design shows

icff 2008: part one

by Grace Bonney

in an effort to not totally crash the site with huge images, i’m going to break down my icff coverage into a few parts over 2-3 days. for me, this year’s show was all about four things: looking for interesting texture, color, pattern and new talent. overall, the show left me wanting for most of those categories but there were definitely a few stand-out booths (and old-favorites) that didn’t disappoint. so today i’m going to start with a selection of my favorites. also, if you’ll allow me a quick geek-out moment, i had to share that my first day at icff started by seeing joshua jackson and diane kruger at the niche modern booth. i was trying to listen to everyone in the booth talk, but as a former pacey-mega fan it was pretty tough to drown out the “do-doo doo doo doo” of the dawson’s creek theme song in my head. anyway, it was a pretty fun way to kick off icff. so, back to design…

for me, the most memorable booth of the entire icff belonged to welsh silversmith miranda meilleur. in addition to producing some of the most incredible metalwork, she also happened to be one of the friendliest people we spoke to at the fair. miranda’s work really speaks for itself but if i could describe my happiness after leaving her booth it would be best explained as a loud squeal- it was such a delight to see such incredible work and craftsmanship in person. miranda is definitely someone we’ll be see a lot of in the future.

i’m continuing with the UK artists because they were the strongest grouping at the show for me. their focus on hand-painted wallpaper and the use of embroidery in textiles really blew me away. one of my favorite artists in the section was kevin dean, whose hand-painted wallpapers made me want to create a hand-painted english garden in my home. kevin showed a lot of different work in his booth (including designs for marble and ceramic surfaces) but these papers were my absolute favorite.

i’d be remiss to mention hand-made wallpapers and not continue with british designer claire coles, who i’ve been a fan of since her previous showing at icff. this year claire showed some incredible new designs made on top of vintage papers and silk textiles- all with hand embroidering and bits of vintage fabric. claire also had some gorgeous ceramics on display…

we mentioned british designers miss print last week in the pre-show coverage but i had to add some more photos of their incredible booth. i love the way they framed each print like a tiny work of art. i could have set up camp and lived happily in their booth for weeks.

just a quick shot of the lovely jocelyn warner– whose new rug designs were even lovelier in person.

a beautiful mirrored chandelier, sconce and clock from claire requa– despite looking like heavy mirror, they’re actually light as a feather and come flat-packed.

this lighting from fionna gall really has to be seen in person to be full appreciated. fiona uses bits of glass and wire to create her handmade, sculptural ‘emerald faerie‘ line of lighting. i could have lied under her chandelier all afternoon- the shadows it cast underneath for simply stunning.

a quick, bright shot of texture courtesy of anne kyyro quinn.

fun and whimsical- pot and knife hooks from thelermont hupton design.

do you remember the part of sex and the city where carrie goes up to a shoe in a display window and says, “hello, lover“? well, that was me in front of these tables. i think kristina thought i was crazy but i seriously wanted to drag one of these out with me. something about those thick, dark chunks of wood contrasted with the bright white powder-coated steel bases just got me. oh to have an extra grand (or 2 or 3) to drop on one of these tables.

last, but definitely not least, is brooklyn designer lindsey adelman‘s incredible lighting booth. we mentioned her latest lighting last week but i was blown away by the DIY decorating in her booth. from far away you could see the glimmer of gold from the bottom half of her section and upon further inspection i discovered it was actually thousands of tiny gold stickers. my mind started racing with the possibilities- it would be so fun to do an entire mural of these in a sun room where the light could create a shimmering effect. but beautiful golden stickers aside, lindsey’s work was lovely as always- as were the drawings of her lights on the back wall of the booth.

Suggested For You


  • Hello Design*Sponge!!! Love your blog – and check it daily!! I went to the ICFF too, and I totally agree with you on miranda meilleur – i had researched her before my visit – and her work is so stunning – I’m so happy you gave her a shout out!! I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of your pics!! Im spreading mine out over a few posts too – please check my blog out if you’d like!!! Very best, and Happy Monday! Lauren

  • WOW! What amazing designs!!! I have to say that my eyes went to that embroidered and hand-painted wallpaper…and those gold stickers!!! I think I may have to get on to a little diy myself, hmm? The hand-painted wallpaper…that’ll have to wait ;)

  • Oh my. I am always really impressed with ICFF–I was not able to go this year but this is even better, you’ve found all the good stuff! :-) I too am struck by the sensitivity and beauty of Miranda Meilleur’s work–so clever and lovely. And the Thelermont pot decor–fantastic!

  • I want it all!!
    Thanks Grace for covering this show for those who aren’t in the neighborhood (or that part of the country/world) and can’t easily attend. This was wonderful! I can’t wait for more pictures!!

  • I love these prints they are amazing. I am a designer as well and am so inspired by the frames with the prints inside….
    Love it thanks for this post.

  • Not know much about how big this show is, this must surely be impressive editing skills – I love every single thing you picked to show us. Just gorgeous.

  • Miranda was definitely the best all around there. Great attitude, great work, great. I remember her work more than any other.


    p.s.Me? Think you’re crazy?? In order for me to think somebody is crazy, they pretty much have to be a load shy of a full load…

  • I took the same exact Anne Kyyro Quinn shot – those orange felt things were fantastic! And I totally agree – I thought the Emerald Faerie lighting was a highlight. She did a beautiful job of showing it off with a black background – twinkly and delicate.
    It looks like you caught some other things I missed – I’ll look forward to your coverage!

  • One of each, please! Such great eye candy. Lindsey’s booth is amazing! Thanks for the great coverage so far.

  • oh my goodness, i think i just fell in love with claire coles’s wallpaper… it is totally amazing… and she must have incredible patience!
    lovely lovely….

  • marie-agnes

    they may not have their full selection on the website- or they may be new for the show.

    a lot of companies debut new pieces at the show and then add the pieces to their site afterwards.


  • I also feel like some of the strongest work at the show was seen in miranda meilleur’s and lindsey adelman’s exhibits. Dform also had great new work.

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.