The Tiny Canal Cottage
ADVICE & INSPIRATION

Updating a Garden for Spring with The Tiny Canal Cottage™

It’s been a rough few months, but the weather is finally beginning to cooperate, which means it’ll soon be time to venture into nearly-forgotten territory: your backyard!

Taking time to enjoy the warmer temperatures of the season is an absolute must, whether your outdoor area is a sprawling backyard or simply a modest balcony or patio space. When it came time to reimagine a size-conscious outdoor space for the season, we turned to the incomparable Whitney Leigh Morris, a talented designer and stylist… who also happens to live in The Tiny Canal Cottage™! If the home’s name rings a bell for you, it’s probably because you’ve been drooling over it on a daily basis on Instagram, wishing desperately that you could move-in to the 362 square foot home for yourself!

Whitney shares the cozy 1920s Craftsman-style house with her husband (Adam), adorable new son (West), and two rescued beagles (Stanlee and Sophee). The charming home is snuggled stylishly along the Venice Canals in Southern California, which means that the family can extend their living space outdoors to include their fabulous back garden (weather-permitting, of course).

Take a look below at how Whitney effortlessly transformed her backyard space into a truly magical scene. It just goes to show that you don’t need a large home to have huge style!

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The Tiny Canal Cottage

The uncharacteristically intense winter rains have finally died down here in LA, and I’m spending increasing amounts of time outside with the baby– particularly in the afternoons and evenings. At 6 months old, West is now eating solid foods, so he’s joining Adam and me at the table for meals. As such, I needed to upgrade our tiny two-seater garden bistro set to something that could accommodate all three of us. Much like our indoor space, our outdoor space is also small, so I needed to select something compact and collapsible. I teamed up with Pottery Barn to find the best possible solution for our little garden, which ended up being their wonderful and eco-friendly Indio Folding Bistro Table and corresponding Folding Side Chairs:

The Tiny Canal Cottage

The Indio series is far more comfortable and roomy than any compact patio set I’ve ever owned. I’ve only had the pieces out for about a week, but I’ve already logged several office hours and meals out here, and I love it.

I’d always felt as though the wall on the right (behind the table) was too empty, but I wanted to find something specific to install there– a piece that was practical, space-saving and beautiful. Components of the Gabrielle Garden Shed set satisfied those criteria, and ended up being absolutely perfect for the space:

The Tiny Canal Cottage

The part that I’ve enjoyed and used the most is the Hanging Basket Tray. It is the ideal size for a wall like this one, and it functions as a potting surface, a way to display plants, and a storage container all in one handy little design. The pocket organizers, which I positioned just above the tray, are great for holding garden markers, gloves, tools, wire, and more:

The Tiny Canal Cottage

I added a few galvanized accessories to help me tote items between the house and garden. I selected this functional Galvanized Flatware Caddy, along with a pair of Metal Chargers that we use as trays and in lieu of placemats:

The Tiny Canal Cottage

The Tiny Canal Cottage

I also opted for a storage ottoman, where I now keep outdoor throw pillows and blankets. (I love these Honeycomb Indoor/Outdoor lumbar pillows and the matching chair cushions.)

The Tiny Canal Cottage

The Tiny Canal Cottage

I’m so thrilled with how everything turned out. This space was nearly unused before, and now it’s the coziest and most comfortable open-air office space and dining area for our little family.

The Tiny Canal Cottage

Above: 🐶 🐶 Stubs and Soph frolicking around our updated lil’ garden.

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The Tiny Canal Cottage

Whitney Leigh Morris believes that we don’t need to “live large” to live beautifully. Since 2011, The Tiny Canal Cottage has served as her home, office and studio. Her creative firm, WLM CREATIVE, specializes in small space living solutions and content creation.

Morris has designed for world-wide arts organizations, individuals, small events, and businesses since 2004. She began her career in advertising and graphic design, then expanded her business to include museum exhibition design and interior décor. Her work now encompasses a wide spectrum of design roles, from styling photoshoots and gatherings, to creative directing for events, print publications, and digital content.

Be sure to follow Whitney on Instagram, then head to The Tiny Canal Cottage to take a closer look her fabulous, 362 square foot, 1920s Craftsman-style home in Venice, California!

Whitney Leigh Morris

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