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Edison’s musings on the iconic Fashion Photographer Guy Bourdin

As winter draws ever closer, it’s crazy to think how quickly the time has passed and that Maison 2020 is just around the corner.

It only seems like yesterday that we were on location at some fabulous properties, taking lifestyle images for Deirdre’s successful ‘Plumage Rug Collection’ styled by Louisa Grey.

In fact, that was a year ago and looking back at some of the wonderful photography by Michael Sinclair, I noticed a Guy Bourdin photograph pictured on one of the walls next to Deirdre’s QUILLS carpet.

How fitting, seeing that London Fashion Week is currently in full swing.

Considered as one of the important founders of contemporary photography, Bourdin’s images are highly charged and highly provocative; full of sensual and mysterious narrative but remaining colourful and often playful.

His advertising campaigns became synonymous with haute-couture whilst the product always came secondary to the image.

Even Madonna paid homage to Guy Bourdin in her 2003 ‘Hollywood’ music video, drawing direct inspiration from his most iconic images.


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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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5 Luxury Rugs to Breathe Life into Your Living Space

There is no better way to bring life to your interior than commission a perfectly proportioned hand knotted luxury rug, custom designed and coloured to suit your space.

The right rug anchors a room, can create a template for the colours used in an interior, frame a piece of furniture, ‘zone’ a space or be a focal point in itself.  Within Deirdre Dyson’s Rug Collection there is something for every scheme.

We’ve selected five of Deirdre Dyson’s luxurious bespoke hand knotted rugs to show how the right design can really bring a space to life.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Plumes

PLUMES

This dynamic design uses three colours, one wool and two silk, making it an easy rug to incorporate into any interior.

It’s the intricacy of this hand knotted rug that truly brings it to life, with a lower pile height and the careful carving of elements, this fine rug sits comfortably in a traditional or contemporary context.

Here it looks perfect in the modernist Ahm House with a classic Arne Jacobsen Egg chair anchoring this restful seating area.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Attitude

ATTITUDE

An apparently simple design that actually uses five colours in the silk ‘bars’ which can reflect the colours used in your interior, dialling up or down the colour to suit the mood of the room.

In this light and airy open plan penthouse apartment, a range of blues reflect not only the blue supporting columns and the furniture and accessories selected by the owner but also the sky outside.

The carpet also zones the seating area bordered by an L shaped sofa, whilst glass coffee tables are cleverly used so the view of the entire rug design is unobstructed, adding to the light and airy feel of the space.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Forest Mosaic

FOREST MOSAIC

What better way to breathe life into a room than bring the outside in?  The rich palette of green silks used in FOREST MOSAIC would bring an organic freshness to any interior, particularly restful tones for a bedroom or sitting room.

Mosaic is one of Deirdre’s signature motifs and the intricacy of mosaic carpets allow the introduction of several colours which can have varying tonal shifts – for instance ROSE MOSAIC uses graduated reds and pinks whilst the mosaic effect adds a contemporary edge to the floral theme.

 

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Harlequin

HARLEQUIN

This modernist hallway is lifted by the bold primary colours in Deirdre’s HARLEQUIN hand knotted rug from this year’s PLUMAGE Collection.

The pops of red, black and white provide focal points and elements of drama contrasting with the strong blue shades in its wool/silk mix background and work perfectly with the stark simplicity of the brickwork walls and carefully selected furniture and objets.

 

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Dawn

DAWN

The graded silk copper bars in this hand knotted design reflect the burnished metal fence enclosing the patio outside and the graded blue wool reflects the sky.

Referencing the outside expands the sense of space in this narrow room, cleverly creating an optical illusion as the design is also reflected in the large expanse of glass.

Deirdre Dyson’s colour choices in this rug lifts this otherwise stark garden room and gives focus and softness to a space that could otherwise seem austere and unwelcoming.  The perfect place to relax on the classic Eames lounge chairs!

Interested in seeing more?


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Street Art and Style In Interiors

Inspired by our recent World of Interiors feature, Edison explores the links between street art and style and interiors.

It’s evident by our latest feature in the World of Interiors rug promotion (featuring FLIGHT and HARLEQUIN below) that the cross over from street art and style into fashion and interiors is ever increasing.

Street influences can offer exciting and graphically enhanced motifs, patterns, colour and form that would otherwise have only been applied to the walls of a derelict building or any accessible public surface on which to paint.

Artists such as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and skateboard artist Shepard Fairey have recently had their creations applied to Modernica’s ‘Case Study’ chairs, originally designed by Charles and Ray Eames, giving these timeless, modern-classics an alternative way of life.

Thanks to Banksy, the street style has become widely accepted for its creative contributions and output. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to see the urban ‘out’ creeping ‘in’ by way of graffiti inspired feature walls, whether for the home or the office.

Back in 2015 Ray-Ban collaborated with collectable street artist ‘Mr Brainwash’ applying his distinctive splattering of paint to their iconic frames.

But street style doesn’t have to mean complicated, political or overworked.

