We speak to Deirdre Dyson, designer of her eponymous carpet collection
I was brought up in a semi-detached suburban home with net curtains and wallpaper.
The first space to have a big impact on me was back in the Seventies, when I was taken down a ramp (surprisingly, not stairs) to the basement of a period mansion that had been transformed into an exciting den of colourful, modern furniture, low lighting, a drinks cabinet and paintings by Craigie Aitchison.
It was by pure accident that I fell into designing carpets. I was looking for a contemporary rug back in the late-’90s and couldn’t find anything. An existing store suggested I designed my own and they would make it. This led to an invitation to design a collection, then to a partnership, then to my own business.
When choosing a rug you should first decide: do you want to make an impact or quietly co-ordinate and which colours do you need to complement or match? If you’re going for quality, pure wool is the best.
I employ the same inspirations and thought processes with both my painting and designing. I make my paintings entirely, but my carpets are made by skilled crafts people. I do not use repeat patterns but rather treat each design as a piece in itself within its own perimeters, like a painting.
At the moment I’ve got my eye on the architect Rémi Tessier. He can visualise the complete finished project from nothing and design the furniture, lighting, kitchens, bathrooms and staircases like sculpture. He is a master of materials, finishes and detailing.
My husband inherited several Georgian pieces, which I love, but I like them best mixed with modern art and items that visually work together, rather than sticking to just one period.
We used to browse antique shops for bargains. One of the first pieces I ever bought was a chaise longue. It still lies in a bedroom, and makes the occasional appearance as a prop for death scenes at opera evenings that we host.
Luxury means soft, fluffy towels, crisp, fresh sheets and not having to paint walls myself.
I wish I could look around my house but way back in 1800 when it was built. I would like to know how some rooms and basement areas were once used.
If money were no object, I would buy more paintings.