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
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.
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.
Take the colour red for example. We have many to choose 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.
Whereas RUBY and SHIMMER use contrast of reds to emphasis shape, direction and geometry.
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.
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.
As an entirely bespoke product, no two designs will ever be exactly the same, whether hand knotted or gun tufted, Deirdre’s carpets are made to last and the ancient processes involved in their manufacture take time.
Each year Deirdre creates a new themed rug collection, but these designs are just the starting point, Deirdre Dyson rugs are infinitely customisable – colours, size, composition and the design itself can all be altered to suit a client’s exact requirements.
Whether Deirdre’s colour choices are perfect for your scheme or if you want to create your custom version of a rug design, the process remains the same and the result is a luxurious, heirloom quality rug or carpet of your own.
THE CREATION OF A COLLECTION:
Deirdre’s carpets begin with a simple, hand coloured, pencil drawing.
Over the year’s Deirdre has sought inspiration in nature, the sky, sea and shoreline, stones, flowers, leaves and trees to the abstract – geometric and organic forms or the refraction of light.
Working with her Designer Nichola to digitise the design, together they refine it if necessary and add Deirdre’s carefully selected colours to precisely match her vision for that rug.
Colour is of course key. Deirdre selects from over 5,000 colour poms in wool and silk – her ‘paint box’.
This is a considered process, where the colours are observed in different lights and times of day to accurately reflect their relationship with each other and realise Deirdre’s concept perfectly.
Deirdre’s eye for colour is fundamental – as a Fine Artist she has both the innate skill and technical knowledge to find just the right juxtaposition of colours or the perfect tones to create an intricate colour grade (the subtle change of colour from dark to light as seen in rug designs such as EAGLE pictured below)
Digitally colour matching Deirdre’s pom selection is a highly skilled task, Nichola has worked with Deirdre for almost twenty years and no amount of technology can mimic her colour matching abilities, which again can take days to refine, dependant on the hours of daylight available and how the colours appear in different lights, both on screen and in print.
Nichola’s accurate digital versions of the rug designs are stored for future adaptation and exact colour-perfect print versions are approved by Deirdre (or a client) before manufacture.
Once the design is finished to Deirdre’s exacting standard, it is sent to our trusted weavers in Nepal or, if gun tufted in 100% wool, to our manufacturers in Yorkshire.
We have long standing relationships with both and Deirdre has a strong, personal rapport with each. Communicating new design ideas involves close discussions regarding the technical elements involved.
Gun tufting is by far the quicker option (though no less careful and considered) and generally the suggested method of production for commercial projects or areas with higher footfall.
Given the limitations of tufting however, not all designs are suitable for this type of manufacture.
As with hand knotting quality control is paramount, with colour meticulously matched and designs executed to millimetre perfection.
However, Deirdre Dyson is primarily known for her hand knotted rugs and has built her brand’s reputation on their luxurious quality.
The vast majority of bespoke rugs and all collection carpets are hand knotted by our weavers in Nepal using traditional techniques which are indigenous to the area and have been passed down through the generations.
Hand knotting creates a dense, luxurious pile but allows for the finest of detail and subtle colour transitions which are impossible to replicate by machine.
The art of hand knotting not only takes skill and patience, it involves age old techniques and tools which have remained unchanged over centuries.
Climate is crucial to the process, as heat and sunshine is essential; from fixing dyes to drying and stretching the finished carpet, therefore the Monsoon season from June to August prolongs production time.
Additionally, weavers observe religious holidays and don’t work during these periods (particularly in January and February) Ultimately these carpets are intrinsically linked with Nepalese traditions and the Nepalese way of life.
Deirdre Dyson is a long-time partner of Goodweave ensuring no child labour is involved in rug making and that the highest level of work practices and standards are maintained for weavers and their families.
All Deirdre’s chosen colours are colour matched exactly, amazingly this is all done by the highly skilled dye master by eye.
The dye master mixes scrupulously measured quantities of pigments to create accurate dyes. The hand carded Tibetan wool and Chinese silk is then turned by hand in vats of the dye until precisely the right shade is achieved.
The dyed yarn is then allowed to dry naturally. As it dries the heat of the sun fixes the dye which is then spun by hand to the correct ply and thickness.
Meanwhile, exact mapping of the design has taken place to create a template which hangs above the loom from which the weavers work.
This intricate graph carefully maps the position of every knot and colour change within the design, all painstakingly reproduced from Deirdre’s original and replicated by the weavers by eye.
The hand knotting process itself is incredible to watch, the speed and dexterity of our weavers is truly astonishing, especially where there are complex grades (such as SEA WASH pictured on the loom below) or intricately detailed carpets with fine lines (such as PLUMES)
The weaver’s create knots on the vertical ‘warp’ threads using a metal rod, an incredible 100 knots fit the area of a postage stamp which gives an indication of the intricacy involved.