These modern creations by French artist ‘Remi Rough’ (below) and Portuguese Street artist Vhils (bottom) use clean lines and textures to form their sublime creations. Both artists sell through galleries internationally and have had their work commissioned for architectural projects worldwide.


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Centenary of the Bauhaus

Deirdre Dyson’s ANGULUS rug, originally designed for the V&A Museum‘s Modernism exhibition

2019 marks the centenary of the Bauhaus, one of the most significant movements in art and design of the 21st Century.

In 1919, Walter Gropius became the director of a new institution created from the merger of two art schools in Weimar.  This new school, the Staatliches Bauhaus, was to be known simply as the Bauhaus.  Even though Gropius was an architect and the term ‘Bauhaus’ literally translates as “construction house,” it did not solely concentrate on architecture, it was a school encompassing all elements of art and design.

Gropius aim was “to create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions which raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist.” Combining influences from modernism, the English Arts and Crafts movement, and Constructivism, Gropius promoted the idea that design was to serve the community and exist in its purist form, epitomised in the Bauhaus principle ‘Form follows function’.

The interdisciplinary nature of the Bauhaus realised the concept of “Gesamtkunstwerk,” or complete work of art, meaning the visual arts, graphic design product and furniture design as well as architecture combined to create a cohesive environment comprising simple, elegant geometric shapes, solid colours and minimalist spaces.

Having moved over the course of its existence from Weimar to Dessau and finally Berlin, the Bauhaus was closed by the Nazis in 1933 for producing ‘degenerate art’.  Despite this suppression, the Bauhaus lived on and it’s ideologies spread as many of its staff and students fled Germany bringing the school’s idealistic concepts with them, influences that continue to have an impact on design today.

Despite being known as a minimalist discipline, The Bauhaus felt an understanding of colour was of paramount importance and colour theories taught as part of the school’s foundation course by artists Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Josef Albers formed the basis of contemporary colour theory. This included expanding the colour wheel, developing ideas of colour contrast, exploring the psychological effects of colour and their spiritual and transcendental nature.

Other Bauhuas luminaries included Josef’s wife Anni Albers, Hinnerk Scheper, Georg Muche, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Joost Schmidt, Marcel Breuer, Lyonel Feininger, Gunta Stölzl and Oskar Schlemmer, Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Like any colourist, Deirdre Dyson’s designs inadvertently pay homage to the Bauhaus concepts and artists, with both the application of colour theory and form but some of Deirdre’s rug designs really do make a more obvious nod to the movement, none more so than ANGULUS with its stark geometry and solid colours.

Several of Deirdre’s designs or bespoke reworkings never make it to the loom, so for a bit of fun, we’ve trawled through the archive to find some other Deirdre Dyson designs which illustrate Bauhaus principles of form and colour, here’s what we’ve found.

An alternate working of Deirdre Dyson’s WINDOWS created for a scheme in New York

 

A carpet design by Deirdre Dyson based on rectangles and squares
A reworking of Deirdre Dyson’s ODEON design, entitled ENCOMPASS concept design for a project in New York

 

A simple geometric design created by Deirdre Dyson
Deirdre Dyson’s OVERLAY rug design reminiscent of Josef Alber’s ‘Homage to the Square’ (below)


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BESPOKE FITTED AND FREE-STANDING CARPETS FOR A GEORGIAN TOWNHOUSE MAYFAIR, LONDON

A bespoke hand knotted version of UP AND OVER

Lady Deirdre Dyson was commissioned to create fourteen contemporary carpets – six hand knotted, free-standing rugs and eight gun tufted, fitted carpets together with a stair runner over four floors for this 18th Century listed Georgian townhouse.

The house, actually two adjoining properties, was restored and repurposed by Alexander Martin Architects (AMA) for use as private offices in Mayfair, London.

The brief required Deirdre to design a total of 350 square metres of highest quality wool and silk floor coverings for the entire property.

The incredible gun tufted 100% wool graded carpet created for the oak barley twist staircase.

Materials throughout the building were selected for their timeless quality, echoing those present in the original building. A palette of natural oak, stone and pale grey provides a backdrop for the bespoke Deirdre Dyson carpets used throughout.

The expanses of wool and silk used in the rug, carpet and runner designs sit perfectly with remaining original features and the stark modern interior application in the office spaces on the upper floors.

The central oak barley twist staircase is dramatically hugged top to bottom by a stair runner that creates a sense of movement with graded hues that flow from dark to light (pictured above)

A bespoke gun tufted, fitted version of  TWILIGHT in one of the top floor office spaces.

Through her use of bold geometric designs, Lady Dyson developed a scheme to bring contrast and complimentary accent colours which define and enhance the individual rooms. A total of fifty separate colours were used across the project with some carpets having up to sixteen colours alone.

A bespoke hand knotted version of SCATTER

The carpets give each room a separate identity and interest but Dyson has connected the spaces using a similar colour palette, often through the use of colour grading, adding personality with dramatic bursts of colour, be it a bold blue or vivid terracotta. All working in tandem with remaining original features and the architect’s contemporary reworking of the building.

