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 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.
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.
We thought it would be lovely to share some of its beautiful illustrations and background with you.
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 Nepalese weavers who create our hand-knotted rugs are highly skilled craftspeople and work at incredible speed. As such it is notoriously difficult to capture the creation of a single one of their knots as the process is so accelerated in practised hands.
However during the recce for a film commissioned by Deirdre to showcase the creation of her rugs, the exceptional skill of our weavers creating a single knot was ‘captured’ by our Photographer Colin Peacock.
Take a look at the following series of images of a weaver working on one of Deirdre’s SEA WASH rugs and imagine the work that goes into your bespoke rug, there are 100 of these to every inch of carpet, astonishing.
For this year’s London Design Festival, the Chelsea Design Quarter Design District has selected the theme ELEMENTS from which Deirdre has chosen WIND as the inspiration for a bespoke runner to be displayed during the event (16th – 24th) and until the end of September.
Architect of our 554 Kings Road gallery, Timothy Hatton, has loaned some of the wonderful 3D printed leaves produced for his Human Nature installation at Aqua Shard last December which will be displayed with the WINDSWEPT runner and has kindly donated a display box of five 3D-printed leaves for us to give away to one lucky winner.
To enter the competition simply follow us on Instagram@DeirdreDysonLLP, upload a picture that encompasses WINDSWEPT, tag us in the image and use #WINDSWEPT and #LDF17. The competition will run during the festival period and we’ll post the winning image across social media.
These 3D leaves were sold to raise funds for Sir David Attenborough’s Fauna & Flora International charity and can still be purchased here to support this worthwhile cause.
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)
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.
There’s a festive feel to Edison‘s latest Interiors post.
Now that we’re in the run up to Christmas when there’s an abundance of all things sparkling and shiny in homes and shops across the land, what better opportunity to talk about two of my favourite interior design elements – GOLD and SILVER.
GOLD is immediately associated with luxury, particularly in the world of fashion and until recently not so much with today’s modern interiors.
In recent years, there has been a definite shift back to the more traditional luxury materials, particularly when used in an understated way.
Gold remains forever warm and familiar. It’s the perfect conduit in bridging different styles and influences.
Gold is also a comforting colour and an element that, when used correctly, can make a bold statement whilst remaining perfectly refined. Gold is now being given new and exciting applications in the form of furniture, accessories and sculpture.
I’ve selected some favourite interiors which use gold in particularly inspired ways.
This traditional, ebonised oriental day bed, as featured in House Beautiful, is set against a trompe l’oeil backdrop and is brought into the 21st century by means of the highly polished gold side table and muted side lamps.
The interior of designer Alfred Von Escher’s home and office in their Italian Palazzo (above) mixes modern and vintage industrial furniture, within a classical setting. The application of gold leaf on the mouldings of the walls and ceilings are subtle highlights that brings a sense of warmth into the space.
UK based interior stylist Louisa Grey (who styled our 2015 Collection lifestyle images) is a big fan of gold. Here, she uses it in a refined way adding warmth and visual interest into a fairly monochromatic interior by way of coffee table, side table and a vertical run of gilded wall sconces.
From super sleek and polished tableware to more rustic applications, such as leafing, gold is finding it’s way back into our homes and this time, for a more appreciated stay.
SILVER on the other hand can be used in abundance and works well even in the smallest of areas or when layered.
It can be introduced into a space using a wide range of materials and finishes, from matt to polished, from chrome to aluminium, silver leaf, mirrors and crystal.
It’s not just about using the actual colour, it’s also about creating references to silver and silver tones. Silver is the perfect colour for reflecting any light source within darker areas.
In this Hollywood Regency-style interior, the silver gilt lamp base is reflected back off the wall mirror and mirrored cube side table, keeping the space light and airy even when using larger sized decorative pieces and bold contrasting colours of the side chairs.
Our ODEON design would look fantastic here, working well with this style and space.
On the silver theme, our ORIGAMI carpet is another design that comes to mind, with the use of silver-grey silk panels against the richer aubergine wool background, it harps back to a bygone age of 1940’s glamour.
If you’re still undecided on whether to introduce silver or gold into your space, then why not consider using both?
It’s all about clever interpretation and here is a fine, functional, as well as sculptural example.
A modern classic vintage coffee table by Romeo Rega circa 1970s – it’s timeless, modern and elegant, just like silver and gold…
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.
We can alter any of our carpet 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 carpet designs, creating particularly effective results.
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 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.
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.