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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rugs are an ideal way to zone an open plan living area or link spaces – the perfect example being a double reception room.
Sometimes a room calls for contrast but, where required, many of Deirdre’s designs work in pairs or partners, see our previous post on the successful use of Deirdre’s FALLING RIBBONS design in a St. Mortiz chalet.
Of course we can change all colours on any design and adapt them to suit but we thought we’d put some ideas together from our sample rugs to inspire anyone furnishing a space where a connection between the designs would work that’s not entirely dependant on colour.
Different versions of the same design
Link by theme
Organic design elements
Connect by decorative style
There are so many other elements to consider such as texture, size and scale but hopefully this post will tempt you to think more about two or more rugs working cohesively in your interior when space and budget allows.
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