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.

Small Space Skylight

Small Space Skylight

In less than 400 square feet, we’re lucky to have, not one, but two beautiful skylights. The window over the main room (which is the space that serves as our living room, kitchen, office, dining room, playroom, guest room, entryway, and more,) is generously sized, and is the unsung hero of our lil’ home. It permits the SoCal sunlight to pour abundantly into nearly every area within the Cottage.


I can’t imagine our house without this skylight, but during the winter months it poses a bit of a challenge for my workspace. The sun moves in a path that lands smack on my monitor for about two crucial hours of the workday (10-12), meaning that I can’t shoot, adjust photos, or edit videos at my desk during that time.


Obviously this is a great problem to have, and clearly there are several easy work-arounds, such as moving the iMac or using the laptop. But more often than not, I end up jumping up on the roof and throwing an old tablecloth over the window so I can continue my work uninterrupted.

I took to Instagram Stories to make fun of myself for doing this when my friend Hilton Carter (the talented creator of Jungle By The Falls) sent me a DM suggesting that perhaps I block the bulk of the temporary, problematic light with… plants. (I’ve suspended plants from our beams before, but I’d never, ever thought to dangle them from the skylight as a decorative solution to harsh sunlight.)


I’m a big fan of Hilton’s. He possesses such a rare blend of talent, humor, kindness, creativity, and style. (And his feature in our book, Small Space Style, is one of my absolute favorite parts of the entire publication.)


All it took was a sturdy tension rod, ever-handy s-hooks from the toolbox, a couple of my favorite hanging baskets from around the Cottage, and some variegated English Ivy to bring his recommendation to life. Et voila:


Problem solved— and solved simply and beautifully, with minimal purchasing.


The tension rod and s-hooks are only clearly visible if you’re standing directly under the skylight when the plants aren’t in the baskets. Within moments, everything can be scooted over to block transitioning sunlight, or taken down for watering or alternative placement.


And hallelujah— I can finally see my desk for the duration of the workday!


Thank you, Hilton. (As always.) Our house is a happier place because of you!

Corralling and Concealing Toys in a Small Space

Corralling and Concealing Toys in a Small Space

An Ode to Washable Paper Containers

An Ode to Washable Paper Containers