Following the inauguration of Deirdre Dyson’s Parisian space where she can now expose her iconic carpets, she gives us with an interview.
You started creating / designing carpets after a setback – unable to find the one to dress your interior. What were for you the qualities, both aesthetic and qualitative, that were paramount in your quest at that time? What are your expectations of a carpet worthy of the name today?
Fitted carpets were the norm when I first started my search to find something contemporary. I could only find antique ones or rather dull repeat patterns. I was looking for something free- standing to expose some lovely wooden flooring, a texture that was dense and soft and a modern design. Today there are amazing designers creating contemporary work and trying new techniques and materials. I would be looking for concept and originality and a true understanding of colour.
You’re committed to made to measure – how hard are you trying to meet your customers’ expectations? But more importantly, how do you approach dressing up an interior, which sometimes can be a little off your aesthetic?
Interior designers and architects have usually made their decisions on colour and furniture before considering carpets but this gives me a great template and confidence that the client is happy with the scheme so far. I listen extremely carefully to the brief, honour the mood board and produce three optional ideas/designs carefully matching their chosen colours.
This is a starting point for discussion and development. Private clients like to select one of my designs as a starting point which we modify and colour after listening to their preferences.
Their import is important as I want them to feel that they have played a part in creating their own carpet. My team and I take as much pleasure as they do when the carpet arrives.
The team work and result is the reward for the effort. I like to make sure that each carpet holds its own interest but must be in harmony and balance with its surroundings.
In the design of your carpets, you often put forward abstract forms, but which often evoke flowers and plants. Is Nature a constant source of inspiration? Or do you try, perhaps, to inject a modern or even industrial vision to the design of these same forms?
My inspirations are varied although nature often does play a part. Even so, I try to make them modern and different from anything I have seen before. Some of my designs are even inspired by a new technique, like grading in opposing directions.
Sometimes I borrow a subject from my own paintings. I did some industrial ideas for the Battersea Power station project which I admit I found challenging!!
Your latest collection, Looking Glass, plays with transparency and color. Can you tell me more about this aesthetic reflection? Is emotion a key to interior design for you?
I suppose an inspiration is an emotion and inspiration is the key to the subject of a painting or my carpets. I like working to a theme and exploring a subject in different ways, so doing a collection of eight a year gives me this challenge and forces me to think beyond that first idea.
I am always looking through glass at the amazing colours and reflections and wondered if I could create transparency and shine using silk and a mixed colour where shapes overlapped. I was happily surprised at the three dimensional result.
A carpet is flat but the design can still be three dimensional. I love adding a pop of colour that floats above the main design. I have 5000 colours to choose from and I don’t have to mix paint, just select the right one but I bless my art training which has given me the knowledge and surety of finding the ‘exact’ colour.
You have just inaugurated this summer your new space in the heart of Saint Germain Des Près – after London, Paris? Why this choice? Do you have a special relationship with the City of Lights? A question as much artistic as aesthetic perhaps?
We [Ref: Her Husband, James Dyson] love Paris for being the home of Impressionism and have always tried to spend weekends here on our wedding anniversary which coincides with your wonderful Christmas lighting. We have finally found an apartment which included the gallery space in the purchase.
Not ideal really as it has random stone walls and floor and a dungeon below with curved low ceiling. I thought that the juxtaposition of hard stone and soft carpet with ancient and modern might be interesting.
Our media devotes a privileged relationship to objects, rooms, iconic places? Do you have one or two objects/rooms/iconic places that have a special place in your heart? Which ones and why?
I have an overwhelming response to the magnificent cliffs on the sea at Poleagnos in Greece. The colours are breathtaking, awesome and the colours reflected in the sea are unbelievable. Opera theatres are also thrilling with their ornamentation and the suspense before the lifting curtain.
I am a trained singer and opera has everything for me. Divine music and story, costume design, stage design, concept and superb acting. A total perfect cocktail of all creative talents.