the q branch.

At first I thought Mr. Q’s idea of calling my former craft room ‘the Q branch’ was kind of dorky.  But the thing is, I am a huge Bond fan (which he knew).  I don’t have a favorite Bond, I love them all equally.  Well … maybe I’m a tiny bit partial to Daniel Craig.  I mean, who isn’t?


Oops.  Got distracted there for a moment.

Anyway, what really sold me in the end was the fact that I found a fabulous logo for it!


Well, maybe if I could edit out the guns … those aren’t really appropriate.  Could I somehow change them into paint brushes?  I’ll have to work on that.  But really, the motto?  Always have an escape plan?  It couldn’t be more perfect.

But meanwhile, I bet you all want to see a final post with everything pulled together in the Q branch!  And I bet you also wouldn’t mind knowing how much I spent on the total room makeover would you?  Well, read on, all is about to be revealed.

First of all, with nnK’s help, I repainted the walls and ceiling in the room using paint that I already had.  The wall color is a mixture of the two colors I used for my living room stripes, and the ceiling paint is the same blue I used in my living room also.  I had quite a bit of paint left over from those earlier projects, so I didn’t have to buy any paint for this makeover.  The cost for paint, $0.

study paint job

Next (after giving the floor a really good cleaning), I brought in the chippy farmhouse cupboard.  I paid $195 for it on craigslist.  I paid $4 for the rooster feed sack.  The drawer pulls were some that I already had on hand.  I used about a cup of milk paint, plus quite a lot of antiquing wax, so let’s call that about $20.  All in all, I spent about $219 on the farmhouse cupboard.  However, I’ll be selling my previous cupboard and am hoping to get $225 for it, a net gain of $6.

rooster cupboard

The desk is a table that I paid $20 for at a garage sale last summer.  The french cane back chair came from craigslist last winter, and I paid $25 for it.  The door behind the desk is one that I painted a couple of years back.  I hauled it out of a dumpster, $0.  So, I spent about $45 for the new desk, but I have already sold my old desk on craigslist for $225.  So, a net gain of $180.  So far, I seem to be making money on this makeover!

study desk w french chair

Naturally I brought Lula back into the room, but she resides in the opposite corner from where she used to be.  I shared her story with you a while back, in which I mentioned that she was cobbled together from a Styrofoam manikin that was free.  Behind her I hung an old rusty child sized folding chair that I turned into a chalkboard.  My friend Michelle gave me this chair to see if it could be saved.  It’s another item that was for sale at my last sale, but had no takers.  The cost for these, $0.

Lula at q branch

On the opposite wall, I kept the dresser that was here before, but gave it a new paint job.  I used about $10 worth of paint, and I gave this piece all new knobs from Hobby Lobby.  I purchased them at 50% off (never, never, never pay full price for these at Hobby Lobby, they go on sale all the time), still the knobs set me back $40 because I needed 16 of them! The cost here, $50.

q branch dresser wall

I already had all of the wooden crates.  I grab them whenever I see them at garage sales and usually use them to display items at my Carriage House sale.  I’m going to have to find some more before my sale next June!  I had fun filling them up with some of my favorite vintage things.

q dresser collage

The ladder is one that I hauled in from the Carriage House.  I’m not even sure where this ladder came from, it might be one that came with the place.  We found a few old wooden ladders stashed in the rafters out there.  I added my newly painted tackle box, a cyclamen potted in an old flour sifter, a vintage camera, some old books and a toy phone.  I have an idea for a future project involving this ladder, but for now I kind of like it as is.

q branch ladder

Over on the other side of the dresser is the chippy chair that didn’t make the cut for a desk chair.  I added a seat cushion from H & M Home.  Above the chair I hung an old washboard to use as a magnetic board and added an old photo of my mom when she was little.

q branch collage

The second most expensive piece in the room was the rug.  It was $180 from  Initially I wasn’t going to splurge on it, but I felt like the room needed a rug to really look pulled together.  Even Mr. Q agrees that the rug did a lot to make the room seem more cozy.

q branch carpet

I kept my existing window treatment, which is nothing more than a vintage embroidered cutwork tablecloth hung over the window (although it is hard to see in this photo), along with my ‘inspire’ banner.

