10.07.2017 (comments: 0)


It is with deep sadness we announce the untimely passing of the wonderful Mark Wilkinson, OBE – inspirational founder of Smallbone and, subsequently, Mark Wilkinson Furniture and a much loved and iconic figure in the world of furniture design.



As the fore-runner and inventor of the “English Country Kitchen look” and creator of the world renowned Smallbone, in his beloved wife Cynthia’s words, “Although he didn’t realise it at the time, that first design of Mark’s was ‘a first’ to hit the market and created the English Country kitchen as we know it today.  It made a cold working environment into the hub of the home, creating the huge fitted kitchen furniture industry we have today worth hundreds of millions and employing thousands”.

Never strangers to being consistently copied, both Mark & Cynthia were intellectual property champions acknowledging and articulating strongly throughout their careers that “origination is expensive, reproducing design is simple because the hard work has been done and although skill is required – it is called copying. This first unregistered design gave birth to an enormous international industry which to date is worth billions, we employed hundreds of people, have helped hundreds of people start their own design businesses, Mark Wilkinson Furniture became design leader and the largest selling company in the industry because we protected our Unregistered Designs”. 

Mark conquered mountains as a dyslexic and was a member of Mensa. He was a Freeman of the Furniture Makers Company and subsequently became a Liveryman and in 2010 Her Majesty The Queen conferred upon him the Order of the British Empire (OBE) For his services to the furniture industry and to charity.tl_files/2017/Mark-Wilkinson-kitchen.jpg

He died at his Wiltshire home and is survived by his wife Cynthia and his children, Victoria and Gregory.

Dids Macdonald, on behalf of ACID said, “In life you sometimes meet people who just stand head and shoulders above the rest. Mark Wilkinson was one of those very special people. He will be sorely missed.”


View an article about Mark's work by his wife Cynthia in our Issue 50 newsletter.

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