Deirdre Dyson is renowned as a colourist and her fine eye results in bold and dramatic carpet designs whichshowcase this exceptional talent and capture the imagination of industry and retail clients.
A new collection launches at Maison et Object every January and each year is lauded by the interiors press, gaining global praise.
However beyond the eye-catching drama of each collection in ‘real life’ inevitably some projects won’t require artworks for the floor which guide a scheme and create a focal point.
As Deirdre Dyson carpets and rugs are custom made, the colour options are infinite and Deirdre’s designs can be just as impressive when the colour is dialled down.
Not every space can accommodate an eye catching rug but where a bland monochrome floor covering may be the go to, a well crafted rug design in a subtle, tailor made palette can be the most effective solution.A design that doesn’t dominate but adds a layer of luxurious and considered design to a scheme.
Almost all Deirdre Dyson rug designs work brilliantly when muted tones are applied – we thought we’d showcase some of Deirdre’s designs that have been adapted for clients when a neutral palette has been required and how successfully these designs translate in softer, understated tones – as far from bland or ‘greige’ as you could imagine.
Deirdre and her team are here to advise on the perfect design and colour selection and will confidently guide you through the options to create a stunning finished rug in a toned down palette, totally bespoke to you and your space.
Here are a few examples of Deirdre’s designs in neutral versions.
Browse Deirdre Dyson’s full rug design library here
Little did we realise in March 2020 that a whole new way of working – to a greater or lesser extent – was to be with us long-term.
Now with a second lockdown here in the UK, most of us who can are #WFH – working from home.
Almost everyone has optimised a room or corner of their house or apartment to create as comfortable, and most of all productive, a working environment as possible and for many of us this will be at least a semi-permanent solution.
If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated home office or study, a bespoke rug can really be the finishing touch to your WFH space or maybe you have secured the perfect light filled corner of your home and called it your own? A rug can also zone this successfully within a larger area.
As all Deirdre Dyson carpets are bespoke, size, colourway and design are all tailored to suit your particular interior requirements or aesthetic and where better to have a bold inspiring design than a home office?
Designs can be re-worked to accommodate any situation. Here a version of QUILLS was redesigned by Deirdre to allow for partner desks.
A practical grey wool ground is brought to life with vibrant crimson and purple silk quills running down the centre of the room adding life and drama to what would otherwise be a bland, workaday office.
As custom designs, Deirdre Dyson rugs can accommodate architectural features and any practical necessities can be allowed for. For example, floor mounted plug points can be accessed by cleverly concealed hand made and sewn slits in the finished rug which are executed by master craftsmen when the carpet is in situ.
With a bespoke rug your imagination can run wild and a bold design can enliven an otherwise uninspiring room or even lift the mood in a stressful situation.
Here Deirdre’s dramatic GOLDEN PHEASANT lends a gloriously Bohemian feel to this home working space paired with design classics such as a Platner chair and vintage brass desk.
Below Deirdre Dyson’s MANDARIN provides the perfect foil to this mid-century desk area.
In this project featuring our largest ever hand knotted carpet – Deirdre has adapted her TWILIGHT design to create the main focal point in the room.
The bold ox blood red reeded areas are picked up by the office chairs and armchairs. This rug creates impact without competing with the glorious countryside outside the windows.
Nothing compares with the feel of 100% Tibetan wool pile underfoot (with or without the addition of pure silk) and a home working space is the perfect place to indulge.
Practically, if a chair is on casters we suggest a lower pile height but given the density of our hand knotted designs (an incredible 100 knot per square inch) the luxe feel is not lost.
The importance of the sense of touch cannot be overestimated, especially in these challenging times. Simple comforts and the grounding nature of wool underfoot also adds a sense of calm in a work space.
The warmth and softness added to a room by a hand knotted carpet is second to none, add pops of vibrant colour to the mix as is the case with UP and OVER in the large office space below, and the result is concentrated but dramatic, adding a contemporary edge to this classic interior that could otherwise be austere and imposing.
Lockdown introduced us all to the Zoom meeting and good acoustics are essential to online presentations. Whether hosting or attending, being able to hear and be heard is crucial and spacial acoustics are a hugely important consideration.
Adding a rug can be an easy solution to help remedy an echoey space. 100% wool provides the perfect dampener for background noise and sound interference both inside and out.
