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the whole enchilada: the blue door house, vol. 1

Hello! I’m back from an unintended but well-spent summer blog break, but now it’s back to school. And by school I mean bloggin’. I’ve spent the last three months since we moved in a Craigslist and IKEA fever dream, buying stuff, selling stuff, and trying to pull the house together. Lots has changed since I first introduced the house in this post, but there’s still so much to do! So in the spirit of back to school, lists, and a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils, I’m pulling together our big-ass Whole Enchilada to-do list. 

As a reminder, here’s the (not to scale) floor plan of all 936 square feet:

The Blue Door House Floor Plan


And here are quick photos of each room as they look today with the to-do list for each room. For before pictures from 11 days after we moved in, check this post.


  • Change blackout curtains for white curtains 
  • Switch out small side table with larger side table 
  • Move Leif in front of the window 
  • Mount television above credenza 
  • Find new large-scale art for behind the couch 
  • Paint over beige with a super light, bright cool-toned grey 
  • Maybe stencil or wallpaper the wall behind the credenza 
  • Maybe add two plug-in wall sconces to each side of the TV 
  • Maybeee change the rug if I find an insane deal?
  • Maybeee change the coffee table if I find another insane deal?
  • Maybe add an occasional chair if we get a smaller coffee table?




  • Install mail holder/key hook
  • Switch out bookcases for table with baskets underneath
  • Get new lampshade



  • Get a table, rug, and chairs
  • Switch blackout curtains for white curtains
  • Hang gallery wall even though I didn’t really mean to
  • Switch original pendant light fixture for our trusty basket pendant
  • Fingers crossed for paint!



  • Organize the bejesus out of it cause it’s tiny
  • Remove window curtain
  • Add cutting board to counter
  • Switch out rug for something a little bigger/more graphic
  • Paint, lord willing
  • In an ideal world: switch out countertops, add backsplash, get an undermount sink, switch out the hardware, yes I know it’s a rental but my God I have a lot of fun wasting mental energy on what changes I would make. 



  • Sell the sofa and buy a loveseat
  • Buy a flatweave rug
  • Hang some art
  • Switch grey curtains for olive curtains
  • Mount TV
  • Lose the battle over functional office chair vs. pretty office chair
  • Get a Stendig calendar or something for the open wall
  • Add plants/greenery
  • Hide the GD cords, I don’t know how, possibly with magic



  • After two months, begrudgingly admit to yourself that the original layout of the room doesn’t maximize the space, so rearrange it
  • Buy seagrass rug, end up hating it because it’s too beige and doesn’t add any textural warmth to the space, so sell it and replace it with a baller Craigslist find
  • Move our original dresser to the guest room
  • Buy new dresser
  • Hang art
  • Get bench for foot of bed
  • Switch blackout curtains with white curtains
  • Paint, please sweet tuxedo-wearing baby Jesus, let us paint
  • Sell old nightstands and find new matching nightstands
  • Update dresser hardware



  • Switch blackout curtains with white curtains
  • Snag a bed at the Ikea Friends & Family sale
  • Get bedding
  • Move in dresser from master 
  • Hang art
  • Get a SWEET Craigslist rug
  • Hang hooks



  • Frame and hang both El Cosmico prints
  • Add small shelves for additional counter space/storage
  • Add frosted window film to the completely transparent window conveniently located about waist-level in the shower




  • Set up a seating area with two chairs, a bench, and a coffee table
  • Make two planter/post hybrids
  • String lights on said planter/posts
  • Plant flowers and greenery
  • Put the string lights on a timer
  • Hide the additional string light cord under the eave with an outdoor extension cord

The plan for this rental is the usual M.O.: make it a happy place to be by making the most of what we have, using my Craigslist powers for good, and throwing in some elbow grease to fill in the gaps. (And buying some stuff. I am not immune to the siren song of Target.) I learned a lesson in our last space to not let indecisiveness mean that a space goes unused for too long. Especially in a smaller home, I want to make sure we are taking advantage of and using all 936 square feet, which is why I’ve been so busy this summer making our spaces usable and functional. Now comes the fun part! Just kidding, now comes the part where I need to figure out if I want to commit to painting the whole house including the ceiling. Ha. 



  1. kent twitchell kent twitchell

    The house looks great! Let’s see how big of a turkey will fit in it come Thanksgiving.

  2. LOVE the El Cosmico print with that pink tile in the bathroom! Like SUPER love it!

  3. Britt Britt

    Love your house! The pink bathroom is adorable and you made it look so cool.

    We always order flat cord covers on amazon and paint them to match the wall. They make a huuuuge difference!

    • File this under “things I alllways forget to order on Amazon.” Need to remember!!

    • And thank you so much!

  4. GLenore GLenore

    This is super cute! I think smaller spaces are more interesting than larger ones because of the creativity that has to happen to make everything fit in the space and go together. I adore the original tile in the bathroom!!

    I’m from Austin originally and know that there are so many cute houses like this around. Such a fun place! My folks live in far south Austin, and whenever I visit, I love roaming around and looking at the houses. Things have changed so much since I moved out! 🙂

    Can I ask where you got the Texas print in the master bedroom? Something like that would be perfect for our camper!

    • So sorry for the delayed response! I’ve always been drawn to small spaces, too…sometimes out of necessity, haha, but I love them nonetheless! I agree, they are a creative challenge. And you are right, Austin has so many of these sweet little 50s and 60s ranchers around. Things are changing rapidly, but I love that most of the people in our neighborhood aren’t knocking down these houses, just shining them up a bit and breathing life back into them. The Texas print is from this artist – – I can’t find the print on his site, but I think you could message him and see if he has any more laying around!

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