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.

New Way to Manage the Pet Hair Problem

New Way to Manage the Pet Hair Problem

This post was sponsored by BISSELL®. As always, the opinions and images are my own. All photographs of the pups and/or West were taken by myself or my husband while our little ones interacted in their own natural ways.


Here’s the thing about living in a compact space as a family: with two adults, two pups, and one toddler, your floors get WRECKED. Think about it. All of the foot traffic is confined to the same small space. There’s no “high traffic area” vs “low traffic area.” It’s a rush-hour bottleneck all the time. 

Also, there are no real entry landings here. No muck room. No dedicated spot to leave our shoes, bags, and miscellaneous wheels. Every inch is highly used— no space is transitional.


I’m not complaining. It’s the lifestyle I love. But I do not love walking through fur tumbleweeds, slipping on the dogs’ drinking water (which lives on the floor more than in the bowl due to West’s love of splashing), and then tracking everything onto our area rugs.


As we all know, one of the perks of living in a petite home or apartment is that it takes far less time to clean. But floor care can still be a pain in our cottage. Switching accessories depending on what surface we’re cleaning drags out the otherwise swift process, and there’s no obvious place to temporarily shuffle things between while shifting gears. 

To make matters more complicated, my long hair frequently winds around vacuum hardware until it looks like an old hairbrush, and ultimately jams everything up. Luckily for us all, BISSELL® just released  CrossWave® Pet Pro, which basically solves all of these issues.


I’m always inclined to try BISSELL products— not only are they always innovated and effective, but BISSELL also has a pet foundation that’s dedicated to finding homes for stray or abandoned pets.  


As Stanlee and Sophee are both rescues (and all of my childhood dogs were strays), this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. 

BISSELL also develops Earth friendly formulas and biodegradable detergents, which are safe for use in homes with pets and kids when used as directed. Not a lot of items make it into our home in the first place, but I’ll always happily try out a BISSELL. 


In a house with limited square-footage, free/negative space is so important. And with our pups and son, this means that we’re all stretched out on our floors or rugs more often than anywhere else. As such, I’m always looking for efficient and effective ways to keep our rugs and hardwood clean.


 As far as the CrossWeave goes, here are the perks in a nutshell:

  • It vacuums and washes at the same time, eliminating an extra step while cleaning sealed hard floors and area rugs

  • Smart touch controls make it easy to switch between cleaning hard floors and area rugs.

  • It’s designed specifically for cleaning up after pets

  • It has a multi-Surface Pet Brush Roll, which is tangle-free for hair up to 8 inches long

  • For every CrossWeave purchased and activated on bissell.com, $10 is donated to their pet foundation.

  • The cleaning formula is safe for pets and kids when used as directed, it’s Earth friendly, and it removes tracked in dirt, mud, paw prints and other such messes.

  • Two-tank system keeps the clean water/formula mix and dirty water separate so you’re always cleaning with fresh water and formula.

  • A strainer in the dirty water tank separates and traps pet hair for easy emptying, and the Brush Roll is removable for easy cleaning and maintenance.


What all that means when applied to our tiny Cottage is this: Adam or I can clean all of our floorspace in one easy pass. While cleaning, we don’t have to empty any tanks or change any hardware or accessories.  


There’s an Easy-Clean Storage Tray, which we use immediately afterwards, and then stow when needed. (I’ll be honest— we sit it in the shower, because where else is it going to go here?!)


We simply toggle between modes via a button the handle, and go. The tumbleweeds of dog hair are gone, my fallen hairs don’t hinder the function of the roller, and we no longer have to wipe or pick up soggy messes by the pet bowls. 

So, West, my love— keep on splashing to your lil’ heart’s content. 

(Small) Negative Space

(Small) Negative Space

Tiny Adventures: The Westside