We’ve discovered the most gorgeous tiny home and it’s giving us some serious real estate envy. The Tiny Canal Cottage is a 1924 Craftsman-style house located in the Venice Beach Canals in Southern California. It features a quaint backyard, hardwood floors, oh, and it’s only 362 square feet.
Home to Whitney Leigh Morris, the new mom transformed the cottage into the home (and personal office, as she runs her business from home) of her dreams. From the twinkling lights that shine through their big open windows to the small baby nursery, Morris has made the most of her small space — and claims it’s made her a better person as well.
Morris shares her everyday life at the cottage on her website, The Tiny Canal Cottage, where she promotes the idea that “you don’t have to ‘live large’ to live beautifully.” She also posts stunning photos of her property on her Instagram account, which has 117K followers (who probably want to commandeer this house as much as I do).
Morris happened upon her home on Craigslist, believe it or not, after visiting dozens of properties. She says while she wasn’t originally looking for a small space (this was before the “minimalist” boom took off), her love for the tiny canal cottage was immediate.
“The minute we stepped into this house, we knew that our search was over and that it was the right place for us,” Morris tells Babble.
Morris soon moved in with her husband Adam Winkleman and their beagle-mix Stanlee. The couple were later joined by their newborn son West and another beagle Sophee.
Now I’m sure you’re asking yourselves right about now, how does she live and work in 362 sq. ft.?
Well, you’ll be glad to know the property didn’t become this spectacularly beautiful overnight. A lot of hard work and planning went into this tiny home which took Morris and her husband about 2-3 years to outfit to their liking. And they’re still not done!
“Décor and design are always evolving to suit ever-changing needs, tastes, and trends,” Morris describes of designing her living space. So as her family changes, she expects her house will, too.
A home always reflects where a person is in their life, and Morris attributes the delay in decorating her house to just that.
“We were younger, and still going out frequently,” says Morris of when her family first moved in. “We spent entire weekends at the beach rather than in the garden, and ate most meals out around Venice, rather than at home. Things have changed enormously since then — our little home included.”
Looking back, Morris is grateful for the time they spent just living, as it allowed her and Adam to observe how they use the space and where there could be improvements.
“I’ve been inspired most by how we need to use the space. Our movements within the house let me know how to decorate,” says Morris.
Now, as a master of optimizing space, Morris recommends this to anyone living small:
“Go vertical. Get rid of excess. And, whenever possible, select multi-functional pieces that serve more than one purpose.” (Something we could all afford to do, actually, regardless of square footage.)
Morris took some of her own advice in many aspects throughout her house, including the trundle drawers underneath her bed, that serve as a hamper and toy storage, a window built in to the headboard of their bed, and little West’s nursery, formally used as a closet.
In fact, the small nursery actually provides Morris and her husband with a sense of comfort that their baby is always close by to keep an eye on.
“We’ve loved this first year with West in the cottage so very much,” Morris tells Babble. “It’s tough to articulate, but somehow our proximity makes every moment feel that much more special and intimate.”
(Now when she describes it that way, the 362 sq. ft. doesn’t sound too bad … )
Still, I can’t help but think I’d feel claustrophobic living and working in such close quarters, but Morris feels the opposite.
This mom claims that she almost never feels overcrowded, but if she ever does need some “me time,” she or Adam choose to wander around Venice or catch up with friends and family nearby. Morris also looks at the feeling as a sign that it’s time to donate a few things in an effort to declutter, which her family does frequently. (Another thing we could all afford to do from time to time … )
“But, in all honesty, somehow hours can go by when we don’t interact with one another!” Morris admits. “If I’m working in the office/living room, and Adam and the baby are playing in the garden or on the back stoop with the pocket door closed, I won’t see or hear them. The house doesn’t FEEL small to us.”
Additionally, Morris believes their tiny canal cottage has improved her relationship. “We function in tandem with one another — as parents, as a couple, and as co-workers,” Morris describes to Babble. “I believe I’m a better and more considerate partner now, thanks to our experiences in our little home.”
Well there you have it. Anyone else thinking of downsizing ASAP?