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.
We recently completed this large-scale commission for an underwriting company in the City.
The brief was to create an eye-catching design but in an unusual shape, detailed in the floorplan above.
As can be seen from the ‘before’ images above, the area where the carpet was required replaced an existing hardwood floor which had been zoned into meeting areas.
The proposal was to open up this area and cover the footprint with a carpet concealing any remnant of the supports for the room dividers, which meant the floor had to be levelled off with latex.
From the outset it was decided a 100% wool carpet, hand-tufted here in Britain would be ideal. This combination of hard wearing wool and the relative speed of hand tufting for such a large project was perfect for practical purposes and the delivery time involved.
Commercial Sales & Marketing Designer Alice and Designer Nichola visited the site and selected colours, matched with existing carpeting on the same floor and taking inspiration from the large curved blue glass meeting room which is the focal point of the reception area. Again wear was a major consideration in an area where there is a large volume of foot traffic and a pallette of blacks, greys and blues was decided on.
Colourways agreed, the challenge was to find a design that worked with this unusual, organic shape. Deirdre and Nichola worked on several designs and shortlisted three for presentation to the client, one based on the ever-popular STREAMER design and the others on archive designs SPOTLIGHT and PLECTRUMS.
The final choice was SPOTLIGHT, which, as can be seen in the finished images, works incredibly successfully – the looped line leads the eye around the interconnected ‘puddles’ of colour which in turn create a connection with the blue glass pod, making for a superb focal point in this newly open plan, inviting space.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
This bespoke version of DAWN was commissioned as part of a large-scale commercial project which includes several of Deirdre’s designs, in both freestanding hand knotted and fitted hand tufted versions.
We are particularly thrilled with the blue and copper grading in this alternative colourway.
You can also glimpse a bespoke version of Deirdre’s OPTIC carpet through the doorway.
We’re looking forward to revealing more images of the project as it nears completion.
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.