Venice, California is an architectural wonderland. Homes of every shape and size are stuffed into this beachside area of L.A. and – blame it on the high density of working creatives and boho chic beach babes – it seems no two structures are alike.

The multi-talented Whitney Leigh Morris is best known to us through Instagram where we follow along as she styles her chic and adorable #TinyCanalCottage. Her awe-inspiring talent at making the most of all 362 square feet of her home is absolutely addictive and inspiring – no matter the size of your own home.

We met up with Whitney last weekend as she prepped a light brunch for her fiance and show-stealing pup. What struck us most about the space is how artfully efficient every item in Whitney’s home truly is, just as it appears in our feed. From the dreamy indoor-outdoor access to the tray-shaped plates that fit wherever she needs them to, Whitney has this “small space living” thing down pat. Her ingenuity reminds us of the words of another famous Morris, craftsman artist William Morris, who said: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Flip through our tour of Whitney’s space and enjoy her insights on that Venice life below…

I can’t start my morning without…

A long walk on the Venice Canals with my fiancé Adam and our beagle mix, Stanlee.  (Editor’s note: See #stanleestubs – you’re welcome!)

Breakfast is normally…

Two eggs + half an avocado.

Favorite moment in the morning…

Opening my eyes to the skylight overhead, while Stanlee jumps up into bed to cuddle with Adam and me.

Favorite morning beverage is…

A tall glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon.

Daily uniform this winter…

I’m a tights, shapeless tunic + boots kinda gal.

Fave local hotspots…

Venice Beach Wines. Gjusta Bakery. 

Current design inspirations…

Functional, natural decor is such intoxicating eye candy. I admire designers like Justina Blakeney and Callie Henschke. They have very different styles, but they both cleverly mix earthy decorative elements with bold and practical pieces.

To get my creative juices flowing…

Biking around Venice— it’s so colorful and diverse. Our town has such a loud heartbeat, and it always inspires me.

Healthiest daily habit…

I splurged on a Pilates reformer years ago. Best decision ever— I use it daily.

Best tip for living well in a small space:

Just get rid of it.

Lately, I’m obsessed with…

Avoiding foods that were made in a factory. We are keeping everything simple and fresh this year and are amazed with how much better we now feel, both physically and mentally.

I’m usually listening to…

I love our KCRW station here in SoCal – we’re so lucky! And music is always playing in the cottage. (I’m constantly listening to tracks like Paolo Nutini’s Coming Up Easy, July Flame by Laura Veirs, and Bill Wither’s version of Let It Be. I just never get tired of them…)

Go-to brunch dish:

This mixed berry salad with raspberry vinaigrette, topped with goat cheese medallions (Stanlee’s favorite part)

My current mantra:

Don’t forget to breathe.

Bottom banner image
From our friends


  1. absolutely gorgeous!

    Lindsay | 01.28.2015 | Reply
  2. Lovely!

    Sarah | 01.28.2015 | Reply
  3. Amazing photos. I love the greenery in them, shows that you dont need to take up a big space for plants for them to add color and flavor to a space 🙂

    Vertical Garden Kit | 02.10.2015 | Reply
  4. The place looks great! We lived in the back house from 2002 until 2008. The dishwasher was definitely needed. I see my garden is still in place and I can not believe the back patio I put in is still holding up. Best rental my wife and I have ever had! Please let me know if you ever do an open house would love to show my 6 year old son where it all started. Say hi to Kevin and Donna…Cheers, Jonathan.

    jonathan | 04.09.2015 | Reply
  5. I’d love info on where those leaf prints are from!

Leave A Comment