The Peter Rabbit Room ♥

OK, I know I promised to tell more about this room, and ta-daa, today’s the day!  This is it, we call it the Peter Rabbit room; here it is as you come to it, at the top of the stairs.

I hope I didn’t get everyone’s expectations too high by taking so long to take these photos!  It’s just a little room, it’s not like Architectural Digest by any stretch of the imagination; everything in it is old. 

The room is only 11′ x 12′; tucked up under the eves in the very back of the house, over the kitchen. We think it was the maid’s quarters at one time.  See those two tiny windows above the dresser?  Note where your head would be on the bed? When you’re lying on the bed, you can see the sky, up through trees.  So here we go, on a little tour . . .


My old Laura Ashley hat is on one of the bedposts. She belongs in the Peter Rabbit room.  And see the heart book case?  It’s all travel books and pamphlets up there.  Years ago, I drew a design for this shelf on a piece of paper (I bet you can tell that!); a carpenter friend built it for me; it was over my bed in my old house.

The two larger windows (on each side of the bed) are only waist high, so when you’re in bed, it feels like you’re in a tree house. The wind blows the curtains out into the room; from the wisteria arbor outside the window (in the photo above), across the four-poster bed (and you), to the huge maple tree outside the window on the other side; you can hear the leaves rubbing together, go shhhhh, and you feel the 160 years of history this room has in its DNA.

Why is it called the Peter Rabbit Room?  Years ago, a girlfriend came to visit, she loved this bedroom; it was hard to make her go home, she said “I love my Peter Rabbit room” — her room? she was getting scary —  the name, of course I glommed on to, what a perfect name; if I didn’t love her so much I would have thrown her out immediately and moved in myself; she called it that because there was a Peter Rabbit on top of a stack of  Beatrix Potter books on the dresser (of course nowadays there are even more, once I figured out it was the Peter Rabbit room, I had to go over the top or my friends would think I wasn’t well!)  Now when girlfriends come, they ask if they can have the Peter Rabbit room, even though it’s the smallest bedroom.

. . . and another Peter, so miniature it was almost invisible on the sill over the window. I wallpapered the room in pink with rosebuds when we first moved into the house.

But the heart of the room is in the details … like my old quilts in Beatrix Potter colors.

. . . And these linens, I love to find old ones, but I have a trick for the really expensive new ones . . . just get the pillow cases!  Makes all the difference in the details of a room, dontcha think?  Your face gets to touch the softest part, and you can buy nice white or colored sheets to go with them, and you don’t have to take out a loan at the bank to afford them, making you, of course, brilliant!

I made this pillow out of an old piece of embroidery (can you see the French knots?  Squeal) I found in an antique store for $14.  Life is good. 

And then there is just your basic fan worship of Beatrix herself.  I have that.   What I love the most is the total simplicity, of her story, her art, her colors, and even, to a certain extent, her life.

Perfection on a page.

I started collecting  Beatrix Potter figures when I first moved away from home.   From the time I managed to scrape together thirty dollars that didn’t have to pay the electric bill, I was indulging.  There was a little shop next to the record store where I worked that sold them.  I would go there and think “which one will I get next?”  It was the first place I would take my paycheck.  My value system has always been in the right place. 🙂

My husband at the time had a different value system, didn’t really get this fetish of mine, so I would hide Mrs. Tiggy Winkle in my purse until I could make her blend into our household. Since my first kitchen, I’ve always had these guys watching over me. Aren’t they wonderful? Do they not remind you of watercolor?

Sitting here, right now, next to my computer, is Fancy Whiskered Gentleman, Aunt Pettitoes, and Mrs. Rabbit.

Sometimes in the natural course of living at our house, a bunny ear will get chipped —  poor Jemima Puddleduck has tiny chips, all hard-earned, nicks out of her bill — so I just watercolor the chip, and make them whole again.

I think Beatrix Potter, forever content in heaven’s edition of her beloved Lake District, looks down and likes it when I’m doing that. 





Speaking of Beatrix Potter, the other day I got a message from one of our (yours and mine, here in blogland) English friends, Bernie Gardiner, giving us the link to one of the most charming websites I’ve ever seen.  Thank you Bernie! 

Here you go girls, have fun, come back someday!

Anyway, that’s the Peter Rabbit room in all its glory.  I hope it didn’t disappoint, it’s just a room.  But if you would want it to be more than a room, all you need is one tiny little thing . . . the perfect prop, the detail that beats all others . . .

This comes from a higher level of decorator intuition, at least that’s what I think . . . A decorative kitty is good in any room. 



Have a wonderful day girlfriends.  So long from me and my friends! xoxo




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137 Responses to The Peter Rabbit Room ♥

  1. Siobhan says:

    Catching up on the posts today…so sweet and charming! How nice to see you have a “normal” kitchen, not totally updated with granite and stainless blah blah blah! And what a heavenly little room. Wouldn’t a bed ‘n bath be right up your alley? You could design the rooms, and leave the managing to someone else! Not like you don’t have enough to do…jus’ wanna stay in it meself!

