug.

Edison’s concept of double height banners making the most of the gallery’s atrium ran to 19m and Jan’s bold ‘Zebramane’ brushstrokes create an eye catching backdrop for Deirdre’s rug from this year’s PLUMAGE Collection and Jan’s customised tops for Stephenson Wright’s Plink and Plonk tables, their black scalloped bases reflecting the monochrome banners and black detailing in Deirdre’s rug design.

The CDQ Autumn Event culminates in the CDQ Raffle on Thursday 21st November with an exclusive event at Tom Faulkner.

By purchasing a ticket you support the invaluable work of homeless charity Glass Door and get the chance to win a selection of superb prizes donated by CDQ members such as a night at The Bath Priory on a revolutionary Ammique bed, a Martin Brudnizki Studio light donated by  Drummonds Bathrooms a Baby Soho Drum stool by George Smith, door knobs from Haute Deco , Stephenson Wright limited edition gin bottle customised by Jan, a Lily Cocktail table by  Tom Faulkner Tickets can be purchased here

 


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The Platner Chair – A Modern Classic

A classic design is something that every time you look at it, you accept it as it is and you see no way of improving it

Warren Platner

Some of our favourite imagery from this year’s PLUMAGE Rug Collection photo shoot has to be these exquisite shots of Deirdre’s GOLDEN PHEASANT rug, styled by Louisa Grey and photographed by Michael Sinclair.

Elle Decoration described the above image as ‘Studio 54-esque‘ with the vintage brass desk sourced by Louisa and the iconic Platner armchair upholstered in dusky pink, picking up one of the vibrant wool grades in the carpet design.

The chair was originally designed for Knoll by Warren Platner in 1966 and is still in production today.

The striking sculptural form is created by curved steel rods on a semi-circular frame and is a classic of mid-Century modernist design, described by Platner as ‘decorative, gentle [and] graceful’

The construction is hugely complex and technically challenging – the bases are made of hundreds of rods, and for some versions, more than 1,000 welds are required in construction but the effect is simply stunning and has stood the test of time.

Platner was an American Architect and Interior Designer and designed up until his death in 2006.  One of his most famous interiors was the original Windows on the World restaurant on top of New York’s World Trade Center North Tower, which incorporated several different variations on this chair in the reception areas.

Described as looking like a ‘shiny sheaf of wheat’ in the original Knoll catalogue,  the structure adapted to love seat, stool and fully upholstered easy chair and ottoman versions which combined lightweight form with comfort.  The design was also adapted as tables with the same cylindrical base and even lamp stands in myriad different metals and finishes.

 

 


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BEHIND EVERY GREAT RUG, THERE HAS TO BE A GREAT COLOUR CHOICE

A hand knotted rug is a significant investment, the time, effort and skill involved in creating your custom rug or carpet cannot be rushed and depends on the highest-level artisan skills of our Nepalese weavers.

Hand knotting has always been Deirdre Dyson’s preferred method of rug manufacture and as a skilled artist, the choice and selection of colour is imperative.

The processes involved in creating a hand knotted rug cannot be rushed, starting with the initial design consultation and design work which takes as long as required to realise your perfect rug design and colourways.

BESPOKE involves a considered tailoring of a specific design to meet the requirements of each and every customer. Choosing the correct colours so that each carpet compliments rather than fights with your space is crucial.

The finished rug should feel that it belongs, just like the shawl for a dress or a style of shade for a lamp base, this element of the design process is probably the most important part of a carpets’ creative journey.

All of our hand knotted rugs are created from or inspired by one of Deirdre’s original rug designs in your preferred size and our hand knotted rugs are woven in 100% Tibetan wool and/or Chinese silk with the direct input of Deirdre and her experienced team.

With over 5,000 available colours, it can seem quite overwhelming when faced with such a selection. But our trained expert eyes are here to help, guide and assist you in your selection.

RED RATED

Take the colour red for example. We have many to choice from ranging from vibrant to muted, creamy to spicy, those that sit back or those that jump out; there are more variants of red than you could dare to imagine.

Selecting the right tone to match to your curtain fabric, a painting on the wall or not to fight too much with that grey sofa are some of the considerations we take into account when developing your bespoke carpet.