Once a row is complete it is hammered tightly on to the row below and the yarn is cut to create a rough pile.
When weaving is complete, each carpet is carefully washed, stretched and dried in the open air then precisely trimmed by hand to the correct pile height.
The fascinating and intricate carving process then takes place, where specific design elements are carefully clipped around to create definition.
Finally, the carpet is bound around the edges with matching yarn and our leather Deirdre Dyson label is attached.
Once approved, the carpet is then ready for packing and shipping back to our gallery in London.
A standard size rug will take approximately 14-16 weeks to complete from artwork sign off – with the production time rising depending on size and complexity of design.
Each element in the creation of your rug involves skill and a level of precision which cannot be rushed, this is ultimately an artisan process assisted by technology but not necessarily expedited by it.
The crucial elements of rug design and making are slow and considered and stand out in our world of mass production and instant gratification, the wait is worth it and the result is of the highest quality and designed to last a lifetime.
The installation-based exhibition took a deeper look at the way colour behaves in different lights, environments and on various shapes, illustrating the value of instability in colour and the freedom that gives.
Jongerius defiance of the uniformity in industrially produced colour is fascinating, especially for Nichola who works with colour every day.
In the latest of Edison’s occasional interior design posts he draws inspiration from this season’s colours.
Now that spring has arrived and summer is just a few months away, I’m always interested to check out the new season’s colours.
Seasonal colour palettes draw inspiration from the moment but with suggested longevity, way beyond the season for which it is intended. Use them as guides to colour combinations and let them take you on an imaginative, creative journey.
This seasons colours remind me of the beautiful Islamic tiles found in the old Persian regions of Iran and Iraq or those found even closure to home, such as Turkey or Tunisia.
Wonderfully ornate but with a sense of lightness, these colours are often blended together to create dynamic patterns that flow into one another seamlessly, by way of soft geometry.
In a flawless execution and with absolute precision, the smallest pattern is in essence, a part of a larger, more intricate picture.
By using the softer end of the colour palette, you can go bolder with your pattern.
These mosaics use elements of the Pantone colour palette to bold, visual effect and can be applied to floors as well as the walls.
Our BEJEWELLED design from the ‘Mosaic Collection’ combines the softer colours of the palette too but with shots of the pink and blue to great effect. The perfect Aladdin’s carpet.
We’ll be posting carpet designs featuring each colour on our Instagram feed over the last two weeks of April, click here to view our full feed.
Our Company Manager Edison Abidi is a trained Interior Designer and every now and then he’ll share some of his expertise here on the Blog – today it’s probably the most essential element of your bespoke rug design – colour.
‘People can be daunted by the fact that we have over 2,000 colours to choose from when designing your bespoke carpet but fear not! We are here to help and make the whole process as smooth as possible.
At the end of the day, it’s not just about the quantity of colour involved, but most importantly, it’s about how the carpet will eventually harmonise with your environment.
The finished carpet should fit in, create a sense of order and be visually engaging without necessarily being the centre of attention.
Most interiors evolve from an idea or concept or they can just develop naturally over time. Whichever way, they will or should express something of the people that live in them.
Colour will ultimately play an important part of this overall expression.
Keeping the above in mind, we can utilise some very simple formulas (that anyone can adopt) and drill down to find the perfect colours for your carpet.
All these techniques use The Colour Wheel as a starting point.
From the three basic primary colours of yellow, blue and red, we can create our secondary colours of green, orange and purple.
Mixing these secondary colours gives us a further palette of yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green.
Now imagine breaking that down even further, having all those options of light to heavy saturation for every hue? Well, that’s a lot of colour to consider for anyone (hence our vast selection of colours!)
Take a look at a section from our colour range to see the subtle variations involved.
With a little thought we can select colours that work in your interior, and together on your carpet, using these further colour ‘rules’:
Firstly, a colour scheme based on those found in nature, is the most ‘natural’ one, obviously. Colours such as red/brown/green/yellow are all harmonious colours and any of these, in whatever hue, should sit well together.
Colours that are positioned directly opposite each other on the colour wheel. Think blue/orange or red/green. You can then veer off to the left or right of either of these for example, turquoise/brown or turquoise/orange.
Another colour scheme can be based on analogue colours, which are colours that sit side by side on a colour wheel. Think red/purple-red/purple as similarly used in our PLECTRUMS carpet (detail illustrated below).
Again this principle can be applied to colours from the same palette such as dark to light in shades of green, see FOREST MOSAIC or the grading in TORN BETWEEN design (detail illustrated).
Like I said, it’s not just about the quantity of colour used. Sometimes harmony is created by not using much colour at all.
Take a look at our SUHAILAH carpet (detail illustrated).
By only using one colour, the carpet is beautifully harmonised simply by the contrast of silk against the wool background. Perfect for an interior where enough colour might already exist.’