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Staying in and being ‘In’Spired

The lockdown is certainly something we are all getting used to and nothing is more important than abiding by the government guidelines to #stayhome and #staysafe. It’s the only way we stand any hope of reducing the spread of Covid 19, especially amongst the old and the vulnerable and to help the NHS cope when dealing with the number of serious infections.

 

But out of the bleakness, one should try not to see isolation as a negative prospect but to encourage oneself to reconnect and rediscover and continue creativity within the confinement of home.

 

As our working routines have changed, it can feel like we are living in perpetual weekend mode, days seem non descriptive or defined and we endlessly wonder from kitchen to desk, to sofa to bed in slumber daze, trying to make sense of it all.

 

But one could also use the time more effectively and create our own personal stimulus that keeps our minds actively creative and to some degree distracted in a more positive way, that will benefit general mental health and wellbeing.

 

Pick up that unopened book that has been sitting on the shelf for far too long, try that recipe you’ve been meaning to cook for ages, clear that wardrobe from unwanted items and block looks for when we can show off again or try re-arranging the furniture to make your space work better for you. You might then be inspired to redecorate, who know’s? There’s absolutely no limit to what we can do with the spare time at home. Only you can set the boundaries.

 

But it’s also about encouraging some reconnection to the things that surround us, that we have collected over time and that we quite often forget about. It’s about rediscovering what those personal things mean to us and why they bring us comfort and pleasure and finding meaning in the important things in life, such as family, friends, a sense of familiarity and fun. Yes fun! Please don’t forget about that. It will come back to welcome us sometime soon, we all hope.

 

Here a few items that our team at Deirdre Dyson have personally picked from their homes that inspires them in some way or brings them a sense of comfort. This reconnection to the inanimate world that we surround ourselves has many benefits. It reminds us of who we are, our history, our inspirations and can lead onto further creative pursuits beyond the items themselves.

Let us know what has #INspired you during lockdown by using this hashtag and tagging us on social media.

 

 

Company Manager Edison – Painting of Queen Elizabeth II

 

 

 

This was a charity find at my local Crusaid Boutique shop in Pimlico, where I live.

 

It was painted in 1977 to mark Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee and is a Cubist oil painting by Cal Howard (as I read it).

 

I’ve tried to search the artist to no avail, so any information would be greatly appreciated!

 

I love the subtle colours of creams and beige leading to deeper chocolate tones and Elizabeth changes throughout the day in different light. Some parts pop whilst others fade. The portrait reminds me of my late grandmother in many ways. The familiarity of a mature and dedicated strong minded woman. It is graceful. It is bold. It reminds me of the pleasure of art and creativity and reinforces the message that quality pieces never fade. Good design and art should survive the test of time. It is a large piece in a very tiny flat, breaking all the rules but hey, its all about pushing the boundaries.

 

Design Technician Nichola – The Lady with the Sunflower on her Head

 

This piece of ceramic  – The Lady with the Sunflower on her Head –  was a present from my family, so she is very special to me.

 

I love ceramics and find the process fascinating. I especially love the fact that every piece is unique.
I normally like objects with a lot of vibrant colour but she is more subtle, thus having a very calming effect.
I love the Sunflower’s position on her head and the detail on her face.  She has a very pleasant face.

I get so much pleasure from having her in my home and never tire of her. 

Trade Sales Manager Chris – Labradorite

I was given this beautiful piece of Labradorite rock crystal a few years ago. I am still always mesmerised by the colours it omits when the light hits it at the right angle on both sides.

It also happens to be the perfect size and shape to fit snugly and generously into the palm of my hand.

I have sometimes held it when I do my daily meditation and was intrigued to recently read some further information about this stone. Seems it holds helpful qualities for times like these!

“Labradorite, the best stone for fighting off an existential crisis. A rock star of mystical lore and ancient legends, the Labradorite crystal meaning can be traced back to the native peoples of icy Canada that believed the stone was created from frozen fire, a result of the northern lights. With its pearly hues that shimmer in a range of iridescent blues and greens, the Labradorite crystal reminds us to keep it magical by linking us to the spirit world, a dimension where anything is possible.”  From energy use.com

Social Media and Marketing Manager Sonia – ‘Young Witches and their Cats’

This is an artists proof that my parents gave me for my 21st birthday. It’s called ‘Young Witches and their Cats’ by a well known Limerick artist, John Shinnors.

It’s sentimental for so many reasons – obviously it was a gift from my Mum and Dad, who visited Shinnors at his studio to select it, and I was born and brought up in County Limerick.  It hung in the bedroom I shared with my sister growing up, has been here with me in London since my husband and I bought our first flat and now hangs over our fireplace at home.