Our colour reference library is made up of ‘poms’ that are perfectly proportioned to take on our consultations and to use freely around the design studio at 554 Kings Road. An industry standard reference tool, our library is the equivalent of Pantone for the fashion world and is regularly updated and constantly expanding.

A selection of Deirdre’s designs incorporating a red colour palette clearly demonstrates the variations of effect on the finished piece. From the sublime grading of reds to blues in the DUSK design and the transition from reds to pinks in ROMANCE are studied, soft and fluid.

ROMANCE

Whereas RUBY and SHIMMER use contrast of reds to emphasis shape, direction and geometry.

RUBY

SHIMMER

Just as much work and consideration goes into every rug we make for our customers as goes into making our original examples which are on display at the Kings Road gallery.

HEIRLOOMS

Ultimately Deirdre Dyson’s rugs are heirlooms and designed to last.

Wool and silk are by nature robust materials and by following our care instructions these rugs can be enjoyed for generations.

When you buy a bespoke hand knotted rug you are purchasing a contemporary collectable, an artwork for the floor which transcends trends and changing fashions.

 


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Win an Original Deirdre Dyson Rug and Benefit GoodWeave

 

In just a few short weeks, the winners of GoodWeave’s rug raffle will be announced!  Have you entered yet?

In celebration of GoodWeave’s 25th anniversary, Deirdre Dyson has donated her GOLDEN STONE rug (top right) valued at £4,314 to their annual raffle.

Inspired by the seashores of The Pearl Islands of Panama, GOLDEN STONE is hand-knotted in Tibetan wool and Chinese silk in shades of cream, gold, brown and coral. It measures 1.70 x 2.35m. For just a £20 charitable donation, you have a chance to own this luxury GoodWeave certified rug.

While Deirdre Dyson‘s design is stunning, we think the back of this rug is just as beautiful. On the underside, you will find a numbered GoodWeave label, meaning that independent inspectors ensured the rug’s manufacturing process met the highest ethical standards of production.

All proceeds benefit GoodWeave’s programmes for vulnerable and rescued children.

We  hope you enter to win GoodWeave’s charity raffle today! With every £20 ticket purchased, you improve your odds of winning and become a part of a beautiful story of freedom for children in Nepal, India, and Afghanistan. And remember, for every £80 worth of tickets you purchase, you’ll receive an extra one for free!

www.goodweave.org/raffle

 


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Ahm House – the perfect setting for Deirdre Dyson’s Plumage Rug Collection

Our Stylist Louisa Grey works closely with Deirdre as soon as a rug collection is designed to find exactly the right locations for our collection photo shoots and this year one of them stood out, Ahm House.

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Plumes

The house was originally built by Danish Structural Engineer Povl Ahm, a partner of Ove Arup, who worked on some of last Century’s most significant buildings.

It’s Architect was also a Dane, Jørn Utzon, who’s most prestigious building was the Sydney Opera House.

Photo from themodernhouse.com

Arup also worked on the Opera House and the two men met during the early stages of its design, culminating in Ahm asking Utzon to design his home which he built in Harpenden, Hertfordshire from 1961-3.  It was to be Utzon’s only completed project in the UK.

This low-lying Pavilion of concrete and brick unfolds to dramatically reveal floor to ceiling glass bringing the secluded, mature gardens into the classic mid-Century space.  In the words of architecture critic Hugh Pearman “Probably the best Modern house in the world”.

As Ahm’s family grew, a later extension was added by Ulrik Plesner in association with Christopher Beaver Associates in 1972-4.

Now Grade II listed, from the street the house gives nothing away, dominated by its car port (and the later garage which formed part of the Plesner extension)

Photo from themodernhouse.com

Ahm’s widow sold the house after his death in 2005 and it was sold again in 2016.  The new owners wanted to maintain the character of the home and employed Architects Coppin Dockray to work on the interiors which have been sensitively restored.  The restoration went on to win the Wallpaper* Design Award 2019 for Best Remastered Building.

Fast forward to Autumn last year and our shoot which featured Deirdre’s PLUMES, HARLEQUIN, MANDARIN, BURLESQUE and FEATHER BOUND rugs – Deirdre and Edison knew something special would unfold when they attended the shoot at the Ahm House and the finished photographs by Michael Sinclair are testament to that.

