Mark Wilkinson: 1950-2017
Renowned kitchen designer Mark Wilkinson died on 5 July after a short battle with cancer. He was 66 and passed away peacefully at his home in Wiltshire surrounded by his wife and children.
During his long career his designs ranged from clothing to object 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 of living.
He co-founded of Smallbone of Devizes and in 1981 founded Mark Wilkinson Furniture. The company was sold to Canburg in 2009 and he was made group creative director and remained involved in the business until his death.
Wilkinson was a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers; a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers; a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute and a member of MENSA. In 2010 he was awarded an OBE for services to the furniture industry and charity.
Born in north London, Wilkinson’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.
He is survived by Cynthia, and his children, Victoria and Gregory.