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The Fair
June 06, 2023

Colorful and flamboyant may not be the first words that spring to mind when picturing British design but that is precisely what UK brands brought across the pond to ICFF this May. While paying homage to tradition through classical references, designers put an unexpected and decidedly playful twist on things, showing off a penchant for color and surprising materials. Meet the fresh faces of British design that are putting their own twist on tradition.

  • Image courtesy of Wendy Morrison Design

  • Talisman hand-knotted rug

Wendy Morrison is inspired by the beauty of nature, maximalism, and Chinoiserie

Wendy Morrison Design

The artisan-crafted rugs, wallpapers, and fabrics of Wendy Morrison Design are a maximalist’s dream: Splashes of color shimmer and shift across lush patterns who’s motifs have been drawn from nature, woven in silk or hand knotted with velvet.

The namesake behind the brand is Wendy Morrison herself, a Scottish textile designer with a background in fashion who launched the company following a collaboration that found her designing for a rug manufacturer. “It was a turning point,” the brand shares, “the perfect match for her love of color and pattern combined with storytelling. It was the start of a design journey.”

Crewel embroidery

“We all believe beautiful design, created with love, honesty, care and attention to detail, enhances and enriches lives. We celebrate craftsmanship and work with people who are as passionate about what they do as we are” 

—Wendy Morrison Designs

Wendy Morrison Designs is GoodWeave Certified, ensuring that responsibility remains at the core of their business. Working with artisans across the globe—their hand-tufted rugs are made in India, the hand-knotted rugs in Nepal, and hand-embroidered crewelwork is crafted in Kashmir—the brand aims to create lasting relationships with those who create their goods to ensure quality and harmony.

“One of our passions is to keep traditional crafts alive—to help ensure age-old techniques continue,” they share, “We use the highest-quality materials and work with the most skilled weavers, tufters, and embroiderers, supporting small producers, artisan makers, and best working practices.”


Image courtesy of Wendy Morrison Design

Coldharbour Lights

Coldharbour Lights dreams up and produces original feather light shades and chandeliers in their London studio. Lottie Davies, the creative force behind the company, found inspiration for the line in her background as a performer and reflects elements of drama, theater, movement, and play in her work.

Committed to being a carbon-conscious company, the decorative lighting design house handcrafts each piece to order, using sustainably sourced hen and goose feathers from poultry farms that are hand-dyed in the UK.

  • Image courtesy of Coldharbour Lights

  • The Bertie in Flamingo Pink

Abigail Edwards

The hand-drawn patterns from surface designer Abigail Edwards that grace her line of wallpapers, fabrics, and home accessories draw their inspiration from a love of nature and the dreamlike world of fairy tales.

“In this time of maximum connection and communication, life can be overwhelming and it can seem like pattern will add to the effect of noise and overload on our lives,” the artist shares, “But when chosen carefully, pattern can be as functional as it is decorative. My aim is for my designs to contribute to an environment that will enhance wellbeing and enable relaxation. I look to the soothing colors of nature, or to transportive worlds, to take us away from the strife of modern life.”

Inspiration by Abigail Edwards

“Our products are environmentally responsible. The wallpapers and non-woven substrates are sourced from sustainably managed forests and printed at one of the few remaining traditional wallpaper printers in England using non-toxic water-based inks. We were also one of the first in the UK to launch a brand new ECO non-woven that is entirely compostable.”

—Abigail Edwards

Misselthwaite wallpaper in Mist

  • Photo credit Alun Callender

  • A mood board

Rothschild & Bickers

Fellow glassblowers Victoria Rothschild and Mark Bickers found they shared an admiration for heritage craft and the decorative arts while training together at the Royal College of Art in London. They went on to found their studio, Rothschild & Bickers, in 2003 following graduation with their sights set on reinvigorating classical techniques and creating a sustainable production of contemporary glass lighting in the UK.

“We want to showcase skill and design that stimulate the imagination, celebrating the function of decoration and transforming the everyday object into an art form,” explains Rothschild. And those designs are being crafted by their team of glassblowers who spend years training to hone their skills.


Image courtesy of Rothschild & Bickers featuring a Spindle Shade pendant lamp

  • Nouveau pendant lamps

  • The Rothschild and Bickers showroom in London

Photo by Simon Bevan, courtesy of Rothschild & Bickers

  • Blown glass production

  • Opulent Optic suspension pendants were inspired by 18th Century Chinoiserie

The Vintage Light, inspired by the Victorian boudoir

  • Colorful options shown at ICFF 2023

  • A range of lighting on display at ICFF 2023


Nearly a century ago, a simple overhead work lamp was patented and produced by a company in Britain that would light factories and workshops across the country. The iconic Coolicon lampshade offered an innovative design created in enameled metal with vents at the top to allow heat to escape from the 100W bulbs. The vents also allow light to escape through the top of the fixture, reaching up toward the ceiling and reflecting back to create ambient light. This additional benefit of increased illumination created safer working conditions and improved both moods and productivity.

Today, Coolicon creates a range of lighting that builds on the design of the 1933 original. “Following tradition, Coolicon Lighting specializes in batch production craft processes to create some of the finest contemporary lighting hand made in the UK,” the brand shares, “Every product we create is unique; true to the nature of craftsmanship, and with every lampshade comes a unique story to be told.”

The original Coolicon light

A handmade bone china shade being produced for the Craftsmans Collection

A porcelain shade is glazed in zinc

A project featuring a trio of the iconic light shades.

Antinium, a vitreous enamel finish from the Select Palette

The Underground Collection features a colorful enamel map of the London subway system

Donald Baugh

Donald Baugh is a designer and maker creating bespoke furniture and carved vessels. A talented woodworker, his pieces are bold yet simple contemporary creations that allow the beauty of the wood to shine. Baugh works with sustainable woods to create made-to-order items and collectable art pieces.

Donald Baugh with a light he crafted

  • A bespoke casegood by Donald Baugh

  • Details of a hand carved chair

A vessel by Donald Baugh

  • Image courtesy Donald Baugh

  • Image from Jenna Bascom at ICFF 2023