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Quills
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Mandarin
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Harlequin
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Burlesque

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5 Luxury Rugs to Breathe Life into Your Living Space

There is no better way to bring life to your interior than commission a perfectly proportioned hand knotted luxury rug, custom designed and coloured to suit your space.

The right rug anchors a room, can create a template for the colours used in an interior, frame a piece of furniture, ‘zone’ a space or be a focal point in itself.  Within Deirdre Dyson’s Rug Collection there is something for every scheme.

We’ve selected five of Deirdre Dyson’s luxurious bespoke hand knotted rugs to show how the right design can really bring a space to life.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Plumes

PLUMES

This dynamic design uses three colours, one wool and two silk, making it an easy rug to incorporate into any interior.

It’s the intricacy of this hand knotted rug that truly brings it to life, with a lower pile height and the careful carving of elements, this fine rug sits comfortably in a traditional or contemporary context.

Here it looks perfect in the modernist Ahm House with a classic Arne Jacobsen Egg chair anchoring this restful seating area.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Attitude

ATTITUDE

An apparently simple design that actually uses five colours in the silk ‘bars’ which can reflect the colours used in your interior, dialling up or down the colour to suit the mood of the room.

In this light and airy open plan penthouse apartment, a range of blues reflect not only the blue supporting columns and the furniture and accessories selected by the owner but also the sky outside.

The carpet also zones the seating area bordered by an L shaped sofa, whilst glass coffee tables are cleverly used so the view of the entire rug design is unobstructed, adding to the light and airy feel of the space.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Forest Mosaic

FOREST MOSAIC

What better way to breathe life into a room than bring the outside in?  The rich palette of green silks used in FOREST MOSAIC would bring an organic freshness to any interior, particularly restful tones for a bedroom or sitting room.

Mosaic is one of Deirdre’s signature motifs and the intricacy of mosaic carpets allow the introduction of several colours which can have varying tonal shifts – for instance ROSE MOSAIC uses graduated reds and pinks whilst the mosaic effect adds a contemporary edge to the floral theme.

 

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Harlequin

HARLEQUIN

This modernist hallway is lifted by the bold primary colours in Deirdre’s HARLEQUIN hand knotted rug from this year’s PLUMAGE Collection.

The pops of red, black and white provide focal points and elements of drama contrasting with the strong blue shades in its wool/silk mix background and work perfectly with the stark simplicity of the brickwork walls and carefully selected furniture and objets.

 

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Dawn

DAWN

The graded silk copper bars in this hand knotted design reflect the burnished metal fence enclosing the patio outside and the graded blue wool reflects the sky.

Referencing the outside expands the sense of space in this narrow room, cleverly creating an optical illusion as the design is also reflected in the large expanse of glass.

Deirdre Dyson’s colour choices in this rug lifts this otherwise stark garden room and gives focus and softness to a space that could otherwise seem austere and unwelcoming.  The perfect place to relax on the classic Eames lounge chairs!

Interested in seeing more?


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5 Benefits of Hand Knotted Rugs

Deirdre Dyson QUILLS hand knotted wool and silk rug
Deirdre Dyson QUILLS hand knotted wool and silk rug

Why Hand knotted Rugs?

As with all interior genres, the huge variety and range of rug styles available on the market can be daunting – from flatweaves to Kilims, antique Persian carpets to modern fibres such as Bamboo silk.  The choice available can seem overwhelming.

Deirdre Dyson’s preferred method of manufacture for her bespoke rug designs has always been the ancient process of hand knotting.  The qualities of hand knotted rug are many and for sheer luxury they are hard to beat.

A bespoke rug is a big investment and must stand the test of time.  Hand knotted rugs provide longevity and integrity whilst providing the best medium to showcase Deirdre’s unique contemporary designs and colour selections.

Deirdre Dyson's SEAWASH on the loom
Deirdre Dyson’s SEAWASH on the loom

THE TOP 5 BENEFITS OF HAND-KNOTTED RUGS BY DEIRDRE DYSON.

