This Tiny Home's Tinier Nursery Is The Cutest Thing EVER

If you're struggling to contain all your stuff in a small space, perhaps you'll find inspiration in Whitney Leigh Morris and Adam Winkleman. The couple lives in a 362-square-foot cottage in Venice Beach, CA, with a 3-month-old son and two rescue beagles — and their home is a joy to look at. It helps that Whitney is a creative director and a small-space living consultant.

Whitney and Adam have lived in the Tiny Canal Cottage, which has its own website, for most of their seven-year relationship. They even said their wedding vows on the house's front stoop back in May 2016, in a boho-chic affair in front of 60 guests. In October, the 1920s Craftsman-style home saw another major milestone: Baby West came into the world.

Instead of moving to a larger house, Whitney and Adam decided to turn a 21-inch-by-5-foot nook of their already tiny home into a nursery. They converted their cluttered bedroom closet into a little room for West with a crib, creative vertical storage, accessories, and artwork. The couple's refusal to hang on to items — that distinct lack of nostalgia marking the Marie Kondo era — helps keep their space tidy and clean.

When outfitting your own shoebox (we live in New York City — we know), Whitney advises planning with a purpose: "Search with intent. Know what you want, what purpose it will serve, where the item will be placed or stored. Then you can enjoy the process of getting creative, and connecting with independent makers," she tells Refinery29.

Click ahead for photos of the nursery, plus more advice from Whitney. You, too, can have an impossibly chic tiny home — it just takes a little planning (and a whole lot of getting rid of junk).
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
The couple converted their closet into the nursery. "I didn’t intend to have a 'theme' for the space, but it happened on its own over time. The colors, textures, and prints I selected were sandy and neutral, and the artwork I loved most reminded us of our lives here along the ocean. Before I knew it, we had a subdued coastal vibe going on. As such, I started referring to the little alcove as 'The Baby’s Bay,'" says Whitney.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
This is the "before."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
And this is the "after."

The first piece of furniture the couple picked was the crib, Whitney writes on her blog. "We needed a VERY specific size, and this Alma Bloom Mini Crib (on wheels, which is a feature we love and use frequently here), ended up being absolutely perfect. The crib's platform height is adjustable, and the entire thing is easily collapsable."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"My favorite part of putting together the nursery was finding all the little, practical details to use in the space while our son is an infant," Whitney tells Refinery29.

She explained that the couple removed the dowel rods from the closet, but in case they need to hang baby clothes from time to time, she found a wooded bead garland on Etsy that acts as a clothing line. They can pull out the strand whenever they need to hang up something, and then tuck it away the rest of the time.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"My main shopping resource was Etsy, but I discovered incredible products (both new and vintage) from a variety of other makers and vendors as well."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"I’ve heard many people say that they feel lost or overwhelmed when shopping on Etsy. While I understand what they mean, I personally have had the opposite experience. I only shop for the types of items I need and/or love, and I find so much joy in discovering the diverse ways in which Etsy artists and thrifters produce the products in their shops, and make those goods available to folks all over the globe. The one-on-one experience of shopping in this way can be so wonderful. I’ve made true friends by shopping handmade. Plus, I really love how excited makers get when they see their creations put to use by their clients."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"I think the trick with Etsy is to not 'fall down the rabbit hole,' so to speak. (This is also a handy tip for curbing the amount of things you bring into your home in the first place.) Search with intent. Know what you want, what purpose it will serve, where the item will be placed or stored. Then you can enjoy the process of getting creative, and connecting with independent makers."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Whitney wanted new hardware to hold the couple's beagles' (Stanlee and Sophee's) leashes in the nook. This pair of hooks, also from Etsy, were spot-on, and blended well with the decor when paired with the nautical-rope leashes by Resq Co, she wrote on the blog.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Pictured here is a driftwood-burlap-and-hemp baby mobile — another Etsy find, via Wiggly William.

"I selected these lightweight Otis Wire Wall Baskets that I found on Domino to help hold miscellaneous cloths, tiny clothing, and toys," Whitney writes in the blog. "As our son grows and begins to be able to reach these baskets, we'll relocate them."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"I wanted the nursery to have dedicated imagery, but for the pieces to complement the other art within our bedroom," Whitney writes.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
West's full name is West Morris Winkleman. Here he is, enjoying the California breeze.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
West's name was inspired by his beachy surroundings. "Adam and I met on the West Coast (despite the fact that we’re both from Florida), and we’re both drawn to the ocean here in Venice on the 'Westside' of Los Angeles. So, in a way, our son is named after this beautiful SoCal coastline where we live. (Plus, we simply love the name!)" Whitney tells us.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"Adam loves change — far more than I do," Whitney says. "As such, he likes that, with a great amount of brevity, we can completely redo the look of our house when we host events, and when it’s rented out for photo shoots. He also likes that it only takes about 10 minutes to clean our entire space, which allows us more time to relax and enjoy our home and Venice."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Whitney and Adam decided to use the cottage's vast outdoor space — the garden nearly doubles its square footage — as a lounge area. When Whitney's parents visited from Florida, they helped her assemble this wicker-and-driftwood gray rocking chair from Joss & Main.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Since they live in Venice Beach, the family can count on sunny weather year-round, which means they can enjoy their garden pretty much every day. They dressed up the space with outdoor rugs, throws, and lanterns.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"I feel like Adam and I are constantly bonding — and a significant part of that is due to this home," Whitney tells Refinery29. "We experience everything together, since our house keeps us close and working (both personally and professionally) in tandem with one another. It was an absolute delight to plan out the nursery with Adam."
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY KAT BORCHART AT I HEART REPS.
"We enjoyed speculating about what our lives would be like with our baby, in order to help us best consider the nursery’s functionality and prepare for accommodating the necessities within our tiny cottage."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
When they decided to convert their closet to the nursery, Whitney and Adam built a "garden wardrobe" to store their clothes and other essentials (after Marie Kondo-ing quite a bit). They used a 2-by-4 cedar shed from Home Depot.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"This bath-changing table combo has been the greatest double-duty nursery item for our little house, since we don't have a tub and our sinks aren't baby-friendly," says Whitney. "I love that little West can look up and see vines and twinkle lights, and that Adam and I don’t have to break our backs (I'm 5'11" and he's 6’2") while tending to the baby."

You can find the bath-changing table on Wayfair.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
The handmade mobile here is by Sea and Glass.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
The outdoor baby basket is from Plum + Sparrow.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Whitney says that when West gets a little older, they have plans to adapt the space, but not necessarily to expand. ("At least not anytime in the immediate future," she notes.)
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"[Adam has] recently been finding clever ways to collapse and stow West’s toys and play areas when those are not in use," Whitney says.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"We both look forward to seeing how that process evolves in the future, as West grows and requires new tools for his development, enjoyment, and learning."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Sophee the beagle is a more recent addition to the family, just like West.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Another space-saving trick Whitney recommends is to stop things from coming into the house in the first place, which is why she and Adam chose not to have a baby shower — they didn't have space for a bunch of gifts.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
The couple included a temporary extra office in the nursery so they could work near the baby.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"Beyond our walls, Venice is full of crashing waves, boisterous gatherings, and humming streets. But within our home and garden, West has his very own loving, little cocoon," Whitney tells us.

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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
The family takes advantage of the neighborhood's nearby playground, as well as the Venice canals, a marina, and the ocean.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
"This little home has provided me with enormous insight into what makes me truly happy," says Whitney. "Living in a small, well-organized home saves our family time, money, and energy. This enables us to better focus on each other, and on our experiences (as individuals and as a unit)."
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