Every once and a while my children ask ‘So how many witches and how many cats are there?’ and we can never agree on quite how many and what constitutes a witch or cat!

To say it’s well loved is an understatement, it hangs amidst a mish mash of my husband’s late fathers batiks and prints and bits and pieces of artwork that we’ve picked up (or stuck in a frame) over the years, each in their own way makes me happy but this is definitely the most special.

 


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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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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall….

Edison’s latest post explores the various ways mirrors can be used to reflect light and increase the sense of space in interiors.

Now that we are into summer, it’s always a good time to have a bit of a dust down and de-clutter. Open those curtains wide, pull up those blinds and let those sun rays into your home.

As part of this ‘bathing in the light’, what better way than to reflect it by use of mirrors.

A glass treatment associated with wealth and opulence, particularly during the renaissance and up to the late 19th century, glass mirrors date back to ancient Lebanon and the early Roman period, when glass was backed with gold leaf.

Mirrors are now the staple décor item of most homes and come in a range of shapes and sizes. What you choose and how you use them is entirely up to you, but here a few ideas you may wish to consider.

Photography by Tria Giovan
Source: Simone Soares

Group similar mirrors together on one wall to create a reference and feature. Similar designs of different sizes add more visual interest than the usual, single hanging mirror.

Photograph: Nicolas Mathéus

This curvy, postmodern mirror looks more like an installation or sculpture within this modernist scheme.

But mirrors are not just confined to framed pieces. You can go as high and as wide as you dare. Think wall to wall, floor to ceiling.

Remember, mirrors reflect and expand space, so are perfect for darker rooms or smaller spaces. The key is to harbour as much of the needed light as possible, whilst creating the illusion of space.

In this eclectic interior, antique finished, square mirrors have been used on the entire wall to reflect back the space in a more muted way.

The featured kitchen designed by Lecaro Limited, uses rippled mirrors, cut at different angles, to line the walls of the concealed kitchen in this modern penthouse apartment.

Dawn


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Spring!

Continuing his occasional series on Interior Design, Deirdre Dyson’s Company Manager & trained Interior Designer Edison Abidi gives his tips on bringing Spring colour into your home.

Although UK weather is never reliable or consistent (except when it rains!) we’re well into Spring and there’s no better time to draw inspiration from this seasons colour trend of pastel peaches, yellow, light rose quartz through to earthy, coffee colours and natural green and blue tones.

Pantone Spring 2016 Color Report

If there isn’t much in the way of sparkling clear waters, warmer sun and delicate flowers outside, then introduce these reference colours onto your walls, floors and accessories by applying spring colours in combination or by using only a select few.

Spring

It’s nice to think on a grander scale such as this interior featured by Elle Décor, where modern classic and traditional work well in a space.

If, like many other homes, you have plain light walls, then changing the general colour palette should be easy and won’t require a lot of time or expense. By introducing a few select items here and there, you can achieve the spring look that will take you right through spring, summer, into Autumn and way beyond.

Spring

Mix and match modern fixtures alongside vintage and vintage inspired pieces. These are often produced in vibrant, as well as muted tones.

A grey background (found here on the expanse of floor) really helps even the most muted colours to stand out.

Spring
Photo: Nothing Can Go Wrong / Photowall ‘Gap Year Red’

For a bolder statement, try picking two or three contrasting colours and work them to the max. This bold wallpaper with vibrant red and dark blue leaves, works surprisingly well against the woven, blue carpet and the gold and black accessories.

Our Coral carpet is the perfect choice for a floor feature and encapsulates the feeling of spring and is bang on trend with this years, spring colours.

CORAL
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs CORAL

On a much smaller scale, try adding some vintage glass vases and beakers to a shelf, window sill or table top. These usually come in a variety of shapes and sizes and look spectacular when grouped together with simple, freshly cut flowers.


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From Floors to Walls

In his occassional series, company manager Edison explores the re-purposing of materials and decorative details in interior design.

Both architecture and interior design has become ever more inventive.

Similar to the fashion world, the ‘in thing’ is often a reinterpretation or reinvention of something previous.

The constant cycle in gentle rotation, helps keep things alive, fresh and inventive for the present day to enjoy, either with fresh eyes or with the fondness of familiarity.

Think Biba, the ‘it’ label of the sixties and now a reinvented fashion and homeware brand. It’s adapted and made relevant to today’s style and trends.

Biba

However, reinvention is nothing new. But what is more interesting is not necessarily the recycling of styles but the uses of materials and objects within the context of the modern building, home and space.

