Daily Paper Clutter

Here's my tiny office early on this Monday morning. (I removed my 10,000 other mugs and glasses that were on the desk, but otherwise this is basically what it looks like most of the time.)

Everyone asks how I manage to keep the space so clean. The single handiest tool for curbing the paper clutter is this little device: 

Compact-Space Color Mobile Scanner
This little gizmo is one of the best purchases I've ever made. I scan all of our financial records, medical documents, pet paperwork, cards and notes. It saves me from accumulating piles of paper around the cottage, and helps my business run more efficiently. It measures 11.5" x 2" x 1.5" inches-- basically the size of a thick ruler. 

It lives on the back of my iMac via a "backpack" that I really love. 

More small-space office tips can be found here on one of my older blog posts. I hope it helps!

Little Library Bookshelf

We have a new lil' addition in the bedroom-- this simple, slim, wall-mounted bookshelf from Anthropologie

I'm such a fan of functional decor. I love how this mini-library shelf enables us to display our publications as art, without making the wall feel too cluttered. It brings me so much happiness to see baby West's book collection growing and spreading throughout the Cottage!

Today in the Cottage

You guys. Even though our home is under 400 sqft, I rolled West's mini-crib into my office (aka our living room) this morning because I couldn't stand to be apart from him.

Oh dear. I've got it bad. 💕

Visit to Casa Joshua Tree

For West's first slumber party outside of the Cottage, we decided to take him to visit Casa Joshua Tree.  This wonderful, peaceful home in the desert was also the first place I visited after discovering I was pregnant, so it felt fitting to return with our newest family member as soon as we felt comfortable travelling!

Note regarding this post's photography: I took most of these shots on my iPhone for Instagram Stories, so they're formatted accordingly.

I love the beautiful simplicity of Casa Joshua Tree. While there's no clutter here, every corner is an Instagram dream. It's a clean, open and inspiring space that sparks creativity in comfort. 

Mindful Gifting

Let’s talk gifting. I'm big on mindful presents and cards that don't require storage in your small space while they're waiting to be given. I’m usually as much of a minimalist when it comes to gifting as I am when it comes to decorating. My holiday go-to is almost always a recycled berry basket with farm eggs, rosemary and freshly baked bread. But this past season, after having West and expanding my business, the berry baskets went completely unused— they’re still waiting patiently in our kitchen cabinets. Not only did I not give out holiday presents, but I haven’t even gotten around to our basic thank you notes for our wedding back in May. (FAIL.) As such, I feel like I have some making-up to do. 

I’m still only interested in giving practical, usable items to each recipient. I refuse to gift something that’s just going to turn into clutter down the road.But I the reality of having an infant (with no day-to-day help), running two businesses, and having a partner who works full-time as well, suggests that the chances of me getting around to this sort of thing are seriously slim. I was grumbling to myself about this when I got an email from a new company called Gift in Time. The name sparked my interest, so I sat down and had a look at the services they were offering: thoughtful, dedicated, effortless gifting. (Clearly they are mind readers.)

The team at Gift in Time invited me experience their service, which is something that bloggers and Instagrammers are often offered. I usually politely decline (we don’t need more “stuff” here), but I was genuinely curious and decided to give it a go. 

They sent me four custom-selected gifts and two hand-written cards to demonstrate what their company has to offer. The items included:

  1. The softest handmade leather mocs and a matching pacifier clip by Posh Panda (in Lethbridge, AB) for baby West. They matched the nursery flawlessly.
  2. A compact, pop-out coloring puzzle by Petit Collage (in California) for baby West to enjoy later down the road. They selected the theme of a castle, as they know that I regularly spend my summers at the Chateau de Belcastel in France. (We’re taking West there for the first time in July!)
  3. A compact skincare set by Helena Lane (in Brackendale, BC) for post-natal pampering— something I very much appreciated. Immediate post-pregnancy hormones are no joke.
  4. A perfectly neutral-toned, durable dog toy by Mr. Dog (in NYC) for #StubsandSoph. They both love it. Stanlee likes to sleep with it, whereas Sophee likes to drag it around the garden.

