This week’s Friday Five checks in with designer Mark Gabbertas, who is celebrating 15 years in the design world this year. His career began working as a designer/maker and training as a cabinet maker, which honed his skills in time to set up Gabbertas Studios in 2002. While he comes to the table without formal training, he makes up for it with inspired ideas that have led him to become one of the UK’s most recognized talents. Marking his time in the industry, Gabbertas will be exhibiting some of his previously unseen works in an exhibition entitled exoteric/esoteric during this year’s London Design Festival from September 17th-19th. Check out his five choices that explore people, places, and artistic endeavors.

Friday Five with Mark Gabbertas in main home furnishings  Category

Photo by Richard Foster

1. Nic Fiddian-Green
I have followed the brilliant Nic Fiddian-Green for years, from an entirely realistic and impecunious distance, but my partner is a horse-racing buff and so Mr. FG is where our worlds meet… When we had our CP, the maquette of this was the wedding present from our friends. We are very lucky.

Friday Five with Mark Gabbertas in main home furnishings  Category

Photo courtesy of The National Trust

2. Vistas
I find it quite difficult to express the joy that a view like this [The Wellingtonia Avenue, Biddulph Grange] brings me… The exquisite combination of the graphic and the expansive makes my heart sing… I am in awe of the designer who had this vision originally.

Friday Five with Mark Gabbertas in main home furnishings  Category

Photo by Andy Chopping

3. The Royal Court Theatre
I have been to more or less every production over the last 20 years and this theatre continues to push boundaries and buttons like no other. The experience is not limited to the theatrical and the interior architecture by Haworth Tompkins is quite exceptional. I have been trying to recreate the precise shade of the vermillion wall ever since.

4. Churchyards
I don’t find these morbid, but actually peaceful and reassuring… This is St Nicholas Church in Oddington where we live, and where I want to be buried.

Friday Five with Mark Gabbertas in main home furnishings  Category

5. Chinese calligraphy
I am learning how to do this and it is not easy. This particular style is called cursive script – my attempt is on the left, and the original 16th Century version is on the right. It is interesting to learn something that you will never master.