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the whole enchilada: the rosedale apartment checklist, part III

So, the last time I did a check-in on this whole-apartment checklist was almost a year ago! I figured that since it’s the beginning of a new year, it’d be a good time to lay out the list to see what we have accomplished and what’s still left to check off. I’m happy to say most of the major items are done…just in time for us to find a new place to live. 🙂 Our lease ends this spring, and we’d like to find a place to rent with a yard. Beans won’t know what hit him. I will obviously keep you posted. (That, my friends, is a blog post pun.)

This list is weird because it’ll have “hang curtains” next to something way more time consuming like “carve out workspace.” Just a casual disclaimer if you’re scrolling through and you’re like…wha? I didn’t discriminate when making the list. I am one hundred percent one of those people that will write every minuscule item on the to-do list for the sheer joy of crossing out the item. I am also one of those people who will write down something I’ve already done, and then promptly cross it out. Be awesome 

Anywho. Now presenting: The Whole Enchilada: The Rosedale Apartment Checklist, Part III. (p.s. If you want to see the last checklist for reference, you can find it here.)

The Entryway

  • Hang art Done!
  • Hang mail drop/hooks Done!
  • Find a runner Found one and then moved it into the bathroom because we discovered that our front door is too low to the ground to allow for a rug.
  • Improve the bar situaish Switched out the black tray for a clear one, and it’s made all the difference! Matt added almost all of the bar accessories. He’s the mixologist in our house. 
  • Add a fiddle leaf fig Done, but he’s been moved to the living room where he gets better light. 
  • Move cabinet into the study and the study bookshelves into the entryway Did this. Why. Did we not do this. 18 months ago.
  • Repaint cabinet and cabinet hardware Done! Gave the cabinet a fresh coat of white paint, and spray painted the hardware copper. It breathed new life into the inexpensive cabinet I got on Craigslist years ago. (You can see it below in the study pictures.)
  • Purchase boxes for bookshelves We needed storage for more small items- cords, decor, my camera stuff, etc. We grabbed some boxes from Ikea to house that stuff.
  • Add lighting The pretty, shiny, silver lamp didn’t have a home at my dad’s house anymore after their recent remodel. I happily claimed it. (Thanks, Dad!)

The Study

awfully big adventure rosedale study reveal

awfully big adventure rosedale study reveal

  • Hang curtains One of the first things we did. 
  • Find a side table Love our patchwork side table that we found on Craigslist. It packs a lot of storage into a little piece. 
  • Hang art/decor As done as it’s going to be! I added a mirror above the storage cabinet to bounce light around, a DIY’d gridwall inspiration board above the workspace, some antlers that I hung upside down because it was easier and who will reeeally notice, and a picture of Matt and I. 
  • Recover or find new throw pillows Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Love the mudcloth pillow covers that ended up in here. 
  • Curtains for the entry We actually already owned the white curtains with grommets, so it was just a matter of remembering to grab a tension rod at Target. You would be shocked at how many trips it took to actually remember to buy one. We don’t use these that much on a day to day basis, but it’s nice when we have someone crashing on the couch to be able to close up that space for them. 
  • Sell bookshelves/purchase new (smaller) TV stand- So, no. The original idea was to put a TV stand next to a desk. One night when Matt and I were discussing it, we realized it’d be way smarter to have one long, uninterrupted counter that would be used for TV & desk. Which leads me to…
  • Carve out a workspace FEELS RUHL GOOD TO CROSS THAT OUT, PEEPS. There will be a whole post to follow this, but we added storage in here and made room for both TV/entertainment (as Matt calls them, “vidya games”) and workspace. It functions and isn’t horrifying to look at anymore, so YAY. 
  • Add plants The addition of the cabinet right next to the west-facing window in here meant I had more counter space that I could subsequently cover in plants. Mission accomplished.

The Living Room

awfully big adventure blog rosedale apartment living room

a cheerful black accent wall

  • Find new (to us) couch Yup. Posted about it here.
  • Find new (to us) rug ^Ditto above.
  • Find new (to us) credenza Find the blog post on this here.
  • Pick up some basics from Ikea to round out the space (plants, hanging light) Find the blog post on this here.
  • Hang picture ledge, TV, and art Done! And then re-done. And re-done again.
  • Pick up a very small side table Done. Found a perfectly sized table from CB2 that doesn’t take up very much visual space, either. 
  • Add some new throw pillows Softened some of the bolder, graphic pillows with some neutrals. 
  • Paint art wall As you may already know, or can tell from the photo: DONE. We decided to pull the trigger on painting it black and are so happy with it. The big, meaty post with all the deets is here.
  • Set up sound system This one is all Matt. He spent a Sunday setting up an amplifier, speakers, a subwoofer, etc., and managed to make it look pretty good. I’ve requested that he provide a guest post with his speaker skillz. 

