Death of kitchen designer Mark Wilkinson OBE

Death of kitchen designer Mark Wilkinson OBE

Mark Wilkinson, one of the best known names in the UK kitchen industry, has died at the age of 66 after a short battle with cancer

Mark Wilkinson at his Wiltshire home

Designer Mark Wilkinson OBE was invariably described as an English eccentric and he was a co-founder of Smallbone of Devizes, the painted kitchen company that blazed a trail for the designer kitchen. In 1981 he set up Mark Wilkinson Furniture, which specialises in classic hand-built luxury kitchens, often with a painted finish. Pictured above: Wilkinson in the kitchen at his home in Wiltshire

Mark Wilkinson OBE, renowned for his high quality luxury kitchens, has died following a short battle with cancer. He was 66 and passed away peacefully at his home in Wiltshire.

A true English eccentric,  Wilkinson was a visionary designer and an exceptionally skilled craftsman and furniture maker. Among other accolades he was a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers, a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers of the City of London; in 2010 he was awarded an OBE for services to the furniture industry and charity. Mark was also a member of MENSA.

 
During his long career his designs ranged from clothing to objet d’art, but it is for furniture that he will be best remembered. In 1977 his first kitchen design in old pine pioneered the English Country kitchen and launched a new industry specialising in this aesthetic and style.. 
 
Mark Wilkinson OBE
Mark was a co-founder of Smallbone of Devizes and in 1981 he founded Mark Wilkinson Furniture. The company was sold to Canburg in 2009 and Wilkinson was made Group Creative Director; he remained involved in the business until his death. 
 
Best described as “furniture alchemy” the designs and artisan making of Mark Wilkinson Furniture carries forward Mark Wilkinson’s values in every piece that the company makes – inspired by a sustainable vision of bespoke furniture, rich with heritage and imbued ith Mark’s infectious creativity.
 
Born in 1950, in north London, Mark’s early educational experiences as a child with dyslexia, informed both professional choices and personal passions. He had a long-standing commitment to supporting charities for dyslexia and the educational needs of children with the disability. He and his wife Cynthia had recently formed the Mark Wilkinson Foundation for Innovation and Employment to help further the ambitions and careers of young people with dyslexia.
 
Wilkinson is survived by Cynthia and their children Victoria and Gregory.
 
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