  2. Margie @ Lavender Cottage says:

    Susan: You don’t know this but we have been friends for many years! Your calendar is in my kitchen every year and all of your books are on my book shelves. We “think” alike so much it’s crazy and today I find out that you collect Beatrix Potter figurines as do I! Beatrix Potter is actually someone I greatly admire and hope to visit her homeland some day. I have all her “little books” and have read everything I can about her. She was a fascinating lady. Thank you so much for your inspiration and creativity. It gives me pleasure and makes me smile. I actually think you are in every room of Lavender Cottage. Also, thank you for this amazing blog. It will be a delight to get to know you further (in a non-stalkerish way!!!) Have a great day and I look forward to hearing from you soon in your blog.

  3. Janet Rowland says:

    Today’s Willard was so sweet. It hurt my heart to think of Nancy Luce being treated so badly by her neighbors. But I can see how that happens. Most small towns probably had someone that stories were told about and children were scared of. In my hometown, there was a mother and daughter that lived together and had doll heads on posts in their flower garden. I was always so scared to walk by their house which was behind our church. I just knew they were witches!
    I have always found your writings to be so calming. It reminds me so of life when I was that child in a small town. The littlest things could be the most special.
    Also, I LOVE your stickers and am very disappointed that Michael’s does not sell them anymore. I couldn’t find them at Hobby Lobby either. I know I can order them from your website, but I like to pick them out. Is there a chain that sells them now?
    Thanks and continue to be as you are! (and want to be)

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not really good with doll heads on posts either! There was a house on the island that had dolls hanging from a tree in their yard. I had to look away! Yes, they even called Nancy “the hag of Tiah’s Cove” (where she lived.) Terrible. If you go to FAQ under “About Me” at the top of the page, there are links to different sticker-makers you can write to, and maybe we will get a nice invitation from one of them someday! Have a great day Janet!

  4. Hollace says:

    I enjoyed the Willard and feel encouraged to start living a little more out there in the land of my dreams. Even Nancy Luce expressed herself in the way that she could. I hope I will leave a little trail of beauty behind ….
    I would like to see the magazine Where Women Create. Haven’t heard of it, before.

  5. Judith Hogan says:

    I love a good decorative kitty. I have two of my own, a lovely elderly Maine Coon and a four-year-old Pixie Bob. And I know if I had a Peter Rabbit room, they would be adorning the bed 24/7. Thanks for the great Willard today. It’s so sad that there is such a stigma attached to someone living alone. Sometimes people live alone because of circumstances, but others choose to live alone because they want to. Miss Nancy sounds like one very strong-willed woman. I love that she named all her chickens.

  6. Barb says:

    Hi Susan,
    I love reading your blog and Willard – and am just catching up after being away on vacation. Your Peter Rabbit room is such a magical place for guests to stay. I, too, love Beatrix Potter and once saved a vintage copy of The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. A local antique dealer had purchased a circa 1918 copy in London, and was going to cut it apart to frame and sell the illustrations separately. I expressed so much horror over the thought of destroying the book that she relented and sold it to me for what she had paid for it in London! As a bonus, I found a beautiful calling card tucked in the pages when I got it home.
    In Willard you lamented that cursive writing is no longer being taught and I’m sorry to say it is true. I’m a retired teacher in Michigan and have just heard that the district I taught in is no longer teaching cursive. I guess we are going to live in a world of keyboards soon. Your lovely writing is such a beautiful part of your books. I have quite a few of your books and they make great gifts, too.
    Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

  7. Kay says:

    I live in Cornwall, England and while I love Peter Rabbit and his friends, my favourite characters are the creation of Jill Barklem – the inhabitants of ‘Brambly Hedge’. I have the Brambly Hedge teacups showing the four seasons and the matching teapot. I have a few porcelain characters and a lovely print taken from one of the books, that I have framed. Of course I have all of the books. My daughter (Louisa, who is now 23) used to love sitting close to me while I read the books and we both poured over the beautiful illustrations. So, now you have inspired me to create my own Brambly Hedge room. Louisa is moving out to get married soon, and I think I’ll use her room. I know she’ll love it too.
    Your blog is soooo beautiful, and I love your home. More inspirational pictures please!!

  8. Lani says:

    I think its wonderful that you have a Peter Rabbit Room! What fun! I’ve been charmed by her tales and illustrations since my first years in grade school. I especially love the Beswick figurines, the tiny old books, and the towels. I enjoyed posting a little homage on Beatrix Potter’s birthday, July 28.

  9. Connie B. says:

    Susan, you have inspired me to post pictures of a Peter Rabbit Tea Party I gave for my little friends last year. It’s posted on Aug. 17th in my blog Would love for you to stop by and say hello!

  10. Laurel says:

    Susan~I have loved The Story of Peter Rabbit since I was a little girl. We had a set of children’s books and Peter Rabbit was in one of them. Beatrix Potter’s illustrations just “did something” to me! Nearly 30 years later, when I was planning the nursery for my first child I knew it HAD to be Peter Rabbit themed! We moved from that house 3 years ago, but I am happy to say that all 4 of my children graced that nursery! It was so hard for me to leave MY Peter Rabbit room! Each of my children also have a Beatrix Potter baby book~I was happy to be able to find 4 different baby books over the years! Wish I could attach a photo for you!

    Laurel in MN 🙂

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