the q branch.

Yesterday my handyman/neighbor Ken and I worked on a project in my piano room that is almost finished, and I’m so excited to share it with you guys.  I’m planning to have that room ready for next Wednesday’s room tour.

In the meantime, before I get to today’s room tour, I have to tell you all that we’re feeling pretty fortunate here at our house.  We had a ferocious (Mr. Q’s word) storm blow through here on Monday night and the maple tree in our front year came down.

I’m a bit bummed because this tree had finally gotten to the right size to block the street light from our bedroom window.  I also really enjoyed listening to birds singing in this tree in the early morning hours.  However it missed our front porch by about a foot, which is incredibly lucky.  It didn’t do any damage at all except to one little corner of my front garden.

As you can see, there are plenty of bigger trees around our house that would have done much more damage if they had come down.

Not only that, but when we got up in the morning there was a tree service company working a block over so I asked them if they’d look at my tree too.  While they were at it, I also asked them to take down the pear tree in my front yard.  It didn’t do well over last winter and was looking pretty sad (you can just see it to the left in the photo above).  I had been thinking about having that one cut down anyway.

They had both trees down, everything hauled away, and my entire yard cleaned up by 9 a.m.

So although our front yard feels a little barren now, and we feel a little more exposed,  we’re definitely going to have fewer leaves to rake this fall.  Overall we are counting our blessings because this certainly could have been much worse.

  OK, on with today’s normally scheduled programming.  We are heading inside to tour a branch of a different kind, the q branch.

This room is directly off the piano room and I have no idea what purpose it was originally meant to serve.  Possibly it was just small sitting room all along, or it could have been a very small main floor bedroom at one time.

We’ve tried a number of different looks for this room.  It once housed my dollhouse, which basically took up the entire space.  Then we turned it into a small dining room, which we never actually used.

Now it is the q branch, or my study, and it gets more use than it ever did before.  I last redecorated this room back in January 2015 (oh my gosh, can you believe that was over four years ago!).  Mr. Q is the one who thought it should be called the q branch.  If you’re not a James Bond fan, the q branch is the fictional research and development segment of the British Secret Service in the Bond movies.  Clearly it was the perfect name for the room where I write this blog.

The biggest change to this room since I originally finished it in 2015 was the addition of my giant English cupboard.  I purchased this via Craigslist back in August 2017.

When I brought it home the inside was completely empty, but handyman/neighbor Ken kitted it out with shelves for me and then I painted the inside.

I was on the fence about whether or not to paint the exterior at the time, but now I’m really glad I didn’t.  I love the patina of the bare wood.

I only recently moved my stack of vintage suitcases into this room (and clearly I need to move my paint brushes up a bit on the wall).

They used to be in the dining room.  I think they fit better here though.  Some of them house my vintage Christmas ornaments, and some of them are just empty.

The opposite side of the room contains my rooster cupboard.  It is painted in Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in a coat of Flow Blue over a coat of Artissimo then finished with her antiquing (dark) wax.

This cupboard is one of my favorite pieces.  I love the chippy paint and that fabulous rooster grain sack that I used to line the glass doors.

The room does feel a bit ‘cupboard heavy’ though, with two cupboards in a fairly small space.  They are really great for storage though.  Some of you ask how I can bear to part with some of my pieces, well, this is one that I just can’t seem to let go of.  I do wish I had a better spot for it though.

My giant ‘q’ still hangs on the wall above my desk.

My sister gave this to me for Christmas several years ago and I gave it a chippy paint job.  I think I’m going to re-do it soon though, I have another idea in mind for it.

I’m realizing now that I could have done a much better job staging this room for these photos.  A professional would have hidden all of those cords coming down behind the desk, and straightened out the lambs wool throw on the chair.  Maybe found a cuter mouse pad too.

But this is real life guys.  This is where I sit in the early morning hours writing my blog posts and editing my photos.  There are cords, and messes, and usually a cup of coffee next to that unattractive mouse pad.

I hope you enjoyed today’s tour.  Be sure to check back next Wednesday to see what Ken and I were up to in the piano room!

22 thoughts on “the q branch.

  1. Ohhhhhh, your poor trees. It looks so bare now! Makes you realize how important trees can be…not only for the shade, but for privacy and aestetics too. Glad there was no damage to the house…we had our big patio umbrella go flying into the outside of the garage wall and breaking into a few pieces, so lucky that was the only damage here. The Q Branch is looking good and you are making use of every inch of it. Love the huge cupboard.


  2. I’m amazed that a maple tree blew down in the wind, they are such strong trees. And now the decision of what to plant next. Great to find efficient tree men so close. Almost like it didn’t happen. I love the q branch. No, I don’t think it’s cupboard heavy, it’s efficient. Great use of a small room and I imagine you feel sheltered and cozy in there surrounded by beautiful vintage pieces with a window to look out. Pretty, pretty room.


    1. You’re so right Laura! I do feel sheltered and cozy in here 🙂 As for the tree, I’m beginning to think that maybe we shouldn’t plant another tree in that spot. This is the 2nd large maple we’ve had come down in that same spot. I’m wondering if, for some reason, that spot just isn’t as sheltered from high winds as the rest of our yard. Most of our storms come from west or northwest, so right down our street and smack into that spot.


  3. I know your pain. My beloved cherry tree (the one that produced the most glorious pink blossoms every May) was zapped by lightning a few years ago. However, I LOVE the q branch. Big old cupboards tug at my heartstrings so as far as I’m concerned you can never have too many. The old fluffy blanket on my desk chair isn’t as pretty as your lambs wool throw but it IS just as off-kilter. Thanks for sharing real life. 🙂


  4. I think your house looks pretty opened up in the front. Perhaps a dwarf in front of house not corner. I use blackout blinds in my bedroom and raised the drapery rod works well for us.
    Love your room and that cupboard. I love the chair the best….going looking!


  5. Sorry about your trees but mother nature will have another plan for you! Love the Q branch and the cupboards are divine. I thought your space looked very organized especially your pine cupboard. What an inspiring space to create in.


    1. That pine cupboard has been a life saver as far as organization goes. It’s a great place to stash all of my supplies and ‘stuff’ behind closed doors so that the room can instantly look ‘cleaned up’.


  6. Wow you are lucky the tree missed the house it came pretty close. The English cupboard in the q branch if one of my favorite pieces. It’s beautiful and it’s functional the best of both worlds.


  7. Charming study. I love that English cupboard!! I am glad that you decided not to paint it too. I love the look of the old English pieces. The blue cupboard that you painted has always been one of my favorite pieces also. 😊


  8. So happy you were able to deal with the trees so quickly and you are right, it could have been so much worse! Love the room and your cupboards are beautiful! If you hadn’t pointed out the cords I wouldn’t even have noticed, I prefer seeing the real space rather than an overly staged and perfect photo anyway!


  9. I love your house and enjoy the house tour posts! Love how you keep it real. Let’s face it most of us don’t live in a staged house! Your home is lovely and I love all the unique touches and pieces of furniture you’ve given new life and function to!


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