Category Archives: English Kitchen Companies

Mark Wilkinson Obe

MW

 

 

 

 

 

I was in London, when I heard the sad news. For somone who has been part of the European Kitchen Design business for more than 30 years, Mark Wilkinson was one of the greats.

Directly out of the Mark Wilkinson’s web site:

It is with great sadness that Canburg announces that Mark Wilkinson OBE, one of the world’s most influential designers has passed away peacefully at his home in Wiltshire.
A truly English “eccentric” Mark Wilkinson was a visionary designer and an exceptionally skilled craftsman and furniture maker. Amongst 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 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. 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 Mark 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 with 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.

SplinterWorks – Functional Sculpture

Formed in 2009, by Miles Hartwell and Matt Withington and located just south of London, SplinterWorks is one of the best examples of ‘applied arts‘ I’ve seen in recent years. They have delivered projects all over the world,  in the USA, UAE, Southern Ireland, Cyprus, France, Italy and even one in Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SplinterWorks have a particular affinity with developing work that re-thinks how we prepare, cook and experience food. They bring the activities of the kitchenout of the grid shaped room at the back of the house and into the living areas creating works to be enjoyed socially, physically and visually.

The art of kitchen design, by SplinterWorks

 

 

 

 

 

 

The majority of their works are unique commissions where every element, from the intended location and practical elements, to striking a personal resonance with the commissioner, can be considered and accomplished.

Concept of the kitchen design that turns into art Developing work that re-thinks how we prepare, cook and experience food.

my personal top 20 European kitchen brands

After many requests and lots of diliberations I’ve decided to post my own top 20 European brands. Top 20 European kitchen companies, because I simply felt that there are too many great European kitchen brands to limit the list to just top 10.

My Top 20 is based on the following criteria’s:

  • DESIGN – overall product design, esthetics and selection depth (colors, materials, design elements, etc.).
  • PRODUCT INNOVATION – is this a kitchen brand that takes risks, that is on the cutting edge of technology and innovates or just a company that copies others?
  • PRODUCT QUALITY – how well made is the product? Does the company ‘cuts corners’?
  • SERVICE – delivery on time, delivers complete orders, ‘after sale’ service, etc.

I have chosen not to take into consideration COMPANY SIZE, as there is no real direct benefit to the buyer and I’ve already listed the 10 largest European brands.

I also did not factor VALUE because I feel that value is very individual – what one consumer sees as a great value, another may view as cheap. Webster’s definition of Value is – “a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged”. Once a kitchen brand has top design, innovation, quality and service, the price will always be higher. Surprizingly, there are a few kitchen brands on this list that have a pretty good value, as well as ranking high on all the other categories.

In the Top 20 European Kitchen 11 Italian kitchen brands, 7 German kitchen companies, one English and one French are in the above list.

So, without further a due and in alphabetical order here are my Top 20 European kitchen Brands:

The Top 20 European Kitchen Brands
The Best of the Best in European Kitchen Design
European Kitchens at the Top
The Top Twenty European Kitchen Companies