The Kitchen

Showing the kitchen pictures feels a lot to me like that part in Wayne’s World where they’re like “Hi. I’m in Delaware.” It’s just…a rental kitchen. It is great, and spacious, and functions really well, and yes, that’s a LOT of wood tones and yes, there’s no backsplash and yes, our fridge is dented, and yes, it was like that when we moved in. And no, I cannot reach the top of the cabinets. But truly, I’m grateful for this kitchen. There’s just not much to say about it, decor-wise.

  • Find barstools Yah, I bought these before we moved in, so this bullet kind of feels like cheating. 
  • Add art I hung two things. And added 100 pictures to our fridge. Counting it.
  • Get a new rug– In a fit of KonMari madness, I sold the Persian rug that was in here previously and replaced it with a really great, inexpensive rag rug from Ikea. It brings me joy. Until I KonMari again. Then, nothing is safe!!
  • Attempt to style some things– I read this post and had this moment of “Why can’t my kitchen be that beautiful?” and I tried to style some little things on my counters and then I was like “My kitchen CAN’T be that beautiful because I need the coffee maker to sit on the counter, because access to that machine >>>>> honestly, almost anything.”

The Bedroom

  • Update bedding Posted about the newer, bluer situation here.
  • Create a wall hanging for over the bed Find the blog post on this here. (Moved this above the TV.)
  • Add art above the nightstands Added a cute cactus print over Matt’s nightstand and a freaking gorgeous horse mask on my side because I like weird stuff and I cannot lie. 
  • Find vintage nightstands and refurbish them Find the blog post on this here.
  • Find large piece of art for the open wall Done! Our coffee sack is still chillin, happy as a clam. We aren’t even creeped out by him anymore! The post on this is here.
  • Replace your dresser from high school that your dog teethed on as a puppy. He chewed the little knobs off. YEESH. Done! You can see it in our bedroom tour.
  • Hang art above/style new dresser. Haha, I feel like I update the little art corner here like once a month. This is the most recent incarnation.
  • Recover headboard with a lighter fabric. Find the blog post on this here.
  • Update Ikea dresser with new knobs Done! Found cute lil copper ones for the bottom drawers, and some more detailed ones for the top four drawers.
  • Replace curtains that Finn randomly chewed through Grabbed these from Target and love them!
  • Maybe snag a patterned lumbar pillow to replace the white lumbar pillow because I can’t stop changing the bed- Didn’t do this, which is probably good, because STAHP. 

The Bathroom

Welcome to our windowless yellow pit of despair! Jk, it’s not yellow in real life. This is the best I can do with my lackluster photog skills. 

  • Find a less girly shower curtain Did this a while ago. Snagged one from Urban Outfitters (sadly unavailable now) and it has held up great!
  • Find two rugs, one 3′ x 5′ and one 2′ x 3′ Done! We added this jute one a while ago, thinking it’d be temporary, but the jute has actually held up really well. And this little guy hangs out in front of our sink. I love him.
  • Find some basket storage for the linen shelves Done!
  • Get new neutral towels I grabbed these big ones for Matt and these patterned ones for me. His have held up really well, but mine have not. The threading started unravelling just weeks after I bought them, which was a bummer. I’ve got my eye out for replacements.
  • Hang art/decor There’s not much wall space, but a round mirror from Ikea helps bounce around the minimal light (not visible in the photo) and our Austin map print (…also not visible in this photo) helps me remember where I am when I step into the bathroom on a groggy Monday morning. 

The Patio

  • Install Ikea shelves
  • Add plants/decor to shelves
  • Find inexpensive/cute outdoor set, likely two chairs and a small table What started with a five dollar chair and a really really old folding table turned into a patio that actually functions. And it’s purty 😀 I shared the process of updating the patio in the One Room Challenge- you can check out the final reveal here.

So…we actually did pretty much all the things! It’s not perfect, but right now it feels really functional and it’s a very happy place to call home. There’s still quite a bit I haven’t blogged about, so I’m excited to share all that before we leave! And I’m excited to kick back and enjoy it before we move and I create 100 new projects for myself. If you made it to the bottom of this quite lengthy post, I urge you to kick back and enjoy as well. Maybe take out your planner, write down “Read ABA blog post” and enjoy that sweet, sweet relief as you cross that sucker out. 



  1. kent twitchell kent twitchell

    Great looking apartment! You have such a wonderful eye for aesthetics.

    • Thanks, Kent! Still very grateful for some art pieces from your awesome collection. 🙂

  2. Holly Twitchell Holly Twitchell

    I love it, and can’t wait to see it again in a couple of weeks. I’m so happy that you guys will be looking for a house, but just a little sad that this cute, cute place will no longer be “home”. xoxo

    • We are definitely on the same page there. Always hard to leave a place that has been good to you. <3 Or a car. Haha.

  3. Catrina Moran Catrina Moran

    Such a good job with furniture placement and pops of color in art and accessories.
    Saving lots of pictures for when my daughter gets her first place.

  4. Your bedroom is BEAUTIFUL! I saw a picture of it on instagram and immediately fell in love! Nice job.

    Any idea what part of town you’d like to be renting in?

    I’m definitely one of those people who writes everything down just to check it off, too!

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