January Stories Roundup

Recently, I consulted with Domino Mag about ways to elevate your string lights, and why this form of lighting is so great for spaces of all sizes. You can view the interview here.

Additionally, we did a shoot and interview earlier this winter with One More Thing. The images and story are live here, and a preview is below. (Photos were taken by Angi Welsch, courtesy of One More Thing.)


Our first book: Small Space Style

I’ve been keeping this a secret for a year and a half— it feels good to share with you that we have some big news from our lil’ home…

Shortly after West was born nearly 2 years ago, I was approached again about writing a book about small space living. Publishing my own book was never something on my bucket list. But it was a time of notable personal and business growth, so I decided that I might as well go all-in.  In retrospect, it was a bit of a wild move— our schedules became dizzying. 

The book is here! Cover image shot by  Marisa Vitale .

The book is here! Cover image shot by Marisa Vitale.

West was an infant, and Adam was still at an office full-time. I never took a single day for maternity leave. (Ah, the realities of running your own business.) So this was how the next several months were spent:

  • I’d get up at 3am to write the book at a 24-hour diner. 

  • At 6am, I’d bike back to the Cottage to nurse West. 

  • At 6:30am, my husband and I would walk the dogs, eat breakfast, and then Adam would get ready for work. 

  • At 8am, I’d take calls with my East Coast clients. 

  • At 9am, Adam left for his job. 

  • All day until around 7pm, I’d care for West and the pups, attempt to blog and Instagram, and tackle tasks for several of my clients while the baby slept.

  • When Adam got home, we’d put West to bed, eat dinner, and I would get right back on the computer to resume working on the book (and pumping) until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer— usually around 11pm. 

  • Then, of course, I’d feed West on demand until 3am, when we’d start the whole routine over again.

I’m not complaining— I felt like the luckiest person then, and still feel that way now. But it was a whirlwind.

From a photoshoot on the same morning I received the contract for the book. (Image © Ergobaby)

From a photoshoot on the same morning I received the contract for the book. (Image © Ergobaby)

Life was blurry. But eventually, Adam left his job to help at home, and I was able to get more work accomplished during the day. We’re just now stabilizing, as the books are being packed to ship for their November 13th release.

An illustrated DIY spread (featuring StanLee on our deck) from   Small Space Style   .  Art by  Magdalena Zolnierowicz .

An illustrated DIY spread (featuring StanLee on our deck) from Small Space Style. Art by Magdalena Zolnierowicz.

So it’s with great excitement (and fatigue) that I can finally share that our Cottage now has its very own book available for pre-sale: Small Space Style: Because You Don’t Need to Live Large to Live Beautifully.

For me, the key to living in a small home or apartment is not figuring out how to Tetris a life’s worth of stuff into limited square footage. It’s about understanding what you truly need — and don’t need— in order to live comfortably and contentedly, day by day. Compact homes aren’t necessarily stepping stones on our path to larger lodgings. Small space living can work (and work spectacularly) for all sorts of evolving family structures and income levels. Plus it can lessen our negative impact on the environment. Living tiny can be fulfilling, comfortable and, yes, stylish.

My intention is for Small Space Style to help you as you embark upon your own journey into the world of small-space living. I hope that the book’s pages provide you with ideas for crafting a tiny space that feels infinitely beautiful, inspiring and welcoming for you and your loved ones.

The book features over 200 tips for making the most of your little home, with chapters centered around the essentials— living, sleeping, eating, and bathing. It offers imagery from our home as well as others, and is brilliantly illustrated by Magdalena Zolnierowicz.

I want to thank everyone who contributed to this book in one form or another. I am so genuinely grateful for your generous time, creativity and positivity.

Photo from  Casa Joshua Tree , where Artist  Lindsay Hollinger  hand-lettered the title for the cover of the book. (2017)

Photo from Casa Joshua Tree, where Artist Lindsay Hollinger hand-lettered the title for the cover of the book. (2017)

And to the readers of this blog and our Instagram feed: thank you, thank you, thank you. You’ve transformed our lives completely, and for the better. I am moved and motivated by your support every moment of the day. 


