Finally after 12 days of rain, the sun came out yesterday, only to disappear again behind this morning's thunderstorms. It's been a gloomy two weeks of gray skies and and indoor living. It helps to have things in your home that make you smile.
For me, it's framed photos that bring back memories of fun times and some of the pieces in my collection of John Lennon's artwork. (A great songwriter, but also a great humorist, which comes through in many of his drawings.) Then there's the "happy mistake": The bathroom the painter painted the wrong color - but which I ended up keeping because every time I walked in the room, it made me smile.
Walking thorough ICFF this year, there were a few home accessory designers who set out, tongue in cheek, to give you a chuckle and, perhaps, bring a smile into your home.
The first table I saw at the back of the show in an area known as "The Mart" was Heather Lins Home. I immediately loved this couple. They were having a great time exhibiting their line of screen-printed accessories and were fun to talk with. Heather calls her business a "doodle factory" where sketches grow up to become real things. She's inspired by the ordinary and has based her collection on images that are readily identifiable but show up somewhere unexpected.
Her square and rectangular "Conversation Pieces" are a series of throw pillows that she calls "an ode to the art of conversation." Her "Eye Chart," with what appears to be a slightly blurry rendition of the familiar on a 17" x 17" pillow, is packaged with a pair of 3-D glasses that will bring this playful take on an icon of modern life into full focus. Heather also showed a line of place mats, napkins and coasters called Numbered Edition.
Further down the aisle where the British were bringing their wry humor to the party, I found Thelermont Hupton. This award-winning team of designers from London reinvent everyday objects with an irreverence for the mundane. They showed a range of witty home accessories and table top items, but it was their collections of wall hooks that brought a smile to my face. "Hand Jobs," lacquered coat hooks - or wall art, if you prefer - are modeled on familiar hand gestures. The kitchen themed "Stuck on You Hooks" are described by the designers as "pre-thrown cutlery."
(Click on pictures for full-sized photos.)