Some people go through life making a lot of noise without much substance, but not Deirdre Dyson. The founder and creative force behind Deirdre Dyson Carpets has, for nearly twenty years, been quietly creating a business of great substance, with a loyal following who appreciate the value and superlative design. Yet she has made little noise for her achievements in the mainstream design world. There is not a diffusion line, a range of crockery, curtains or cushions. Just a company who really understands how to create a statement under your feet.
Deirdre Dyson creates carpets which are really like ‘walking on art’; breath-taking gorgeous and capable of adding style, craftsmanship and originality to a home, office or hotel.
Traditionally, carpets were hung on walls as objects of art. Deirdre’s designs are essentially made for the floor, but are so beautiful and full of colour that they could be hung to be admired at eye level. By investing in a Deirdre Dyson carpet, you are travelling back in time to appreciate an ancient and complicated technique which has been created by craftsmen and craftswomen whose work is part of the life and culture of Nepal, far removed from the mass produced, dull and often boringly beige carpets of the West.
Deirdre fought much opposition to get into art college and started her career as a graphic designer and painter, then painting in oils. There have been solo shows in major galleries in Mayfair and New York with collectors appreciating her fine and structured work. It was a chance meeting whilst shopping for a carpet on the Kings Road, London which led Deirdre to branch out into carpet design. Knowing Deirdre’s artist talents, shop owner Richard Ringrose suggested that she design a carpet collection. The huge learning curve of understanding and appreciating the techniques of hand knotting and hand tufting took Deirdre to the expert carpet makers of Nepal where carpets are made on looms using techniques which turn designs into reality.
Hand-knotted carpets are the couture end of this fascinating market. With over 2,000 colours to choose from, the carpets are created by men and women in Nepal, working together to conceive Deirdre’s design in silk and wool. The company is certified by Good Weave, the charity which aims to stop child labour in the carpet industry. There is a financial donation to the community included in every hand-knotted carpet sold, so not only do you have something beautiful, but you are also helping to support a country which appreciates every penny you give to them.
Deirdre’s designs are versatile and can be made in any size and shape with various combinations of hand knotted wool and silk. This makes a carpet come alive and dance with texture before your eyes. For very large carpets, the company also recommends tufted, which is not only made in the UK but also has a faster turn around, making this option both hardwearing and economical.
Whether you are an architect, interior designer or a private client, your journey in creating your own carpet starts with a visit to the Deirdre Dyson Galley at 554 Kings Road London, a rapidly growing area full of interesting interior design shops. This nineteenth century, three-story building has been transformed inside and out into a light-filled gallery using glass brick walls, a burnished steel staircase by New York based metalworker William Nitzburg, and a host of natural materials. Architect Timothy Hatton fulfilled the brief brilliantly, by visualising a space which allows the building to be used as a gallery to display the carpets as works of art.
A visit to the gallery to marvel at the use of space and dream of owning a Deirdre Dyson carpet is pure inspiration in itself. The carpets hang on specially created frames or on the walls, filling you with inspiration to select or commission a rug in your own special colours. Deirdre’s charming and courteous team are always pleased to share their knowledge of this fascinating business.
Visiting the gallery is a must, but of equal importance is buying the book ‘Walking on Art’, published by Thames and Hudson, which explores the path of designing a carpet through to manufacture and finally ending up on your floor. Further information on how the designs are made in Nepal can be seen on a film which is available on the website.
A Deirdre Dyson carpet is luxurious, oozes quality and is created to enhance wherever it is used. It is an heirloom to be cherished and admired but, most importantly, it is designed for your environment by a true artist.
Image of Deirdre courtesy Colin Peacock; All other images courtesy Deirdre Dyson Design.