Summer Dining in a Small Outdoor Space

I'm over on the Garnet Hill blog today, sharing some tips for hosting summer meals in a small outdoor space. A few excerpts are below-- the full post with additional images can be viewed here. Thank you, Garnet Hill!


Reduce Waste with Natural Decor
Rather than adding sculptural pieces or elaborate vases to your tabletop, decorate with clipped greenery from your garden. Repurposed glass jars can serve as temporary water vessels for stems, and then be recycled at the end of the gathering. 


Create Visual Interest Without Overcrowding
Use lush greenery that’s also low in profile, such as creeping vines. This will add a dynamic touch to your tablescape without consuming your limited surface space, and without obscuring your view of guests across the table. Buds in spice jars can lend pops of color without cluttering the table. 


Create Beauty Through Simplicity
With our environment in mind, consider a home water carbonator in lieu of purchasing sparkling water. In the end, it will save you time, money, space, effort, and cut back on waste. Recycled-glass drinking glasses are beautiful when paired with earth-toned stoneware plates and unfussy linens. Similarly, skip the name plates and napkin rings. Tying napkins in a knot and threading silverware through the loop is a great way to save space on your table, and cut back on an unnecessary accessory without undermining your display.


Mind You Own Comfort
When hosting, we’re frequently on our feet, running around and getting our body temperatures up a bit. It helps to remember to take a deep breath and just enjoy the experience, and to consider our own comfort as much as that of our guests. Sustainable linen is the  ideal fabric to wear when hosting in the summer. It’s versatile, strong yet airy, naturally antibacterial, and grows softer with time.


Video from the Cottage

We were so delighted to welcome Well + Good to the Cottage for a tiny home tour earlier this spring. It's funny how fast things change here in our lil' space. Since shooting this video, our grapevines have sprouted and covered the fence line, our 8'-porch has been converted to a full play space, and we've since stopped renting the front cottage (which is shown in the video as West's nursery). But the overall gist of it is still very much the same. We love this video, and hope you do, too. Thank you, Well + Good!

Tour of the Two Tiny Cottages


Our Cottages are on SF Girl by Bay today! I've long admired Victoria Smith's creativity, kindness, and blog, so I was thrilled when she and photographer Lily Glass expressed interest in shooting a photo tour of our two lil' abodes. It's our first feature showcasing BOTH structures, so I'm delighted that it's now live here(All photos in this post were taken by Lily Glass for SF Girl by Bay.)


Porch Makeover

Outdoor living spaces encourage us to put down our screens, take a healthy breath, and relax. That's one of the reasons why I love our little sliver of a porch so much. We recently modified the space to suit our evolving needs, and today I'm excited to share the tiny tour with you! Even though we only updated this outdoor spot a little over a week ago, we've already spent dozens of hours enjoying it with West and several of our friends. We partnered with Fragments Identity for this redesign that transitioned our open-air dining room into a lounge and play area.

(Explore additional coverage of this porch update on Lonny by clicking here. Photos by Jenna Peffley.)


This space, which connects our two tiny houses, is now outfitted primarily for use by our toddler and his friends.


I've worked with Tammy from Fragments Identity before, and she and I share a love for natural textures and neutral tones. 


Together, we came up with a design that’s safe and functional for kids, while simultaneously being comfortable for their parents. And most of the pieces are designed for outdoor use, so we only have to throw West's toys (and a few blankets or small accessories) into a market cart and wheel those in at night.

We also made some updates to the living room as well, helping the interior and exterior spaces better blend with one another.


Tammy created new seat cushions for our built-in couch (a much needed change, as we'd had the previous ones for nearly seven years!), as well as some gorgeous new pillows. 

The full story, complete with numerous beautiful images shot by the incredible Jenna Peffley, is now up on Lonny!


