17th Century Mill, Northamptonshire

Susan Rose China - The White Kitchen Company

A project we have been lucky enough to return to for the second time since the Roses moved into their home, a beautiful 17th-century Mill. It was the first Mill built on the river Nene, which runs throughout Northamptonshire.

A busy household, Susan has her own ceramics business, ‘Susan Rose China’, whilst her husband, Charles, is a Doctor. We had the chance to chat with Susan about her career journey and the inspiration it had behind her kitchen design.

 Black Shaker Kitchen - The White Kitchen Company

Tell us a bit about you and how you started your own business.

"My in-laws moved up to Northamptonshire in 1990 to be near us as we were living in the next-door village and Charles was working as a GP in Daventry. I grew up 30 miles away in Turvey, Bedfordshire, and have always lived and worked from home in the country. I studied graphics at art school, but I have always been fascinated by English Bone China.

One of my first jobs as a self-employed designer was working for an interior designer near Oundle, Anne Harvey. As part of my work, I was asked to design tiles with the Marlborough Tiles flagship store in Sloane Square, London. I told them I could of course paint and fire ceramics (which was not true), but I was determined to learn. My father lent me the money for a kiln and I taught myself to paint on tiles.

The first were a disaster, but Sloane Square Tiles stuck with me and the rest is history.

I now have an English Bone China business in Stoke and we are a team of 7 / 8 people producing personalised English Bone China for corporate & retail clients."


The White Kitchen Company - Cosy Kitchens

We absolutely love your home, it’s full of character! What was the importance and inspiration behind your design choices?

"We love cooking and food, so the kitchen is probably the most important room in the house. We love our kitchen design to be quite unfussy and practical! For us, the kitchen is the centre of life in the house, so one end is practical, and the other end has comfortable chairs and a sofa where we can sit and chat while someone is cooking or relaxing. We do not have a television in the kitchen, only a radio!

We chose a dark colour for the kitchen units but kept the walls light as we wanted to make a contrast and a statement. I love history, so our kitchen tiles tell a story through a series of tiles with addresses & corresponding stamps to look like envelopes."


Susan Rose China - The White Kitchen Company

What made you choose The White Kitchen Company, and do you have any advice for anyone starting out their kitchen design?

"I have always found The White Kitchen Company incredibly helpful & they have great design ideas. So, for anyone starting out, just listen to some of their fantastic ideas and advice!"