The effect of noise on well being is remarkable, 51% of homeowners say that unwanted noise in their home has a negative impact on their wellbeing. (Source: Studio magazine issue 36 10.20)
Particularly on wooden floors, a high-quality rug can significantly reduce ambient noise and limit distracting sounds, helping focus the mind, create a productive work space and stress-free environment.
Lockdown has made us value our museums and galleries more than ever and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is one of our favourites.
We thought we’d explore one of their most fascinating exhibits, the oldest dated carpet and one of the largest and finest displayed anywhere in the world, the Ardabil Carpet
It is one of the most important objects in the V&A’s Middle Eastern Collection, and is the centrepiece of the Jameel Gallery of Islamic art, displayed on the floor in a specially engineered case created to conserve the carpet for at least the next 500 years.
The carpet is incredibly delicate and needs careful preservation, which is documented in the fascinating film below.
The display case makes sure dust and dirt particles are minimised and includes insect traps to ensure moths and other pests detrimental to the carpet are kept at bay. The carpet is lit for 10 minutes every half hour to preserve its rich colours and the effect of this minimal light on the carpet is carefully gauged. Opening the case is an intricate operation involving a hydraulic lift.
It was made in the town of Ardabil in north-west Iran, the burial place of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili, who died in 1334. The Shaykh was a Sufi leader, ancestor of Shah Ismail, founder of the Safavid dynasty (1501-1722).
While the exact origins of the carpet are unclear, it’s believed to have been commissioned by the court for the shrine of the Shaykh, which, by the 16th century, had become a place of pilgrimage.
The carpet can be dated exactly due to an inscription woven in its edge date, 946 in the Muslim calendar, equivalent to AD 1539 – 1540.
The wool carpet is extremely dense, an astonishing 5,300 knots per ten centimetres square (compared to 100 knots per square inch on a Deirdre Dyson hand knotted carpet) This allows for a mind bogglingly intricate level of detail in the complex, bordered design featuring a central medallion, different sized lanterns, arabesques and foliate detail typical of carpets of the period.
There are 10 dyes used in the design, these create ‘Abrash’ a naturally occurring variation in shade due to the slight differences in dye batches which is unique to hand made carpets and even more apparent in a carpet of this scale. It is well documented that Middle Eastern carpets were deliberately imperfect, reflecting the belief that perfection belongs to God alone.
The carpet has been part of the V&A’s collection since 1893, prior to that it was documented as still being in the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din in 1843 – it was sold when an earthquake struck the shrine in the late 19th Century. Inspecting the carpet on behalf of the V&A, prior to acquisition designer William Morris reported it of “singular perfection … logically and consistently beautiful”.
Paint brand Dulux, has selected ‘Brave Ground’ as their colour for 2021.
A staple interior choice of colour since the 80’s and dominating the early 00’s, beige is one palette that we just can’t seem to get enough of. It’s a familiar colour, it’s warm (particularly for cooler climates) and it can be applied to pretty much any interior design scheme. However, it also has an association with being boring and safe and some might say, unimaginative.
Here are a few examples where ‘boring beige’ can be just as exciting and as playful as other bold, more statement colours.
In this apartment designed by MAT Architects, the beige walls are perfectly paired with the tones of the wood panelling, making this space inviting and warm against the crisp white ceiling, lighting and cool grey concrete floors. Tonal fabrics, artwork and plant life add texture, sculpture, dimension and visual interest. As beige is an absorbing, earthy colour it sits well with a myriad of nature’s more vibrant colours.
The kitchen area carries the colour palette through by way of the beige terrazzo on the kitchen island. Just like white, black accessories silhouette perfectly against a warm beige background.
Deirdre Dyson’s EAGLE carpet incorporates the beige palette within a bold, statement design that works best large scale for a fuller impact. Keeping a neutral decorative background, a beige coloured carpet can be just as bold as something more patterned and colourful. It’s all about balance.
Beige comes in a variety of tones from more putty based to greyer and greener hues, so the scale of warmth can be adjusted accordingly, making it a hugely versatile choice of colour.
Here is a work in progress for a recent client project, using our SLIDES design.
Beige works particularly well when combined with pinks and reds.
The LIGHT FRAGMENTS design from this years’ LOOKING GLASS Collection is a testament to that. Deirdre has mixed the various abstract elements in grey, charcoal, light and dark beige with pops of Bordeaux and pink to create just the right combination of statement with subtlety.