The Cottage on Cosmopolitan


Our lil' home is on Cosmopolitan today. It's such a joy to see these photos from last summer, when West was still so small. The feature explains how Adam and I stumbled into tiny house living, and explains how we converted the closet into the nursery, and a shed into our closet. (Oh, I miss that little baby's bay already...) 

Click here to view the feature.

Above left: the garden wardrobe. rug via wayfair .  above Right: the tiny house nursery (" the baby's bay ") with an  alpha mini crib by bloom .

Above left: the garden wardrobe. rug via wayfair. above Right: the tiny house nursery ("the baby's bay") with an alpha mini crib by bloom.


Photos by the incredible Sami Drasin, courtesy of Cosmopolitan. Special thanks to Show Me Your Mumu for the Palm Pants, and to Wayfair for the soft-yet-durable indoor/outdoor patterned rugs!

Venice Shoot with "Late Sunday Afternoon"

(UPDATE: 01/08/18 - Interview with Late Sunday Afternoon about Tiny Home living and blogging here.)

Looking back at 2017, one of the experiences we loved the most was a collaboration with our incredible friends at Late Sunday Afternoon here in Venice. 


I first fell in love with this unique shop the moment I stepped through its gorgeous doors here in Venice. But after meeting its founder, Matthew, I discovered the wonderful depth of LSA.


The team, products and give-back mission behind LSA all made me eager to collaborate. (Read more about everything here.) So we were thrilled when they approached us about a brand ambassador photo + video shoot. 


The scarves we have from LSA have traveled thousands and thousands of miles with us, and West's blankie was made by them as well. We also have hats and books from their shop, all of which we enjoy often.

LSA sells original and small-batch items from their beautiful indoor/outdoor store and gathering space in Venice. They also hand-create and donate comfort blankies to young children in the foster care system, and they use their excess fabric scraps to produce dog beds that they then donate to local animal shelters.


Late Sunday Afternoon is an Instagram dream. But it also operates with a tangible sense of community and responsibility, and for that, we admire and adore them.


We're featured in Chapter 2 of the video below (starting at 1:19), but we recommend watching the entire thing-- it's completely delightful!

Canal photos © Sebastian Artz, with selects by Thomas Brodahl. Video by Chance Foreman. Ambassador shoot content courtesy of Late Sunday Afternoon.  (Thank you for the dreamy day of canoeing, biking, and strolling the canals with friends, LSA crew!)

The Cottage on Lonny

The Cottage is on Lonny today! Read the piece and view the images here. Thanks, Lonny!

Excerpt: Have you ever wondered what it would take to transform your personal passion into a full-time hustle? While it may seem impossible to launch a business out of your home, we chatted with two incredible women who did just that. Whitney Leigh Morris of The Tiny Canal Cottage and Erin Hiemstra of Apartment34 both started successful personal brands out of their love for design and their desire to share it with the world. So you can see what it takes to create your own hustle, we had each of these bossladies share the experiences that led to their unique careers. From making investments to achieving that elusive work/life balance, click ahead to learn their secrets. - By Shelby Wax

Feature on The Everygirl

The Cottage was featured on The Everygirl today! I loved the fun and thoughtful questions from this interview. Click here to view the story.

Lil' garden on Architectural Digest

Our lil' garden is on the homepage of Architectural Digest today:

"You don’t need an inexhaustible amount of acreage to achieve the home garden you’ve always dreamed of. Limited as their square footage may be, compact outdoor areas can be every bit as aesthetically pleasing as their sprawling counterparts. They also benefit from a creative use of space. After all, they can sprout up anywhere—on a stoop, in a narrow passage between buildings, in a seemingly nonexistent backyard—and often employ an unexpected use of materials and plantings. The trick is to impart lushness with an abundance of flowering blooms and a thicket of greenery. Here, we round up eight small gardens, from a minimalist rooftop gathering spot to a verdant alley, to admire—or inspire—your next outdoor project. They certainly prove that what petite plots lack in size they can more than make up for in style." - JENNIFER FERNANDEZ

Thanks, AD!