With Deirdre’s new collection ‘Walking on Art’, I couldn’t help but think how appropriate the title was, particularly when reflecting on the time when carpets were not only found on floors, but were used as actual wall coverings.

Tapestries and woven carpets adorned both castle and Bedouin tent for decorative and above all practical reasons of warmth and insulation.

Bedouin Tent
Photo credit Martin Allen – All Rights Reserved

But adaptation and alternative use of materials and objects within the home has been around for far longer than we might care to remember.

Eileen Grey was a pioneer in her own right. Back in the late 1920’s/early 1930’s, she was adopting cork for use in her furniture designs which, up until then, was mainly used for bottle tops and shoe manufacture.

Eileen Grey Cork Covered Screen
Eileen Grey Cork Covered Screen

And today, cork is becoming the architects choice, for being both a natural and environmentally friendly product as well as a durable, building material.

Portuguese architect, Jose Carlos Cruz has used cork to clad this hotel in the Portuguese region of the Alentejo.
Portuguese architect, Jose Carlos Cruz has used cork to clad this hotel in the Portuguese region of the Alentejo.

Cork has not merely restricted itself to architecture and furniture but has become one of the latest textiles within high fashion. Alexander McQueen’s AW2015 has taken thin layers of treated cork and coated it with silver foil to create an exciting range of youthful clothing.

Alexander McQueen AW2015

Adapting finishes and materials can often lead to exciting and dramatic effect. You don’t have to take it to extremes.

Kelly Wearstler

This bathroom by Kelly Wearstler uses contrasting marble, taking the same pattern of the floor to the walls. The result is both unique and eye catching… like a piece of art.


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’tis the Season to be Bold with Silver and Gold!

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.

Oriental Day Bed

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.

Alfred von Escher Studio 247 Sicily Home

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.

Louisa Grey

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.

Hollywood Regency
Photo by David Jimenez

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.

ODEON
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs ODEON

Our ODEON design would look fantastic here, working well with this style and space.

ORIGAMI
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs ORIGAMI

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.

Romeo Rega

A modern classic vintage coffee table by Romeo Rega circa 1970s – it’s timeless, modern and elegant, just like silver and gold…


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Edison’s Guide to Using Angles, Asymmetry & Geometrics

Many of Deirdre’s designs feature angular motifs, examples include this year’s PINNACLE, OPTIC & REFLECTIONS as well as classic designs such as BI-LINE and INTERLINK.

In the second part of his occassional series on elements of interior design, Company Manager Edison gives his tips on incorporating angles of every type into a scheme.

I love a punchy interior, something that ‘kicks’ and makes you think.

Adding angular, geometric and asymmetrical forms that work against more structured lines is a great way to introduce some ‘base’ into your space.

Concrete Table
Concrete table Brazil by Architect Guto Requena

With an ever-increasing trend to open up spaces, larger areas can often lack impact and dimension, particularly where large expanses of straight walls and ceilings dominate within the conventions of modern apartment living or the converted, traditional home.

The introduction of irregular forms, can also be used to dissect and zone spaces within smaller areas, making them appear larger. This happens as the eye is drawn to the fragmented areas of a space, rather than seeing one small area as a complete ‘whole’.

Kitchen
Image Breathe Architecture

The compact kitchen (above) is a perfect example.

With a basic run of flat, regular cupboards and cabinets, the use of an asymmetrical counter/room divider and geometric tiles, breaks the monotony, zones areas and adds dimension, interest and depth.

Kitchen
Images MCK Architects

Kitchen

The kitchen/living space designed by MCK (above) is another example of well thought out use of the angular, irregular form.

It divides the space with visual interest, allowing for a balance of movement, without becoming awkward.  The introduction of the rounded sofa in the background and the rounded backs of the bistro dining chairs, soften the overall effect and add warmth to the interior by way of colour.

This stunning staircase is another example of clever juxtapositioning.

Staircase
Staircase by Architect Dolphy Levy and Interior Designer Adi Hamitzer of Levy Hamitzer Architects.

If sharp angled staircases and asymmetrical ceilings are not quite your thing or purely just impossible to achieve, then you can always introduce these elements by use of decorative accessories and furnishings, without having to move home or demolish any walls!

Of course rugs are an easy way of adding angular forms, our PINNACLE and CRUMPLE carpets are two perfect examples.

PINNACLE
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs PINNACLE
CRUMPLE
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs CRUMPLE

Alternatively why not try introducing some decorative wallpaper to make a statement feature wall such as Angles by Erica Wakerly

On an even smaller scale, think Lights by James Dieter, as featured November 2015’s Elle Decoration page 109 or some black geometric inspired vases such as these, to add that delicate angle on a shelf or mantelpiece.’

Vases