International award for kitchen designer and maker from Athlone

Mark Hand of Hand Built Designs, originally from Athlone, recently received the accolade of most outstanding designer in the inaugural Marion John Design Awards initiated by The Federation of Kitchen and Bathroom Designers.

Hand Built Designs, established in 1998 by Mark Hand, specialises in bespoke kitchens and occasional furniture. Mark was chosen by a panel of experienced international experts in this field for his entry based on a specific kitchen project for a restored traditional cottage in east county Galway.

Speaking at the award presentation Garry Milligan, FKBD, commented, “Following a large entry from all over the UK and Ireland Mark’s design stood out for the judges and was chosen to be the best entry for a kitchen using bespoke products. The kitchen he designed and built for a little cottage was really beautiful. Not only did it satisfy the client’s wish list, but it looked superb and offered a practical working space in a very restricted area. This award is well deserved.”

Originally from Athlone, reared in The Hill of Berries area, Mark was one of six children, attending primary school in Dean Kelly NS. He began his design career in the late 80s in GMIT Galway in Visual Education, and from there continued to degree level in fine art in the University of Ulster at Belfast specialising in sculpture. While studying he had the opportunity to travel on an Erasmus programme to France at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Marseille.

In the mid-90s he worked in the art department on film and television projects in London including Disney’s Stick with me kid and Carlton TV’s soap opera London Bridge as well as other commercial and independent productions.

To arrange an appointment with Hand Built Designs, connect with Mark on Facebook at Hand Built Designs - Mark Hand, and view a gallery of his work on


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