Everything they sent matches our home and needs. We’ve since used each item daily, except for the puzzle, which we’ll save for West when he is a bit older. (Click here to read / see where we're storing his toys.) And the two hand-written cards in the boxes made the experience feel that much more personal. You can even have the cards printed in your own handwriting, if you so choose. And to top it all off, the gift boxes in which everything arrived are simple and beautiful, without being wasteful. (I reused the boxes as shoe + sock storage beneath our couch.)

I'm also a fan of this method of giving because it doesn't require us to store the presents in our home until it's time to give them away. Every object in our home has a purpose and a place, but any "extra" items just sit around in the open until we have the chance to send them on their way.

In case you are struggling to juggle it all, and want to be mindful to not overlook your loved ones’ special occasions while doing so, a few steps on your iPhone can provide them with an experience like the one I had. I’ll FINALLY be sending my wedding thank you cards via their greeting service now. (I hear you have a year to send those, right? Looks like they’ll arrive in time after all.)

I acknowledge that Gift in Time is partnering with me to participate in this custom-gifting project. All expressed opinions and experiences on this blog are my own, and are written in my own words, regardless of collaboration compensation. My post complies with the WOMMA Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Double-Duty Drawers

In the past 4 months, Adam and I have given away about 1/3 of our belongings. It feels so wonderful to create more room for our new lifestyle with baby West! Here are a few little modifications that we made that really helped us free up floor space, and eliminate clutter:

1. Built-in Pet Toy Storage
For the past 5+ years, these four drawers on my side of the bed were filled with my socks, underwear and swimsuits. I'd placed an open basket at the foot of the drawers, and that's where we stored the dogs' toys. But the basket got in the way a lot-- mainly when I was trying to access the storage under our bed, or when I'd groggily wake up in the middle of the night to pump.  I realized that I could easily get rid of one drawer of accessories, and then keep the puppies' goodies in the bottom bin. Now I can easily tuck the toys and container away: 

2. Extendable Nightstand 
We have wonderful little built-in nightstands on the sides of our bed. But lately I've been wanting a bit more surface space at night so I can keep West's books and toys at the ready (we're currently co-sleeping). Rather than buying a new piece of mobile furniture to wheel in during the evenings, I opted to make a cover that I can slide over one of the open drawers at night:

Luckily the removable lid to the basket located one cubby up worked PERFECTLY for this project. But had it not, I would've simply had a lightweight piece of plywood custom-cut at the hardware store that I could use in the same manner. During the day, I would've stored it on the shelf alongside the books. In this case, I just replace the basket top during the day. This little extra table-top space is so helpful!

3. Trundle Storage for West's Toys
As West's toy collection grows and evolves, we'll need a big, easy bin in which to put everything. However, there is no room for an additional large catch-all basket or box in our house. So I decided to donate all of the clothes I kept stashed in the trundle-drawer on my side of the bed. (The neighboring bin is for laundry.) Now every bit of clothing I own is stored in our garden wardrobe.

My hope is that this easily accessible, oversized drawer will be a handy tool in the future, when West is able to pick out and play with his toys on his own. 

Compact Drying Solutions

To anyone in a standard size home, the topic of compact drying solutions might seem absurd. But small-space dwellers will know what I mean when I say that finding room to dry dishes, plastic bags, linens, etc. in tight quarters can be a struggle. How do you do it without making your home look like it's in a constant state of soggy chaos? 

Between the baby bottles, reusable diapers, reusable cleaning rags, etc., the gross wet stuff piles up quickly here at the Cottage. For a while, Adam and I tried hanging loose items around the house. But since our space is so small, this meant that basically everywhere I looked I was reminded of housework-- plus it was an ugly sight. So I decided to find some quick and simple solutions to the problem. 

IN THE KITCHEN
Drying Bottles, Plastic Bags, etc.
After having baby West, we realized why so many people use those Boon Grass drying racks.  We don't have enough counter space for a traditional square version, but there are narrow options on the market as well. However, since there's so little spare space by the sink, we were always knocking into items and sending them tumbling over, where they'd get dirty once more. It took a month or so, but we finally found a mix of solutions that work well for us, and help us dry West's bottles and accessories, my pumping supplies, reusable plastic bags, glassware, towels, etc. We have a combination of the following:

  1. Retractable Wooden Drying Rack (for clean bottles, etc.)
  2. Narrow Glass Drainer / Tray (for the dirty bottles, etc.)
  3. Paper Towel Holder Magnet (for the dish towels we use specifically on baby stuff)
  4. Retractable Over-the-Sink Drying Rack (for food processor parts & larger clean items)
  5. Wall Mounted Baskets (for the miscellaneous little, clean items, such as bottle caps)
  6. Faucet Sponge Caddy 
  7. Driftwood Accessories Hanger (to help keep baby / vase / cookware (etc) brushes organized and clean)
(I cannot wait to replace those countertops.)

