Walking On Art, an interview with Deirdre Dyson

With a catching passion for carpets, Lady Deirdre Dyson has become an industry leader in the world of flooring. Her knock-out gallery - it’s far more stylish than a showroom - is situated on the King’s Road, and has been designed as a showcase for Lady Dyson’s work by Tim Hatton Architects. We caught up with Lady Dyson as she launched her latest collection, Plumage, and discussed the wonderful world of carpet art and why standing strong and avoiding ‘trend’ has led to her brands unique look.

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Q: Can you briefly explain your brand, for those that might not know it?

A: My brand ‘Deirdre Dyson’ has been in existence for 20 years now.  I have a background in fine art and was asked to design some contemporary carpets for an existing company.  Two years exploring the new medium led to my own company. I design all the carpets and have them handmade in Nepal or gun tufted in the UK. I wanted it to be a bespoke business where I can work with my client to create a perfect result for each of them individually.  I have a beautiful gallery designed by Tim Hatton on the Kings Road, London.

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Q: Your passion for art has inspired your business, how did this come about?

A: I studied fine art and graphic design and both these disciplines work together with carpet design. I try to make each design a complete image in itself as with a painting and do not do ‘patterns’ or repeat work as in fabric or wallpaper.

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Q: How would you describe the style of your work and products?

A: Others say that I have a style, but I find it difficult to identify it myself.  I do a themed collection each year with my own inspirations and the approach is just the same as creating a painting. All the requirements of balance, colour, scale are the same and I always try to create some three-dimension into my work. I like the idea that although the product is flat, the image isn’t.  This is the main challenge for the medium, as it can’t be manipulated in the same way as paint.  All my inspirations come from something I have seen.

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(Image: Plumage Collection 2019)

Q: What has been the biggest challenge in growing your brand?

A: The biggest challenge has been to resist all trends and all other carpets everywhere. At first, I thought I should concentrate on what it seemed people would like, or what would work with what was happening in the interior design world. My early work was quite restrained.  I thought that people would only seek to find a carpet that they had seen somewhere else. I quite quickly decided that I only wanted to design what I wanted to design.  I loved experimenting with what was technically possible. I have discovered that it is best to be blinkered so that people recognise my work as something different and unexpected.  

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Q: The showroom is amazing, can you tell us why you chose the architect and how people have reacted to the design?

A: Five years ago my showroom was quite a sorry space and not really fit for purpose. A friend suggested a face lift and recommended architect Tim Hatton.  When he first walked in and looked at my carpets he said “This shouldn’t be a showroom, this should be a gallery”.  This is what I had always secretly wished for so he was instantly the architect to make the transformation.  We now always refer to it as ‘the gallery’. The response has been amazing.  We celebrated the opening on the same night that my book was launched, so we had two things to celebrate.  The gallery has made a huge difference to the respect of architects and interior designers and has definitely upgraded the brand.

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Q: What, or who, would be your ultimate client and project/job be?

A: I honestly love working with my dedicated team and all my clients.  Each client is as important as the next and each carpet design challenge is equally important for every client respectively. We do make large freestanding carpets, but I think I would like more large foyer statement pieces. We have a regular personal relationship with our Nepalese company, who are the most creative and helpful people - they take an enormous pride in delivering perfection and on time.

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(Image: Plumage Collection 2019)

Q: Do you have any exciting reveals for the business that you can tell us about?

A: There are some interesting possible collaborations in the diary, which will be exciting. And maybe some wall carpet art that I am working on, which will potentially make for a nice crossover with my painting.

The latest collection for 2019 is called Plumage. Lady Dyson says:

“In this collection I have delved deep into the feathers of pheasants and abstracted designs of ducks.  I singled out some feathers and enfolded carpets with others. Together they make a varied collection of colourful drama and soft luxury.  In creating them, our brilliant craftspeople have succeeded with the most difficult technical challenges I have ever set them.

Lay Dyson’s practice as a fine artist allows her to expertly combine colours to create a beautiful composition that will enhance any surface.  And she skillfully captures the shimmer of the natural oils of a feather through the use of gorgeous silk against a luxurious wool background.

You can discover more about Deirdre Dyson and the latest collection here.

Lady Dyson also has a book, Walking On Art, after which this interview is named. Published by Thames and Hudson and available to purchase, it is a jargon-free intro to carpet design and a coffee table must-have.

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(Image: Plumage Collection 2019)

The Deirdre Dyson showroom address is:

No. 554 King’s Road,



Feature: Rory Robertson

Images: Deirdre Dyson