A bespoke hand knotted version of SEAWASH

In some cases, Deirdre’s designs reference the building directly such as a version of her DAWN carpet design, its dramatic copper silk stripes echoing the copper cladding in the garden outside.

Deirdre Dyson’s bespoke hand knotted DAWN carpet in the Garden Room.

A bespoke hand knotted version of OPTIC

The scale of these carpets created challenges for both our weavers in Nepal (in some cases measuring up to 5m square)  and the skilled tufters here in the UK as well as specialist fitters but a close, collaborative team effort realised Deirdre Dyson’s vision to stunning effect.

The project featured in  an extensive editorial feature in Wallpaper* magazine, click here to read.


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Deirdre Dyson at the Design Museum

Last month Deirdre joined a host of hand-picked luxury interiors, fine art, couture and automotive brands exhibiting at ‘Curation of the Finest’, a collection of rare and one-off contemporary collectables and objects, showcased by Luxury Cave at London’s Design Museum.

Deirdre Dyson in front of her UNBOUND limited edition carpet artwork.

Luxury Cave‘s aim is to ‘present a new viewpoint of luxury that focuses on objects that speak of craftsmanship, emotion and investment of time.’

Deirdre Dyson’s carpets fulfil this brief perfectly – the combination of Deirdre’s sketches and colour selection realised as carpets through the age-old craft of hand knotting by artisan craftspeople and the bespoke process, cannot be rushed, assisted by but impervious to technological advances. This is slow design at its finest.

Deirdre was excited to create and unveil her first ever Carpet Artwork exclusively for the event.

The ultimate expression of her background as a Fine Artist and Carpet Designer – UNBOUND will be created in a limited edition of three (the first of which is available to purchase exclusively via the Luxury Cave website)

Deirdre took inspiration from ‘the rising steps to freedom and breaking away from the ties that bind us’ and the piece is a joyous juxtaposition of colours hand knotted in wool and silk.

Deirdre also exhibited her intricate PLUMES carpet from this year’s PLUMAGE Rug Collection, bespoke versions of which will also be available exclusively through the Luxury Cave website for the next three months.

Deirdre Dyson’s PLUMES carpet on exhibit at the Design Museum, London

PLUMES is a masterly intricate carpet design of interlocking feather barbs on a deep navy background with striking turquoise tips, the fine detail of which posed a real challenge to our incredibly skilled Nepalese weavers.

Both pieces, as with all Deirdre Dyson carpet designs, are Goodweave certified.

The exhibition was co-curated by Sofia Barattieri and Darren Miller of Luxury Cave and art directed by celebrated Set Designer Simon Costin.

Luxury Cave’s Sofia Barattieri and Fashion Designer Mary Katrantzou in front of Deirdre Dyson’s UNBOUND artwork and PLUMES carpet.

Other exhibitors and curated objects included Fine Jeweller Fabio Salini, fine art by Lucio Fontana and Alighiero Boetti, the intricately embroidered handbags of Parisian Designer Carole Tessier’s label ‘Preciously Paris‘, Auto Fabrica, Furniture by Studio Drift, Thomas Heatherwick and Pinto Paris, the Aston Martin Lagonda and Fashion Designer Mary Katrantzou celebrated the 10th Anniversary of her brand as part of the event.

Luxury Cave’s Chanda Pandya and Darren Miller with Fashion Designer Mary Katrantzou in front of Deirdre Dyson’s UNBOUND artwork and PLUMES carpet.

Deirdre’s artwork and carpet at the exhibition

Visit the Luxury Cave digital portal here.

 

 

 


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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

 


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Edison’s Picks from Maison & Objet Hall 8

We love to report back on favourite spots and trends from interiors exhibitions, especially Maison & Objet Paris.

We’ve been regular exhibitors at Maison every January for the past five years launching Deirdre’s new rug collections.

This year we’re showcasing neighbouring stands at our new location in Hall 8, the ‘Forever Signature’ Hall, which featured an array of high-end furniture, china and bedlinen brands.

Edison captured some of the things which caught his eye over the five days.

Practical and Beautiful. The superbly tactile, curves of hand-turned walnut in the sculptural VERTIGO coat hook by Nomon designed by Stefano Bigi 

Murano glass brought bang up to date with bold detail and vibrant colours on the Carlo Moretti stand.

Incredible matt black glass vases by Guaxs

The trippy perfection of the Emanuel Ungaro Home stand.

Created by the perfect combination of color, energy and shape, Souk mirrors reflect the influences of overwhelming and visually fascinating Souk markets in northern Africa with its vibrant fringes and earthy colors resembling typical macramé techniques, spotted on the Dooq stand.

Fun gin bottles on the Sieger by Furstenberg stand who employed a Mixologist to create delightful cocktails in their wonderful crystal!

Brand new colour variations and a different take on cut glass in these lamps by Vista Alegre