(I cannot wait to replace those countertops.)

This might seem like a lot, but we use each of these items multiple times per day here in our little home/office. The great thing is, the racks fold or roll up and easily when not in use, and can be stowed out of sight. 

More small space storage tools. Strong magnets help our wooden coasters air out on the side of the refrigerator.

More small space storage tools. Strong magnets help our wooden coasters air out on the side of the refrigerator.

IN THE NURSERY
Drying Burp Cloths, Used Onesies, etc.
Our entire house looked like a clothing line during the weeks after West's birth. His garments, our clothes, and all of the other linens that got wet and needed a place to dry before being thrown into the hamper for the next round of laundry were draped over every surface possible.

To tame this mess, I simply attached a mesh multi-pocket caddy to the side of the baby's combination changer/bathtub table, and the problem was solved. Now the fabrics can stay in the open air until heading to the washer, without cluttering up our house. 

IN THE BATHROOM
Drying Reusable Diapers & Cleaning Rags
We were warned by numerous people that there was no way we could make reusable diapers work in such a small space. But we've had no problem with it! We have a wonderful reusable diapering system by Grovia here at the Cottage. But here was the challenge: in such a small space, where would we place the dirty diapers while we were still actively changing the baby? And then where could we put the diapers after we'd rinsed them off, but before they got properly cleaned? 

According to the Grovia website, "the surest way to ruin a diaper is to leave it soiled in a closed, dark, warm pail for several days before washing it. This environment is prime breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. Treat your diapers as you would your own clothing. Soiled diapers should be washed every 2 or 3 days according to manufacturer’s instructions."

The system that we came up is certainly not glamorous, but it's effective, keeps our surfaces clear, allows the fabrics to breathe while awaiting a full cleaning, and doesn't take up any valuable space. First we use an S-hook to attach a pail to the changing table (see the above photo). That pail holds the dirty diapers while we tend to West. After the baby's diaper is changed and he is safely relocated, we take the bucket to the bathroom and wash the soaker pad off. The rinsed, wet diaper then goes in a second bucket that is suspended from our narrow shower rod (see photo below), and from there it gets fully cleaned.

So that's how we make it work. I know it's not the most pin-worthy topic, but it's these sort of day-to-day hacks that make small-space living doable with a family!

So. Much. Dog. Hair.

You know how my photos are always bright white and a tad bit over-exposed? Well that wasn't an artistic decision at the start-- it was a necessity. I had one dog at the time, Stanlee, and he sheds INSANE amounts of hair. When I first started sharing photos of the Cottage online, I spent hours photoshopping out the numerous, massive tumbleweeds of Stanlee's hair that are constantly gliding across our floor. I should've just left them in there (real life and all), but I didn't want to discourage anyone from adopting a dog. (Stanlee is a rescue, which I talk about often, as I'm big into the Adopt-Don't-Shop concept.) I quickly realized that if I just brightened up my photos a bit-- VOILA!-- the hair would almost completely disappear from the photos. 

So many people write to me and ask if my dogs (#StubsandSoph) shed, and if so, how I handle it. For years I used a handheld vacuum. It was the only thing that fit easily into our home, and it's not hard to vacuum an entire tiny house with a mini-vac. That being said, it's definitely a pain to have to plug/unplug the machine in every section of the cottage, and all the hunching over kills your back. And of course I couldn't reach our vaulted ceilings with the handheld, so I would use paper towels on a long stick to reach cobwebs. CLASSY. 

Adam kept saying we should get a Dyson cordless machine he'd seen somewhere, but I kept on insisting that there was no way a full-sized vacuum would fit in our house.