As you are about to leave the Q branch, you’ll notice that I hung some of my ironstone plates over the arched entryway.  This was my friend Meggan’s idea.  I had mentioned to her that I really wanted to keep these in the room, but wasn’t sure where to put them.  She came up with the idea of hanging them over the arch, and don’t they look fab?  Clever idea Meggan!  Thanks!

q plates 2

So, if you are keeping track, once I sell the black cupboard I should be out only about $50 for this entire room makeover.  Not bad, right?

On another note, I’ve had a couple of people mention that it’s hard to get a feel for the layout of my rooms.  So I took a couple of photos to help put the location of this room into perspective for you.

q branch location 1

It is just through an opening off the piano room.  See where the Kitchen Scale buffet normally resides?  When I do photo furniture shoots in winter, I move that buffet to the other side of that arched opening and use that space for staging furniture.  It works fairly well because I have the buffet on those felt slider thingies, so it’s easy to just push it over, and then push it back when I am done.

Here is another angle into the Q branch.

q branch location 2These photos explain why I felt a need to make this room prettier.  It really is on display to anyone coming into our home.  It also really needed to flow color-wise, which it does much better now.  Hopefully now that I have spruced the room up a bit, and helped make it more functional, I’ll be able to keep it tidy.  I’m really happy with the results of my makeover.  I spend a lot of time in the Q branch writing up blog posts and editing photos, so it will be nice to have a lovely room for it!

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28 thoughts on “the q branch.

  1. What a beautiful space! You did such a great job pulling items together, I could gush on and on about how much I love the little desk and the ladder and the washboard and the ironstone platters…! Seriously, what a huge change and it really flows so well from your other rooms. I love to see more of your room photos, I am constantly in a debate with myself about which pieces of furniture to paint, and how to get multiple painted pieces to work together. Your style just speaks to me, and your upgrade is so inspiring!


    1. I struggle with that same issue, how many pieces to paint? How many different colors? I don’t want my rooms to look like a disparate mix of different colored furniture, but at the same time, I also don’t want to have all matching pieces either. That was why I chose to paint the large dresser in a very neutral color that was just a shade darker than the walls, and the desk in a blue that was just a bit darker than the cupboard. Then there are the white chair and the white chalkboard door. So, all together I have 5 different painted pieces in this room plus the wood tones of the desktop, crates and washboard. Yet the room still feels serene and not overly busy because most of the colors are neutral with just the one large cupboard in a ‘loud’ color. – Thanks Anya!


  2. I absolutely love your new logo. It is so perfect, except for the guns, of course. But there is such a thing as a paint gun so maybe if there was a little paint squirting out of the barrel, it would be a fun play on “getting fired up for a new project.”


    1. It is cute isn’t it. I can’t really use it though, I’m sure there are copyright laws and all that mumbo jumbo. It was fun for the post though! Or … hey, maybe I can put it on my chalkboard … hmmm, that could be kind of fun!


  3. Fabulous! I really love all your little touches, btw – I have that little seat pad too – No.1 Delivery, got it over here in the UK from a store called H&M.


    1. I was jealous of you Brits for so long because you had H & M and we didn’t. We got the clothing stores a while back, but they finally made the home goods available to us in the U.S. last year some time. There isn’t an actual brick & mortar store near me, but I can order online now. My shower curtain is from H & M also! Well, and so is my duvet cover for that matter. Love their stuff! I officially thank the UK for sharing H & M with us!


  4. You did a wonderful job on the makeover. I love it all but your blue ceilings are beautiful. Love that you broke down the cost. You are proof that you can make something fabulous with time, patience to find the right things and little money. Thank you for sharing


    1. Thanks Donna! I have to say, I really love my blue ceilings! I know it’s totally goofy, but sometimes I just lie on the sofa and look up and admire them. I probably shouldn’t have admitted that out loud 😉 Hope you enjoy your time in Florida, try not to think of us poor slobs left here in Minnesota while you are gone!


