one year later, and a quick question.

Can you believe that it has been almost one full year since I revamped my study (now fondly referred to as the Q Branch)?

  Well, I’m one of those people who do a lot of tweaking at home (not to be confused with twerking, I’m pretty sure I don’t ever do that).  Very few things in my home are static.  I’m always swapping out this for that, or changing things up somehow.

q branch update title

So after posting about my new ‘Q’ on Monday, I thought it would be fun to re-visit the Q Branch in its entirety and show you a couple of tweaks I’ve made in the past year.  If you’d like to first refresh your memory about how this room started out, check it out here.

OK, now let’s start with my wall quote.  Believe it or not I found this at a garage sale for a quarter!

q branch wall quote

I pretty much had to buy it, right?

q branch wall quote close up

After all, sometimes I do literally dream about painting.  And in some ways, I day dream about how to paint particular pieces of furniture and then I really do paint my dream!

If you’ve never tried one of these rub-on wall quotes, I’d encourage you to try one.  You can find them at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, JoAnn Etc, even Target has some I think.  They are fairly easy to apply, you just have to have some patience, go slowly and make sure the letters are sticking to the wall as you pull off the backing paper.  I had a different wall quote on this same wall before I made over the room, so I can tell you from experience that they are very easy to remove when you want to change up your room.

q branch bureau

I’ve refined the display on top of my bureau under the wall quote a little bit too.  The vintage cameras went out to the front porch, the ironstone went out to the Welsh cupboard in the dining room.  I limited the pieces here to vintage items in blues or greens.  I filled my little Eulalie’s Sky hutch with my collection of old flower frogs.

q branch frogs

I moved some toy phones around.

q branch toy phone

I also put this sweet vintage plate out to remind me that spring is just around the corner.  OK, maybe that’s a little optimistic, but it really will be here before we know it.

q branch plate

Remember the old paint brushes I bought at a garage sale last summer?

crusty brushes 1

Well, I found a few more at the thrift store last weekend and I finally got around to doing something with my favorites.

q branch paint brushes

I used my favorite decorating trick, when all else fails hang it on the wall!  There is just something about all of the old bits of paint on these that really appeals to me.

q branch paint brushes close up

The ‘sign’ hanging above the paint brushes is an old drawer front. q branch paint brushes close up 2

It came off the re-styled sideboard I painted back in May 2014.  Here’s the ‘b & a’ of that piece …2014 spring blog14

Yep, see that skinny top drawer in the before photo?  I painted it in Miss Mustard’s French Enamel, added a stencil, and then hung it on my wall.

I didn’t hang all of the old crusty paint brushes though, some hopped into the back of my blue truck …

q branch truck with brushes

Which is currently parked on my rooster cupboard. q branch rooster cupboardI still have my pal Lula hanging out in the corner (just out of view to the right in the above photo), but I’ve changed out the design on the chalkboard chair that hangs on the wall over her head (well, she doesn’t technically have a head, does she?).

q branch chalkboard chair

To draw my logo on the chalkboard I simply printed it out on paper, rubbed chalk all over the back of the paper, and then placed the paper over my chalkboard and traced the design.  Once that was done, I took the paper away and just went back in with sharpened chalk and darkened (lightened?) up the design.  Easy peasy.

I haven’t changed up the desk and chair, or my chalkboard door behind the desk, but this photo gives you a better idea of how the Q looks hanging on the wall.

q branch desk close

q branch desk

I have to laugh, that photo makes the room look positively expansive.  And trust me, it is not.  It’s really only about 9′ square!  Still, it’s the perfect size for a little room of my own where I write my blog.  And you’ll notice that my chair is right next to the radiator, so this time of year I am quite cozy sitting there tapping away on the computer.

Well, there you have it.  The Q Branch one year later.

Before I leave you for today, I want to ask for your opinion.

You’re all familiar with this style of antique brass drawer pulls, right?

blue hardware

So, my questions is, do they stay or do they go?  I have a dresser to work on this weekend (not pictured) and I can’t decide.  Do I keep this style of drawer pull, or do I change them out?

french enamel dresser 2

Do I replace them with glass knobs?


Or do I paint them?

crackled linen side angle

What is your preference?  Original brass drawer pulls, painted pulls or some sort of replacements?

36 thoughts on “one year later, and a quick question.

  1. In my mind I associate this type of handle with inexpensive replacements. But, I do like the looks of them painted. I vote for painted and aged.


    1. Thanks for sharing that Diane. I think it’s always interesting to find out what other people are thinking. I’ve never thought of these as inexpensive replacements. I’ve always thought of them as ‘outdated’ more than anything. They are kind of flimsy though, so I can see where you are coming from. There is a painting technique that I’ve been thinking about trying on some hardware, so I may have to consider that for these.


  2. I like replacing the original knobs for something a bit more updated. I like them painted if they are wood knobs, but I don’t like painted hardware – unless it is the original paint and some of the great chippy paint is left. New knobs on an antique piece makes it look fresh, and not so stuffy, especially if it is a heavy, formal piece.


  3. I like to use original hardware like this. They can be darkened and/or dry brushed with the color you paint the piece. Love your blog!


    1. Hi Sandy! Thanks for the compliment! I prefer to stick with original hardware as much as possible too. But at the same time, this particular style has never been one of my favorites. Then again, I do like how it looks painted and distressed … LOL … see why I’m having trouble with this decision 😉 Thanks for weighing in!