Then came baby West. Immediately the dog hair started getting all over West's clothes and toys (which all inevitably end up in his mouth). I finally gave into Adam's suggestion and got Dyson V8 Absolute. I have to say,  I am a complete idiot for not getting it sooner. It's amazing. Here's why:

  • It breaks down into small components so I can stash it away in the living room. (Photos below.)
  • It's so quiet that West sleeps through it.
  • It's cordless, which makes it crazy easy to use. I vacuum several times a day now because it's such a breeze.
  • It can reach the vaulted ceilings, so I no longer have to use my classy Gandalf stick.
  • It really removes the hair, rather than just dragging it around in the nozzle, or scattering it about the floor via exhaust fans. (My handheld did both of those things, which was annoying.)

I genuinely recommend the V8 to anyone who lives in a small space and/or is battling with the drama of dog hair. (Now I just overexpose my photos so I don't have to clean my windows.😜)

Resources: Folding Leather Stool and Tabletop Lanterns by Serena and Lily. Woven Boots by Frye.

Resources: Folding Leather Stool and Tabletop Lanterns by Serena and Lily. Woven Boots by Frye.

Babywearing

I'm a big fan of babywearing. It's not only great bonding time with West, but it's also one of the only ways in which I can get anything done here at our lil' home/office. I have two Solly Baby Wraps that I love and use daily. They're beautiful, and they fold up so small that they can fit anywhere when not in use-- from the diaper bag, to the baskets in the baby's bay.

I'm sharing some small space nursery tips over on Solly Baby Wrap's blog-- click here to view.

Christmas at the Cottage

December was a beautiful daze at the Cottage. The weeks rushed by, and West grew so much that Adam and I can hardly believe our eyes. I posted most of my content from the month on Instagram Stories, which allowed me to share moments from the Cottage without requiring me to spend additional hours at the computer away from West. My goal this holiday season was to spend less time fussing over presents, and to spend more time focused on my family. It was wonderful, and some of our highlights are below. Happy, happy holidays to you and yours! Thank you for making our entire 2016 so very merry & bright.

"Go Small" Dinner on Refinery29

I recently hosted a little dinner for four incredible Businesswomen / Mamas here at the Cottage. We chatted about some of the ways in which going small can enable us to live fuller lives— something that I know to be true after enjoying this tiny house with Adam and Stanlee for these past 5½ years. (And since then we've even grow by two residents: puppy Sophee and baby West!)

The story, which includes a video from the evening, is now up on Refinery29: Two People, Two Dogs & A Baby Live In This 362-Square-Foot Cottage

Story sponsored by Ford.

Tiny Human + Tiny House: What's Worked

I took some time away from the blog to focus on our first month with Baby West. He is now 6 weeks old, and we've been very pleased with how the nursery has worked for us thus far! (View our nursery tour posts here.) This is a quick round-up of some of the key items we've loved, and the reasons why they're handy for our small-space lifestyle. 

Our most functional, space-saving piece is definitely this bathtub and changing table combo via Wayfair. It rolls all over the house, depending on where we need or want it to be-- from the garden, to the stoop, to the nursery. The removable tub is extremely easy to use and clean, and the entire unit is tall, so we don't end up with aching backs after changing or bathing West. There are also two massive storage baskets built-in, which hold our reusable diapers (from Grovia), disposable diapers + wipes (from The Honest Co.), and bath items (from Amazon and Etsy).

I added a long metal wire basket (from Amazon) to the side of the table to hold baby-care essentials for easy access. Items shown include:

  • Grovia All-in-one Newborn Cloth Diaper - Via Grovia 
  • NailFrida the SnipperClipper – available at Target 
  • FeverFrida the ithermonitor – available at Target 
  • NoseFrida Travel the SnotSucker – available at Fridababy.com
  • Handmade Linen Baby Towel - Via Etsy

Some of my favorite goods, which work well in the closet-nursery AND on-the-go:

  • Handmade Changing Mat with Carrier Strap (can be stored vertically, and looks beautiful when hanging up in the house) - via Fawn + Cub
  • Waxed Canvas Unisex Diaper Bag (completely foldable and easy to stow) - via Kith and Kin
  • Handmade Wallet + iPhone Tiny Leather Purse by Hustle & Hide (a small, extremely functional handbag/wallet) - via Etsy
  • Solly Baby Wrap / Carrier (takes up no space when stored) - via Solly Baby
  • All-in-one car seat cover, nursing scarf, and cart cover - via Native Wilds

Our mini-crib (via Bloom Global) works beautifully, and fits perfectly in the Bay. But IF we didn't have space for the crib, we could've still made it work via a co-sleeper. My favorite is the DockATot, which is available in two sizes.

