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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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PLUMAGE RUG COLLECTION LAUNCH PARTY

Sam and Mark from Echlin chat to Deirdre Dyson, Pandora from World of Interiors in conversation with James Dyson

We love revealing Deirdre’s new rug designs at Maison & Objet every January but by contrast, Deirdre’s annual UK collection launch, held here in the intimacy of our Kings Road gallery, is by far the highlight of our year.

The evening gives Deirdre a chance to catch up with valued friends of the brand as well as clients old and new and introduce her carpets in person whilst guests can touch and feel the incredible quality of the finished designs, see the lustre of the silk and the true colours which are always best viewed ‘in the flesh’.

Lady Dyson in front of her limited edition carpet artwork UNBOUND

This year’s collection inspired by the hues and patterns of birds and their feathers, is a riot of colour and contrast and provoked much admiration and discussion.  As did Deirdre’s first carpet artwork, UNBOUND, created in a limited edition of three and intricately handwoven in 32 colours of wool and silk.

UNBOUND was recently included in The Luxury Cave launch event at the Design Museum and was so overwhelmingly well received that Deirdre is now working on another limited-edition wall piece, more details to be revealed soon.

Flowers by Clayton at Strudwick Flowers provided the perfect backdrop to the evening’s festivities.  Deirdre had requested natural arrangements with fluid forms reflecting the designs on display and Clayton fulfilled this brief perfectly, picking up the reds in both HARLEQUIN and UNBOUND on the first floor and the golden and buttery tones of GOLDEN PHEASANT and BURLESQUE on the ground floor.

Bespoke cocktails colour co-ordinated with Deirdre Dyson’s QUILLS rug

This year guests enjoyed lavender cocktails selected by Edison to compliment the purple found in Deirdre’s new QUILLS rug design, Champagne and Dyson wine together with delicious canapes by Aquashard such as mushroom arancini, steak tartare and mini fish and chips.  Guests were extremely well looked after by Aquashard’s John Wiltshire and his team.

Lily from Cereal Magazine with Deirdre Dyson PR Zara Brown of Zedcoms
Wallpaper* Online Editor Sujata Burman, Chanda Pandya of Rossana/The Luxury Cave, Sir James Dyson and Dave Harvey of Wallpaper*

The gallery, designed by Architect Timothy Hatton (pictured) comes in to its own at night and the wonderful atmosphere led to a very special evening celebrating another stellar rug collection by Deirdre.

Paresh Dudhaiya, Tricia Topping of Luxury Topping, Mary Wiggin and Rachel Bull of Co-Existence
Correna Mitchell, Sir James Dyson, Sir James Bucknall, Architect Timothy Hatton, Julia Carrick and Darren Miller of Rossana/The Luxury Cave

Michael Messenger, Diana Wilkinson, Model and Author Victoria Nixon and Deirdre Dyson
Sir James Dyson and Architect Timothy Hatton
Occa Designs CEO Kate Mooney (right) and Clare-Ann Coll
Julia Carrick and Brendon Moss
Nichole Detering and Nicholas Hanslip of Franklin of Project Management with Sir James Bucknall
Sir James and Lady Dyson
Stylists Louisa Grey and Marianne Cotterill
John Wiltshire and members of his Aquashard team
Stylist Marianne Cotterill
Al Martin of Alexander Martin Architects
Correna Mitchell of Timothy Hatton Architects

Designer Sue Timney
Tricia Topping of Luxury Topping

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NOS AMIS ARGILE

Deirdre is a huge fan of the Parisian paint brand Argile, and has used Argile paints in her interiors for several years.

As a colourist, the ‘trueness’ of a hue on a given surface is key to Deirdre , and this quality of colour is paramount to Argile.

Founded in 2006, Argile was born of the encounter between an entrepreneur and paint expert, Jean Frédéric Nothomb, and a colour specialist, Pierre Bonnefille. The idea was to offer a premium range of paint products to architects, decorators, set designers and all those who have an interest in decoration, whether professionals or private individuals.

Their philosophy is to draw inspiration from the colours of nature and their challenge to manufacture a range of the highest quality colours on an industrial scale, coupled with exceptional service.

Argile take inspiration from the sky, sea and landscape, Argile translates as ‘clay’ referring to organic nature of their colour inspiration as well as the raw materials of their paint.

Argile’s palette of 184 glorious colours work in harmony to create an exceptional finish.

Argile paints are now found in historic properties, such as the Louvre and the Grand Palais in Paris, as well as luxury hotels such as the Connaught in London and the Hoxton in Amsterdam, and in the interior design of countless traditional and contemporary homes.

When it came to designing our stand for this years’ Maison et Objet interiors exhibition, Argile’s colour chart was Deirdre’s first port of call, from which she selected the perfect backdrop for each of the eight new rug designs on display.

The earth colours of ‘grivele’ worked perfectly with QUILLS and FEATHER BOUND, ‘gres’ provided the perfect backdrop to the magestic EAGLE , ‘bleu burlington’ brought out the turqouise feather tips in PLUMES and also provided a foil for the vibrancy of GOLDEN PHEASANT and BURLESQUE, whilst ‘ardoise bleue’ set off the stunning tones of MANDARIN and HARLEQUIN.

Detail of GOLDEN PHEASANT with Argile’s ‘gres’ on the wall behind.

Argile’s ‘gres’ was the perfect background for EAGLE.

Detail of FEATHER BOUND with Argile’s ‘grevele’ on the wall behind.

PLUMES with Argile’s ‘bleu burlington’ on the wall behind.

We feel a real affinity with Argile, both companies are small brands dedicated to creating the highest quality product, providing exceptional service and ultimately share a love of colour.

In January whilst preparing for Maison, Edison popped by Argile’s fabulous headquarters in Paris to to meet the team and collect the paint for our Maison stand, a shrine to colour!

Learn more about the Argile story here