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.

Smart Updates to Our Little Live/Work Space

Smart Updates to Our Little Live/Work Space

This post was sponsored by Pottery Barn / PB Apartment. All opinions are my own.

Our tiny home has experienced so many alterations in the past 2 years, keeping pace with our growing son and our evolving practices. The one area of our cottage that remained the same the entire time was my workspace, despite the fact that my work routines and methods have changed drastically since West was born. This area of the cottage is my full-time office, but it's also our living room, dining room, guest room, and a general play space. As such, I didn’t want to rush my workspace update, and was determined to wait until I found the perfect solutions for the little spot from which I run my business. 

I knew that I wanted a place to work while standing, and a place to work while sitting. I couldn’t accommodate 2 pieces of furniture, nor could I comfortably fit an optional, add-on riser that would lift my computer. I explored convertible desks, but every one I saw offered decent utility, but was far from stylish. And nearly all the options seemed better suited for a traditional office space, rather than a compact home.

When I discovered the Petaluma Lift Desk from PB Apartment, the bell went off. It was EXACTLY what I needed— from the color, to the size, to the functionality, to the design details. I am SO excited to share this piece, as it’s by far and away my favorite new addition to the cottage since we replaced our kitchen countertops. 


In it’s first position, the desk is a standard table height. The entire desktop can also extend upward into a second position, smoothly converting the desk into a standing workspace within a few seconds.


The hardware for lifting and lowering the surface of the desk functions gently and easily, but is still strong. I’m never worried that the top is going to collapse, nor do I have to physically struggle when converting between the two modes. When the top is lowered, I simply use any desk or dining chair. When the top is raised, I can stand and enjoy working on the entire desktop (as opposed to a mere section, as with a computer riser).


The color lightens up the office wall, which in turn appears to enlarge the room. The finish is ever-so-slightly weathered, which is a look that sings to me. It helps conceal inevitable wear-and-tear, while still looking bright and beautiful.


The drawer is a convenient size for the basics, such as a compact shredder, select hardware, and small office supplies. But the ledge around the desktop is the best bonus. It keeps items from rolling off at a great height when in standing mode, but also keeps toddler hands from pulling down every item on the surface that’s within reach when the table is lowered.

And on the topic of toddlers— West is the real reason why I wanted this office update. I spend several hours sitting at the computer at night or when West is out of the house, but I spend just as much time working while my son is playing here at home. I wanted to be ready to pivot on the spot and run around with him whenever he’s nearby. And this design works perfectly for that without cluttering up our home. It’s funny how little design changes like this can make a sizable impact on your day.

(Also pictured: Small Daytrip Lidded Basket + Throw Blanket)

I also upgraded our laundry set-up with the Galvanized Rolling Cart. Thanks to our indoor/outdoor lifestyle, the sand from the beach, two pups that shed, and our cloth diapering system, we spend a lot of time doing laundry these days and wanted to make that routine more comfortable. (I’m almost 6’ tall, and Adam is 6’2”, so hunching over various laundry piles was getting old.) 


This clever cart is on casters, allowing it to tuck into our closet or into the bathroom with ease when not in use. It has two removable laundry bins, and a lift-top work surface / lid for easy access to the compartments below.


When we’re ready to sort, fold, or spot-treat, we simply roll the cart out into the bedroom or stoop. 


I'm reluctant to admit it, but I’ll be honest… I actually kind of enjoy doing our laundry these days. Although seeing the numbers on West’s clothing tags increase every few months still astonishes me… sigh. I truly appreciate how these small yet significant home changes are enabling me to work more efficiently, providing me with precious extra minutes to share with my rapidly growing son.

(Also pictured: Small Daytrip Lidded Basket + Throw Blanket)

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