Welcome to the Cottage.

The Tiny Canal Cottage® is a 1920's Craftsman-style house by the Venice Beach Canals in Southern California. This <400 sqft home/office is the full-time residence of Creative Director Whitney Leigh Morris, her husband, their son, and two rescue beagles.

Tiny Nursery Evolution - An Unexpected Change

Tiny Nursery Evolution - An Unexpected Change

West’s first birthday is just around the corner, which means we’ve had our tiny house nursery (adapted from our bedroom closet) for well over a year now. It has been my favorite part of the cottage that entire time. The space is practical. It’s functional. It’s adorable. And it brings me joy when it’s sparkling clean AND when it’s disastrously messy. Our son enjoys the items we’d hoped he would, along with several others we’d never anticipated him even noticing. The pups play and pace protectively around it. And it’s the first thing Adam and I see when we wake up every morning.

Anthro-Cottage_nursery copy.jpg

A couple months ago, I was almost ready to post our plans for adapting the nursery to accommodate West’s growth and needs. 

We’d planned on collapsing the mini-crib and stowing it in the built-in storage space beneath our bed. In it’s place, we were going to build a very low, folding platform. When closed, it would resemble a child-sized built-in tabletop. When unfolded, it would extend a couple of feet into the bedroom (over the area rug), and serve as West’s bed. Initially, we would’ve used the Dock-a-Tot Grand as his mattress. Then, as West grew into being a toddler, we’d either upsize to a custom-cut memory foam mattress, or add temporary, removable rails to our built-in couch as his next bed.


And then, the same week we started to cut the materials for the built-in table/bed, we were presented with an unexpected opportunity.

Our wonderful neighbor, who has the front tiny cottage on our shared property, offered Adam and me the chance to take over his house as renters. (Some of you might recall that we discussed this possibility with our neighbor a few years ago, too, but we couldn’t quite work out the timing of the arrangement back then, so we scrapped the plan.)

Our cottage on the left, the "new"&nbsp;neighboring tiny cottage on the right.

Our cottage on the left, the "new" neighboring tiny cottage on the right.

Adam and I debated, weighing out the pros and cons:

Do we need the extra space? 
- Truthfully, no. Not right now.

Would it be nice to have an “external” office nearby, along with a place for West’s grandparents to stay when they visit from Florida, and other needs?
- Yes, absolutely.  

Is it worth the money?
- We still aren’t quite sure...

Is it worth the adventure?
- We decided that yes, it is. 
(At least for now.)


So we pumped the breaks on the nursery adaptation plan. Because, in November, our home/office will grow from under 400 sqft to just under 800 sqft. We'll re-approach West's nursery expansion according to this new development. (More on that soon.)

Overall, I’m looking forward to this change. We’ve lived at the Cottage for over 6.5 years, and the idea of outfitting the entire property for our little family excites me. (Note: Other than the nursery, our existing home will remain the same.)

But here’s the thing that bothers me: I don’t want people who have looked to the Cottage as inspiration for small space living with a baby to believe that it can’t be done. I’m being completely honest when I say that we don’t need the extra space right now. But, at our age, and with our lives being where and what they are, Adam and I don’t love the idea of sharing the property with a new neighbor, when we could instead secure the front house for our families, and for special events. So that is actually the main reason why we’re expanding.

The front stoop of our home. "New" neighoring cottage in background.

The front stoop of our home. "New" neighoring cottage in background.

So, a month from now, our lives will shift to include TWO tiny houses! 🏡 🏡  I look forward to sharing our plans and evolving experience with you very soon.

Year 1 as a Family of 5

Year 1 as a Family of 5

Small Space Living Feature & Video on Disney's Babble

Small Space Living Feature & Video on Disney's Babble