  • Craftsmanship – From the weaving process through to the hand spun yarn, hand knotted designs are created entirely by hand.
  • Unrivalled Quality – With the knot count making unravelling impossible, hand knotted rugs are created to last a lifetime.
  • Luxury – The high number of knots per square inch mean that the rugs never feel flat.
  • Bespoke design – Every Deirdre Dyson carpet is unique with the size, colour, design and materials available for custom selection.
  • Produced with the highest ethical standards – All carpets are produced ethically thanks to Deirdre’s partnership with Goodweave, a charity working to end slavery in the carpet industry.

Craftsmanship:

Deirdre’s designs begin by hand and are created entirely by hand.  Our artisan Nepalese weavers use skills unchanged over the centuries and hand-crafted tools to weave each carpet knot by knot.

Quite apart from the intricacy of the weaving process itself, the layers of expertise involved in the creation of one carpet is incredible – from hand spinning of the raw yarn, which is then precisely coloured by the Dye Master, to the intricate mapping of the original design which creates a template for the weavers to work from and finally to the finishing – an art in itself – the careful trimming of the carpet to the correct pile height, the carving of design elements and ultimately the carefully stitched edging.

Sorting raw yarn for spinning
Sorting raw yarn for spinning

Quality:

The knot count of a Deirdre Dyson carpet means unravelling is impossible – each knot is unique and design and colour is replicated exactly.   Deirdre Dyson carpets and rugs are of heirloom quality and designed to last a lifetime.

Deirdre’s close relationship with our manufacturers ensures her designs and colour selections are reproduced faithfully no matter what the scale of the finished carpet.

Yarn being dyed
Yarn being dyed

The Tibetan wool and Chinese silk used in Deirdre Dyson’s carpets is of the highest quality – processed entirely by hand to strictest quality standards.

As natural fibres, colour takes to wool and silk in a very different way to manmade fibres – there is a softness and depth which contrasts sharply with the brashness of coloured synthetics.

Dyed yarn hanging out to dry
Dyed yarn hanging out to dry

In Deirdre’s graded carpets the art of hand knotting really comes into its own – the subtle shift between the tones selected by Deirdre is only best realised in the delicacy of hand knotting, so beautifully illustrated in this year’s EAGLE rug.

Detail of grading in Deirdre Dyson's EAGLE rug
Detail of grading in Deirdre Dyson’s EAGLE rug

Luxury:

Nothing quite matches the feel of 100% Tibetan wool and Chinese silk underfoot.  The dense 100 knots per square inch (unbelievably an area the size of a postage stamp) creates an opulence which is impossible to replicate with man-made fibres or machine techniques.

We always encourage our clients to visit our Kings Road gallery to touch and feel Deirdre’s carpets in person – the lustre and decadence of a hand knotted rug contributes to the overall effect of the rug’s design.  A hand knotted rug will never feel ‘flat’, the depth of the pile and quality of materials adds to the intensity of colour and drama in the finished carpet.

Deirdre Dyson GOLDEN PHEASANT rug, detail of grading and carving
Deirdre Dyson GOLDEN PHEASANT rug, detail of grading and carving

Bespoke:

Each Deirdre Dyson carpet is by its nature unique.  The  size, colour choice, design and mix of wool and silk can be custom selected to your exacting choice.

Even when Deirdre’s versions of designs are recreated exactly to knot precision as a handmade product no two can ever by 100% the same.

Dye takes to natural fibres in a very special way  – the naturally occurring subtle tonal shift of ‘abrash’ is unique to hand knotted designs and occurs over time.

This is a natural phenomenon that cannot be deliberately produced and has been sought after in carpet design for centuries and  is something that sets hand dyed, hand knotted carpets apart.

Deirdre Dyson HARLEQUIN hand knotted wool and silk rug
Deirdre Dyson HARLEQUIN hand knotted wool and silk rug

Ethics and Sustainability:

You can rest assured all Deirdre Dyson hand knotted carpets are produced to the highest possible ethical standards.  Deirdre is a proud partner of the charity Goodweave, whose aim is to end slavery in the carpet industry and beyond.

Goodweave undertake spot checks to ensure no child labour is used in the manufacture of our carpets and ensure working conditions and schooling is available to weavers and their families.

Additionally, weaving provides a vital income to many Nepalese families, particularly women most especially since the devastating earthquake of 2002.

Deirdre is proud to support artisan skills and produce rugs and carpets using ancient skills at the same time empowering and improving the lives of the Nepalese weavers and their families.