I thought that the Bay was a bit TOO dark at night, but I didn't want to re-instal a ceiling light (they can get too hot, and we don't have real room for one anyway). There also isn't enough available space for a table-top lamp. So I recently installed some battery-operated twinkle lights (from Terrain) to brighten up the nursery, and I absolutely LOVE how they look and function.

MamaRoo Infant Seat - via Target
This incredible gizmo takes up less space than a traditional baby swing. West loves it. There are varying speeds, movements, sounds, and angles, so he never gets bored. It's a phenomenal help when I'm working at the computer, and when I want to keep the baby upright while he dozes off immediately after breastfeeding.

In the kitchen we use a collapsible bottle-drying tree, and a wall basket for bottle-tops, etc. These take up much less space than a traditional drying rack. (Via Amazon)

And, as always, going vertical wherever possible has helped us find place for the pretty little accessories we use on a regular basis, such as burp cloths, rattles, soothie clips, etc. 

On a side note: After our first month with West, it's also important to note a few changes we made for the pups in order to prevent them from feeling neglected as we tend to the baby. We've added daily trips to the dog park or beach to the routine (in addition to our regular dogwalks along the Canals). We’ve also started giving them meals from @thefarmersdog (they’re completely obsessed), and we got them new handmade beds from our wonderful neighbors @thewolfnest. So far, so good!

(Please note: the pieces in the nursery and cottage will change as West gets older. His safety is obviously our main priority, and the space will evolve according to his growth, capabilities and mobility.)

Our newest resident: Baby West!

Baby West is here! Our son was born on September 30th, and Adam and I have spent the entire month of October fawning over him here at the Cottage.

I would’ve loved to have an at-home birth, but since this was my first pregnancy and I’m considered to be of “advanced maternal age,” we decided from the start to play it safe and give birth in a hospital:

I was in labor for about 24 hours, and had a natural childbirth (on Pitocin). West was healthy and relaxed upon his arrival, and is truly an amazing newborn. I’m happier and more thankful than ever.

The Cottage has been the perfect place for our family of 5 these past weeks, and I am so excited about our family AND home evolving together. 

I’ll soon share details on our experience thus far with the tiny house nursery. In the meantime, thank you all for your kind and supportive comments on Instagram— we’ve read them all, and we are so grateful for the outpouring of love! 

Tiny Updates

With the Cottage nursery finally set up (see previous posts), I wanted to make a few minor updates around the house to allow the spaces blend together a bit more seamlessly. My main resource for the updates was Couleur Locale. I love the neutral, Earthy tones and textures of their products: 

New grass fringe lampshade, as we thought the bare-bulb would be a bit too bright for the baby.

New coconut tea light holders (for real and faux candles, depending on context) and bowls. This way we won't have to worry about glass or porcelain holders breaking once the baby begins to grab things.

New rattan wicker baskets for decor and market goods:

New handmade bedspread from World By Hand:

New Anthropologie anchor hooks for the bedroom, to match the subtle, nautical theme in the closet nursery:

New stools with backs-- we want to feel more secure and supported when holding the baby during our meals at the breakfast counter:

And a few more little accessories, here and there:

 

 

Lil' Kitchen

The kitchen at the Cottage isn't actually all THAT tiny... or at least it doesn't feel that way. We have an apartment-size refrigerator, a dishwasher, a standard stove, and a breakfast counter. The skylight overhead, the window under the cabinetry, and the dutch door at the end of the room make it feel bright and spacious to me, regardless of its actual square-footage.

