Industry Profile: Mark Gillette

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Renowned for his creative intelligence, Mark Gillette has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of movements in art and design. Drawing on the assistance of scores of respected artisans, artists and dealers, Mark’s expertise and fluent design talent are second to none. Celebrating two decades of design this year, his practice is rightfully regarded as one of the top interior design firms in the UK. From Georgian mansions to Art Deco apartments, from Salzburg, to London, to St Moritz, it seems there is no end to the talent of this dedicated and passionate design enthusiast. We caught up with Mark to find out more about his plans, inspirations, and dream projects.

What first drew you into the world of interior design? 

I found a copy of World of Interiors when I was a teenager and was completely absorbed in what I saw and read.  My father was a historian and I grew up surrounded by his collection of antiquities.  I loved the stories behind the pieces and this gave me a huge interest in historical artifacts.

Entrance hall to a family home by Mark Gillette

What would you say is your biggest inspiration as a designer?

I am fascinated by the history of interior design especially the references from 19th and 20th Centuries.  I take inspiration from American design themes as well as European.

Kitchen in Georgian masion by Mark Gillette

If you could describe your work in 3 words, what would they be? 

Quality, Longevity, Appropriate.

What is the biggest challenge in your working life?  

With communications and fashions changing so quickly, it is a challenge keeping up to date with the latest ideas and trends.  

Art Deco apartment by Mark Gillette

What would you say is your favourite work so far?  

Any current project as it nears completion.  My favourite part of any project is seeing the finished work.

If you could design a space anywhere, where would it be?

I love working in distinctive landscapes, the mountains or by the sea.  I also think my design style translates well to the US:  I love the Hampton look and would love to work there.

Library in family home by Mark Gillette

You have worked across a variety of projects, from commercial to residential, which do you prefer?

I enjoy residential projects and the relationships that you develop but commercial projects are exciting as they bring different challenges.

Art Deco apartment by Mark Gillette

Are there any new projects on the horizon? 

We are currently working on a Finca in Majorca, a contemporary circular private residence in Yorkshire, a new family home in Teddington, and a 82ft luxury motor yacht in Spain

Hallway in Georgian mansion by Mark Gillette

As a renowned figure within the industry, what would your advice be for aspiring designers?  

Knowledge is the key to success and I would advise any aspiring designer to understand the history of decorative arts – when you understand something you can work with it and create change.  Product knowledge is also very important as is the ability to listen!