This Tiny, 362-Square-Foot Beach Cottage Is BIG On Style

Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Imagine you have an insanely cute 1920s cottage near the beach on the Venice canals in L.A. It's every Angeleno's dream, right? Except, add in the fact that you're six-foot tall, live with your 6-foot-2 fiancé, and have a (not small) dog — and the space is a mere 362-square-feet. Now, that's where your picture perfect fantasy gets a little more complicated.

But, #TheTinyCanalCottage residents Whitney Leigh Morris and Adam Winkleman have not only accepted the challenge of living in cramped quarters — they've become veritable small space sorcerers. In fact, they've mastered the art of downsizing so much that some of their built-in storage is completely empty. (Impressive!)

Naturally, we had to find out all of their secrets. We chatted with Morris to get the inside scoop on how she managed to create such a stylish home with minimal square footage. Ahead, the stylist and consultant reveals her 17 best small space tips to help you make the most of your own home. One hint: You'll never look at a bookcase the same way again.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Embrace The Purge
"We got rid of a substantial amount of belongings when we moved in together. We started enjoying getting rid of things and giving items away so much that we started giving far more away than we needed to. Part of the storage space underneath the couch is completely empty. We have more space than we need, even in our tiny house, because we are so into the idea of only having what we need or really love."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Double Up
"The trick with having an office in the middle of the living room was to make it functional, but not feel like an office. I have two desk chairs instead of one because it makes it a socializing spot as well as a desk. I can turn the desk chairs around and add to the living room."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Upgrade The Basics
"One way I keep things clean is by making sure everything has a dedicated place and trying, wherever possible, to have beautiful items. For example, I don't just have plastic scissors and pencil sharpeners that I throw in a drawer. I have designer ones — it doesn't mean they're expensive — that I like to look at. So, if they are left out, it doesn't look like clutter, it looks like it's part of the decor. Having your functional elements also be decorative elements helps make it look like a decision and less like clutter."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Break The Rules
"We gave up trying to keep Stanlee off the sofa or the bed because it's such a small space. If he wasn't allowed on either one of those, his world would be very limited."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Flip Your (Book) Covers
"At first, I didn't have a neutral library. I love book spine art. But, the room looked really busy and really crowded, which is not what I want in my bedroom where I'm supposed to be relaxing. As much as I love spine art, this isn't the environment in which to showcase it. So, what I did is simply take off the book covers and flip them inside out. I wrote the titles of the book in pen on the book jacket once it was flipped around. People spend time covering their books, but you don't need to waste paper, and you certainly don't need to waste your time. Nobody thinks about it! But, I love it."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Fly High
"I like to go vertical when I decorate because it pulls the eye upward and allows us to use the height of the space. We don't have a lot of floor space. I also like to have hanging elements that are made of natural material. The hanging shelf in the bedroom is reclaimed, raw wood."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Lighten Up
"The all-white and neutral aesthetic is one I like, but not necessarily a style I always aspired to have. When we first tried using more patterns and colors, it really brought the space inward and made it feel cramped and small. So, relying on whites and neutrals makes the house feel much larger than it actually is."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Separate Memories From Objects
"As long as you can separate the sentiment behind an item that's important to you, and take that with you, you probably don't need the item itself. For me, I didn't want to get rid of my furniture because my mom bought it for me a long time ago. But, at the end of the day, she bought it to serve a purpose and it no longer served its purpose. It was just stressing me out and my mother would not want me to be stressing out. So, I got rid of it and gave it to someone who needed furniture. I'm never going to forget that my mom did something so generous, but I don't need the furniture to remember that."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Resist Temptation
"[Living in a small space] has definitely turned our consumer habits around completely. We're very mindful what we bring in and are very selective about what we do purchase."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Utilize Your Fridge For More Than Just Food Storage
"Over the fridge, there's a wire basket that holds all the dishware. We try not to use disposable things. Thanks to that storage and the cabinets, we have enough cutlery and glasses for a 50 person cocktail party without having any trash. So, by using the top of fridge, it's not hidden anywhere, it's organized, and it's easy to access. We also picked items we like from CB2 and Target that aren't terribly expensive. So, if there's an earthquake, it's not a problem."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Wheel & Deal
"The bar cart and most of the items we have around the house are multi-purpose and movable. I like that cart, but I really have it because it goes on the porch or it goes in the bathroom when we have overnight guests. It serves a lot of different purposes."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Don't Let Any Space Go To Waste
"In our house, the most unique storage solutions are the built-ins beneath the bed and couch. The entire bed has storage underneath it via four separate doors, which is great. It's the most ingenious use of space here."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Source Items From Unexpected Places
"The towel rack in the bathroom is a DIY. It's a branch I just hung up. Why get a $10 towel rack when you can use this piece of drift wood that makes it more unique? My makeup case is an old hardware box that I painted white and sanded. It's actually a great tool to organize my makeup because it comes with all these drawers. [When I make DIYs], I'm inspired by both necessity and natural elements. I love to decorate with things that are beautiful and from the earth."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Leave Excess At The Door
"It's very easy to keep things neat and clean if you don't own a lot of shit. The easiest thing to avoid cluttering up your life is to make sure you don't bring things through the front door in the first place, unless you need them."

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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Be Patient
"We waited a good year to figure out what we wanted to do with the outdoor spaces and how we wanted to use them. We wanted to make sure we got pieces that were truly right for the space, since it's so small."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Let Comfort Reign Supreme
"I like creating lounges and areas that are actually comfortable. I feel like a lot of people try to go for a certain look and don't get pieces that are comfortable."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Leigh Morris.
Don't Be Weighed Down
"Outside, we picked pieces that can be moved around a lot when the sun moves — or whenever we want. You can pick up the collapsible pieces and reorganize depending on what kind of party you're having"

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