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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.

Transforming a Tiny Play Space for $30

Transforming a Tiny Play Space for $30

The other day we stopped by a craft store to pick up a specific item for our son. While running through the aisles chasing after him, I spotted a simple market/lemonade stand for $30. I jumped at the rare impulse purchase.

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I appreciated the simple, unfinished, all cardboard design for what it offered, and also for the room it provided for customization and creativity.

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With some crayons, toys, books and goods from around the house, as well as a mix of real and faux produce and plants we already had on-hand for West, it was easy and entertaining to completely transform our main room (and the stoops) for hours of play and learning.

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We used the scraps of cardboard from the packaging to make little notes and cash for the stand. West’s existing sorting bowls and their corresponding wooden chips became perfect coins.

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It was tempting to buy a wooden cash register set, but Adam and I agreed that manufactured toy money was definitely on the list of “Some Items You Can Probably Go Without.

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The stand has been great for unstructured enjoyment, but it has also been a practical outlet for communicating some lessons and addressing habits that we think are important.

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We use mesh produce bags, we express gratitude, we discuss where food comes from and how it’s grown, and we talk about flawed produce and why it’s crucial to not waste it.

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We’ve also enjoyed pulling some small florals and herbs up from the garden and giving those to one another. (And then our next activity is usually to plant a couple seeds, or tend to the soil.)

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For us, this was $30 so well spent. (And we haven’t even gotten to the lemonade side of the stand…)

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Video: Tiny Takeaways (Ep.9)

Video: Tiny Takeaways (Ep.9)

Shifting Pace

Shifting Pace