  5. I really liked the way you tied the rooms together. The solid color of the office walls is the same color as the stripe in the adjoining room, the rug blends with it beautifully, and the touches of aqua and so happy. The color of the crates matches the floor, the kitchen scale buffet color seems to melt into the deeper blue of the new piece in the office…this is really excellent. It has the most serene feel and comfortable feeling about it. You aced it. (It was enjoyable to see the rooms together. It makes one think, “Oh, I really get this now.’)


    1. Maybe you have some ideas what the original purpose of this room would have been. As you can see, it is just right off what would have been considered the dining room (the room where the kitchen scale buffet is). It’s a fairly small room, about 9′ x 9′. It has no closet. Maybe just a small parlor? No one had home offices in 1904, right?


      1. If you email me a picture of the front of your house, I will look it up in my book to see if I can find the original floor plan. In case you don’t have my email any more, it is If your house is in my book of houses and floor plans, the mystery will be solved. I could tell you what the room was if I was in your house, but I don’t really have a grasp of the house except for the two rooms which you showed in this post. I don’t know where the front door is, etc. I meant to tell you in my first reply that I really appreciate the way you share with your readers the entire financial picture of the furniture you paint (and other things.) I often look on Craigslist for northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin for furniture for the shop, but it is all too expensive for me to go get, clean, fix, restore finish, replace missing handles, etc. and still make a profit with all the overhead of a shop. The prices are really high here. I’ve never seen a piece of vintage furniture on CL for less than 250.00 and most of the time it is between 500–700.00. Way more than I could pay for it. Yesterday, a woman called me and she said that “they” had some vintage furniture for sale. I drive the 16 miles to her house today. I bought one thing they had that was from the 1920s. They were asking prices on things that ranged from 300.00 to 4000.00. 4000.00!!! Hello? Reality check!


      2. I totally get what you are saying. I think the only reason that the furniture re-do thing works for me is because I don’t have any overhead to cover, and also because I do it for enjoyment. If I had to factor in how many hours I put into it, I suspect I would be making about $10 an hour or something for my time (if that much). And I know the piece I am working on now would have me in the hole. There is a ton of competition in the Twin Cities for pieces suitable for painting that are priced under $100. Out of every piece I inquire about, I probably only end up with about a third of them. The rest are snatched up before I can get there. That being said though, I do find that pieces priced right at $100 or just a little higher are easy to come by here. Although the profit margin is lower on these pieces, they are usually in better shape. I would be seriously bummed if the prices were $250 or higher like you are seeing where you are! I’m going to send you an email about my house, hope you can solve the mystery of the q branch!


  6. Love the punch of texture the rug brings and Lula is divine – missed that post more accurately I had yet to find “the Quandie” as of October 2013. Love her story went back and read it today. I have seen these forms and never wanted one until today. She has stole my heart – pearls and all. Tell the truth now you are Sheldon Cooper’s real twin sister and he allows you and only you to borrow his flash costume….I knew it! How in the world do you get so much done so quickly? The whole space is a charmer.


    1. LOL! Oh my gosh Victoria, that totally cracked me up! Mr. Q and I are huge fans of the Big Bang, and you totally gave me a mental picture of myself running around in Sheldon’s costume in super speed mode. I wish I had that suit! Wouldn’t that be handy. The truth is that the makeover is the result of a marathon 3-day weekend (had MLK day off at the day job), and in the end absolutely nothing else got done that weekend, including laundry. I got all of the major tasks done, and then spent the next week adding the finishing touches. And voila!


  7. Linda, you are amazing. It came together so beautifully! It’s incredible what finishing touches do, because I already thought it looked fab, but it is really stunning! Love what you did with the flour sifter, what a find that was. I love every little detail in the Q Branch 😉 I’m sure you could whip up a graphic in pic monkey! Love, love, love.


    1. I love the color on that flour sifter! I think I left it out of the thrift store finds picture because I already had it in place in the q branch. It may be my favorite find from our field trip.


  8. If you wanted the sign to look more authentic, “Always have an escape plan” in Latin is “Semper ad effugium consilium.”


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