  4. LOL, you’re “pretty sure” you never twerk, ahaha! Maybe it should be your new happy sale dance. As far as the handles, I say keep the original brass. Brass is very in at the moment, especially if it’s not reproduction. I do tend to like the less fussy versions of the brass pulls, but still say keep.


  5. I like the look of the painted hardware. I have some similar painted pulls (not my favorite style either) on my daughter’s dress that have held up perfectly since I’ve acquired the dresser 5 years ago. It’s a sweet look in a little girls room.


    1. One of the definite “pros” in favor of this hardware is that it has already held up for probably close to 100 years, so we know it has staying power. I’m not sure the same can be said for any new replacements! Thanks for you input Jacki!


  6. Completely depends on the piece of furniture and the vibe or look your trying to achieve. Shabby chic, farmhouse-paint them. Vintage, antique, old world-leave them as is. Retro, modern, trendy-new knobs. BUT always depends on the piece! That’s my thoughts but as I always say, Linda your the talent and nothing you have ever made fabulous has been anything less.


    1. Nikkii you are too kind! You’ve also really clarified my dilemma. I need to pick a style first, and then make this decision. The dresser in question really doesn’t lend itself toward retro/modern. It could easily be either farmhouse or old world though. I have stripped the top down to wood already, and I’m getting a distinct farmhouse vibe. You’ve helped me realize that I need to head in that direction. Thanks Nikkii!


  7. Great entry! Loved the before and after photos and reflections.

    I say stay with the original. I do like the painted ones but the originals have some great character?


  8. I’m with Nikkii…it mostly depends on the piece and what you feel for that look on that day. They almost always turn out great no matter which way you go. My personal preference is the painted look…but there has to be the “aged” look to make sure it doesn’t look like you just painted over it. Know what I mean? It’s almost like my Mom’s version of repainting furniture, versus the correct way! Lol. No offense Mom.


  9. First off I did think the Q branch was a really big room. My husband has a 9′ x 10′ home office so I can appreciate the size of yours. There are so many things to love about this space. That quote on the wall about painting is totally perfect. Love that you decided to hang the paint brushes and let the truck haul the others, the use of stencils to add character and age – also fab. One of my favs is hanging chair chalkboard. I can see how being here inspires the blog.
    I am a huge fan of painted hardware. I first saw it when I worked in a furniture store carrying some pricey brands. The style of this particular hardware looks old like it could be original to the piece and the scale is right for it. I admit that it bothers me when the hardware is replaced and the size isn’t in proportion to the piece of furniture. Like Alice in Wonderland when she changes sizes. That said I do love all the oversized knobs Mackenzie-Child’s adds to their funky quirky furniture. So there are always exceptions. Lol!


    1. Thanks for your comments on the Q Branch Victoria! It definitely is an inspiring space (and cozily small). I’m with you, I have a hard time when hardware is not scaled to the piece correctly. I think we can all probably agree that I am not particularly ‘funky quirky’. Although I can appreciate that style for others, I’m sure I won’t go that direction myself 😉 The hardware on the piece in question is likely original to the dresser. The more I study it with everyone’s comments in mind, the more I’m leaning towards leaving it as is!


      1. Let me add I always go with what kind of feeling or as other s have said vibe I am trying to achieve. Yep – as for funky quirky I should have added just not in my house.


    1. LOL, I thought I was the one who did everything the hard way! That’s why I like to share tips like these with people, so they don’t have to learn the hard way themselves. Happy weekend to you too A.H. I am getting a long one, off today and Monday from the day job. The forecast here is dire though, windchills of up to 40 below zero by Sunday. Brrrrrrr ….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think there are too many of us “hard way” gals out there. I can’t wait to test this out. Enjoy your long weekend, and stay warm. Yikes….40 below – what is that? LOL


  10. The unpainted top of the dresser and the wood showing through the paint of the drawers has a dark, warm feel, much like the brass. There is something very nice about the pulls bringing out this warm color to contrast the cool of the paint. If the wood were lighter, I could see a more opaque paint for the brass pulls. Tough decision.


    1. The piece I’m working on will also have a waxed wood top, but will be painted in MMS Marzipan (a warm, almond-ish white). So you might be right about the warmth working well with brass. Good points! Thanks Holly.


  11. Thanks for explaining “Q Branch” … I never caught on what it actually was, and now I know!
    As for the hardware, I always decide based on the weight and feel of the piece. If it’s heavy and sturdy and has a good feel to it, I try to keep it. And if that means painting and distressing it to match it’s new makeover, I have no problem doing that. But if it’s that cheap, flimsy brass, I only think that brings a piece down, so I would replace it.
    All of your pieces are lovely, so you clearly know what you’re doing! 😀


  12. What I like about your home is that you use items in an unexpected way, which makes them doubly interesting. Love the repurposed drawer front and the crusty, worn paintbrushes hanging below, banner style. As to the hardware dilemma, I vote for creating the look you want with the dresser and then deciding which hardware iteration will best complete the look.


    1. Thanks Joyce! I did work on the dresser yesterday and so far I have left the pulls unpainted and kept them with the dresser. But, I ran into some interesting results with the paint job. I’ll be sharing a post about it soon, so stay tuned.


  13. If it’s original, quality hardware then I’m a fan of keeping it in its original glory. Sometimes a piece calls for painting it. I have to admit I’m driven by $$. The bigger the bargain the more I love it!


    1. Yep, it’s original. I’ve seen reproduction versions of this style hardware, but this is real McCoy. You are right, keeping the original hardware is definitely the best bargain! Adding new hardware to a piece can get expensive.


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