Recently, several people have asked me what appliances, accessories and tips I would recommend for a small kitchen. As always, I'd advise going vertical, and opting for multi-purpose and/or reusable items when possible. Here is a list of my go-to goods from the Cottage kitchen:

  • S-Series: Personal Blender by Vitamix (perfect size for those of us with limited counter space)
  • Compact Pop-Up Toaster by Muji (simple streamlined design)
  • Over the Sink/Stove Cutting Board (adds counter space over 2 standard-sized burners)
  • Source Sparkling Water Maker by SodaStream (make your own bubbly water-- there's no need to buy, haul, store, and trash bottles)
  • Mini Colander (easy to hang on a wall, saving valuable cabinet and drawer space)
  • Polder Food Storage Box (a bit of extra food storage for your countertops)
  • Wire Mesh Caddy from West Elm (to store slim plates and mugs-- we keep ours on the top of the fridge)
  • Slim Cuatro Plates from CB2 (they stack-and-store so easily)
  • Cutting Boards (for cutting, serving, dining, and decorating)
  • Otis Wire Wall Basket from Domino (vertical storage for the tiny items you commonly reach for, such as tea strainers, corks, and bag-closure pins)
  • Hooks, extra-strong magnets, and linens with hanging loops (handy for hanging aprons, artwork, pot holders, dish towels, etc.)

One of these days, I would so love to redo the countertops and backsplash. But for now we're simply working with what we've got, and it's more than enough!

Tiny House Nursery - The Details

My favorite part of putting together the nursery was finding all the little, practical details to use in the space while our son is an infant. My main shopping resource was ETSY, but I discovered incredible products (both new and vintage) from a variety of other makers and vendors as well. 

CRIB | The first piece we picked was the crib. We needed a VERY specific size, and this Alma Bloom Mini Crib (on wheels, which is a feature we love and use frequently here,) ended up being absolutely perfect. The crib's platform height is adjustable, and the entire thing is easily collapsable. We couldn't have dreamed up a better design for the baby's Bay.

CLOTHING STORAGE | Next we needed a vertical storage solution for the remaining cubby (to the left of the crib). And again, it had to be a super-specific size. I found a lightweight, simple set of rolling drawers on Amazon. They're well-suited to the space, and we're thrilled with the piece's functionality.

LARGE ITEM STORAGE | The last major element of the Bay to consider was the top shelf. We needed durable storage containers that were roomy enough to hold several items, but we also needed them to be small and soft enough to slide onto and off of the top ledge. (We also had to ensure that whatever we selected would remain secure during an earthquake.) I found three gorgeous jute baskets from The Dharma Door (USA), and not only are they ideal in terms of use, but they're completely beautiful:

OPTIONAL CLOTHING RACK | We removed the dowel rods from the closet, as we don't intend to hang the baby's clothing in the space. However, in case we do need a place to hang items from time to time, I found a wooden bead garland (to act as a clothing line) via ETSY that I shortened to fit our needs, and then secured to the inner lip of the Bay's top shelf. I can pull the strand out whenever we need to hang something up, and then tuck the strand away again when it's not in use:

As such, we also needed some small, light hangers. I opted for these adorable cardboard clouds from Little Dundi, as we can recycle them once they're no longer needed:

ARTWORK | Then came the artwork! I wanted the nursery to have dedicated imagery, but for the pieces to compliment the other art within our bedroom. I also toyed with the idea of dark accent walls and/or wallpaper for the Bay. In the end, however, the bright, clean walls decorated simply with the art won me over. (Plus, we want the Bay to be easy to adapt, so it can evolve as our son grows.) I chose the following pieces for the Bay and the bedroom, and kept the possibility of earthquakes in mind when choosing how and where to display them:

Sources:
1. "They Delayed the Workings of the Day..." by Elly MacKay as "Theater Clouds" on ETSY (Link)
2. "Legends" book cover (Vintage)
3. "Homestead" by my friend Gregory Beauchamp as "Beauchamping" on Instagram and ETSY (Link)
4. "Peace Leaves" pen + ink by Britt Fabello as "Sea of Atlas" on Instagram and ETSY (Link)
5. Medium, vintage-reproduction nautical map of the "Reefs of Florida" from Archive Print Co on Instagram and ETSY (Link)
6. Large, vintage-reproduction nautical map of "Old Santa Monica" from Archive Print Co on Instagram and ETSY (Link)

(Also pictured: Handmade beagle plush toy by ADToys via ETSY)

(Also pictured: Handmade beagle plush toy by ADToys via ETSY)

FUNCTIONAL ACCESSORIES

Next on the to-do list was the delightful task of selecting functional accessories to help us easily access and stash various necessities.