If beige just isn’t you colour, then it’s a problem easily solved as we can adapt and change colours on any design from a choice of 5,000 colours. The only ‘possible’ problem you may have, are which colours to choose…?
TRANSPARENT was designed from Deirdre’s observations of a vase with various shapes and colours in the glass.
UNITED IN CRAFTSMANSHIP…
For more than 270 years, FÜRSTENBERG has been producing finest hand-crafted porcelain with passion and precision. Similarly, Deirdre Dyson’s award-winning carpets rely on craftsmanship, being either hand-knotted in Nepal by Tibetan experts, rendered in the finest Tibetan wool and pure silk.
…AND IN DESIGN
The pastel tones and graphic design elements of FÜRSTENBERG’s SHIFTING COLORS and DEIRDRE DYSON’s TRANSPARENT rug create a perfect match.
Combining both collections within a contemporary interior allows to create a unique design symbiosis.
The wonderful gallery, in the historic Saint-Germain des Prés is a calm and inviting space, designed by celebrated Interior Designer Remi Tessier, working closely with Deirdre to tailor make a perfect interior in which to showcase her luxurious hand knotted rug designs.
Deirdre has chosen a selection of rug designs including a superb large-scale version of this year’s TRANSPARENT together with LIGHT FRAGMENTS and a stunning new working of partner versions of DAWN in alternating blue and red wool and silks.
Deirdre’s Parisian representative Julia will be on hand to guide clients through the designs and advise on design and colour choice.
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).
Deirdre Dyson has always looked at the natural world for inspiration. How far can we actually go beyond the surface of nature for new ideas? As far as a cell?
But before we might even attempt to do that, we could start by rediscovering and understanding our relationship with our oldest, tiniest enemies.
With Covid-19 on the forefront of everyone’s minds and lips, it certainly has encouraged us all to think and live microscopically, as our working and private environments becoming more concentrated and restricted; life and freedom itself has had its boundaries substantially reduced.
The battle between viruses and cells goes back over 4 billion years of evolution. Cousins at heart, whilst enemies at play, the game of conquest continues. Not too far from science fiction, opportunistic viruses attack healthy cells with the sole aim to replicate and take control of the host.
For centuries the complexity of life and the universe has captivated the human imagination and study and created a science around the subject in order to understand it better and to create positive interventions in order to survive within it.
Looking at the bigger picture, the universe, our solar system, planetary forms and the patterns of galaxies far and beyond all replicate down to within microns of a single cell. It’s an amazing mirroring that follows through existence and in every living thing, whether animal or plant.
The human body is made up of 120 trillion cells all coexisting to create a unique life force-a living, breathing, thinking human.
Our immune system has developed over millions of years in the form of protective proteins cells. These white blood cells are the guardians of our bodies’ immune system all working in unison by instruction from our unique DNA, found at the core of each and every cell; within the Nucleus.
Every time our bodies come under attack from a virus, our defence system is kicked into gear by our cells, each one connected to the other and sending warning signals to pull up the appropriate antibody. Our personal record and library of virus attack is stored in the bone marrow and our bodies can recognise a virus through this library, knowing exactly which antibody to use in order to attack the virus.
Viruses are around us all the time, in the air, on every surface. They have co-evolved alongside cells and are made up of the remnant parts of our own cells, hence they are equipped to attack us in the most efficient and deceitful way.
Unfortunately, we do not have antibodies for every single virus, as we are only ever exposed to a fraction of viruses in existence. Hence, we rely on science and medical intervention when a new virus, particularly a Zoonotic virus transfers from animal to human.
The irony of it all is that this battle continues for one reason only; in order to shape us for our own survival as we continue to evolve and exist within this vast and complex mix of everything, that is both good, bad, near, far and within.
Can you spot the odd one out? One of these images is an actual Deirdre Dyson carpet design and isn’t a virus structure at all, perfectly illustrating how replication is in everything around us.
One lucky entry will be selected at random from all correct answers received and will be sent a “Walking on Art’” book by Deirdre Dyson (rrp £38), published by Thames and Hudson in order to keep you #INspired during lockdown.
All entries must be received by the 28th May, 2020 and the winner will be announced along with the correct answer on the 1st June, 2020.