I selected these lightweight Otis Wire Wall Baskets that I found on Domino to help hold miscellaneous cloths, tiny clothing, and toys. (As our son grows and begins to be able to reach these baskets, we'll relocate them.)

(Also pictured: Small driftwood, burlap and hemp baby mobile-- another ETSY find, via Wiggly William.

(Also pictured: Small driftwood, burlap and hemp baby mobile-- another ETSY find, via Wiggly William.

I wanted new hardware to hold Stanlee's and Sophee's leashes next to the Bay. This pair of hound hooks (also from ETSY) were spot on, and blend well with the decor when paired with the nautical rope leashes by Resq Co:

We needed to find a place to stash my prenatal and postpartum paperwork, as well as the baby's ultrasounds and future health records. Rather than opting for another "storage solution" I wanted to find a pretty lil' something that could be left out in the open like an art objet.  I stumbled upon a vintage picnic basket at Tower 20 (by Tim Clarke Design) in Santa Monica, and repurposed it into a medical files box:

I then decorated the nearby heater cover with lightweight mirrors from both Anthropologie and World Market to help brighten and enlarge the appearance of the space:

(Also pictured: Handmade Loch Ness monster plush toy by MEVVSAN from etsy // Small wooden stool (vintage) // 2-toned Umbra hub ladder // Daphne white garden stool from home decorators collection // Sailor swaddle by Woolf with me)

(Also pictured: Handmade Loch Ness monster plush toy by MEVVSAN from etsy // Small wooden stool (vintage) // 2-toned Umbra hub ladder // Daphne white garden stool from home decorators collection // Sailor swaddle by Woolf with me)

We also needed a new, cozy rug to sit on while spending time with the baby. I found the Sahara Rug in Sand via Loloi Rugs, and it's my new favorite item in the bedroom:

(Also pictured: Handmade Loch Ness monster plush toy by MEVVSAN from etsy // Small wooden stool (vintage) // Daphne white garden stool from home decorators collection // Sailor swaddle by Woolf with me)

(Also pictured: Handmade Loch Ness monster plush toy by MEVVSAN from etsy // Small wooden stool (vintage) // Daphne white garden stool from home decorators collection // Sailor swaddle by Woolf with me)

Another item on the checklist was a baby monitor. But we also wanted something that could act as a general security and pet cam when we're out of the house. We love the look of this Withings "Home" camera, and that it has several audio features that we can control with our iPhones. (We've started using it already to speak to the pups when we're out, which is always entertaining.) We'll have to find the perfect place for it once the baby arrives!

CHANGING AND BATHING TABLE (+ ACCESSORIES)

Last but definitely not least, we needed to find a changing table and baby bathing solution. While we could've used any place in the house for changing diapers, we wanted something dedicated and mobile. I am nearly 6' tall, and Adam is even taller, so the idea of bending over a low surface for changing and bathing was completely unappealing to us. Meanwhile, our sinks (bathroom and kitchen) are too small and not properly designed for baby bathing. We don't have room for a changing table AND a bathing solution, but luckily we found a rolling combo piece via Wayfair / Joss & Main:

... and no, we aren't keeping the combo table outside-- it's just easier to photograph out of the house! It will be a mobile piece within the Cottage.

How cute is this greige sailor changing pad cover by Woolf With Me?! 

We've already stocked up the cart with multiple diapering systems from GroVia. (We've used them on our nephews who are here frequently, and they've worked wonderfully.)

When we're on the go, we'll use this handmade changing mat from Fawn + Cub. (I bought this a year before we decided to get pregnant. Crazy, I know, but I just loved it so much.)

Our diaper tote is also made by an ETSY vendor-- a married couple who run a shop named Kith and Kin. Adam and I love how this unisex bag is both durable and beautifully designed:

LOUNGING | We don't have the room for a glider inside, so we placed a wicker rocking chair from Joss & Main in the garden just off the bedroom/nursery stoop. We dressed up the space with outdoor rugs, throws, lanterns, and a 5' handmade mobile by Sea & Glass. If the baby isn't in our arms while we're enjoying the garden, he'll be in this gorgeous Moses Basket from Plum + Sparrow:

WHEW. Now I think the only thing we still need is... THE BABY. Hurry up, October! We are can't wait to meet our son and introduce him into this loving, little world of ours.