By Whitney Leigh Morris

Published on June 20, 2016

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Photography by WHITNEY LEIGH MORRIS

from   THE TINY CANAL COTTAGE
by   WHITNEY LEIGH MORRIS

The real secret to tiny apartment living isn’t in any paint color or rug style. The secret will always be smart decor. whitney leigh Morris knows this to be true, and takes us through every item in her space that sees no difference between function and form.

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Photography by WHITNEY LEIGH MORRIS

bathroom hanging rack

Ditch the standard towel rod and go for something creative that you find to be beautiful. I found this perfect piece of wood while producing my sister’s wedding in Idaho. I brought it home to the Cottage, where I suspended it from the ceiling and turned it into a towel and accessories hanger.

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bathroom storage

If you don’t have much space at home, opt for interesting storage containers, such as repurposed pails, upcycled hardware drawers, and mix-and-match baskets. I use these to hold makeup, spare rolls of toilet paper, and cleaning supplies.

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books as decor

We have very few items here in our tiny home, but we definitely have not held back on books. But bright spines can sometimes crowd a small space. Try flipping your book jackets inside-out and writing the titles on the fresh, white spines. That’s what we did in order to keep our beloved reads within reach, while still maintaining the tranquil feeling throughout our bedroom.

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corner shelves

Need more surface space? Try corner shelving. We used this old TV stand to display our instruments, books, plants, and candle holders. Getting the guitar and plants off the ground helped us preserve precious floorspace.

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textiles

I find that spare textiles come in handy every day. While beautifying our space, they also function as washable cushion covers, blankets and tablecloths. When not in use, we hang them over our ugly vertical wall heater via S-hooks. (If you try this, first ensure that the pilot light and gas to the heating unit are turned off.)

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suspended shelving

I cannot get enough of swing shelving. I use these pieces both indoors and out. They’re a unique and appealing way to display greenery, candles, books, and various accessories around your home and garden.

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kitchen goods

Hang those cutting boards, aprons, serving pieces, and dish towels. You’ll save counter and/or drawer space, and voila— they make for lovely alternatives to traditional, framed wall art. Not enough cabinet space for dishware? Try organizing your pieces in wire baskets atop the refrigerator.

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herb racks

Herb racks can be so beautiful. Although this one from the Cottage is pictured with garden clippings, we also use clothespins and kitchen twine to suspend fresh herbs from it every week.

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dutch door

Dutch doors are both functional and pretty. After 4 years in our home, we decided to cut our existing kitchen door in half. A little extra hardware and fresh paint and we finally had ourselves the perfect door! It keeps the pups safely inside while allowing the ocean breeze in.

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built-in bookshelf

Those built-in bookshelves aren’t only for books. We also use them for plants as well.

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mail & key drop

Everyone needs a place to stash their keys and mail. But rather than buying a space-stealing caddy that you might not actually need, try simple bulldog clips and tacks on your front door. Keeping our incoming and outgoing mail here only looks cute, but it prevents us from accumulating a dreaded paper stack.

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double-duty coffee table

Pick multi-purposes pieces to help maximize your small space. We chose this kubu rattan chest as our coffee table so that we could store spare bedding within it.

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pet goods

We have 2 medium dogs here at the Cottage (#StubsandSoph). We store their food in safe, well-designed containers, and have selected pet bowls and leashes that appeal to our aesthetic. Doing so allows us to display all these items, both for ease of use and as decor.

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office supplies

We all need administrative supplies. But for those of us who are pressed for office space in a live/work environment, such items can be a bit tricky to stash when office hours are over. Select tools that are artfully designed, and keep them at the ready by organizing them in recycled bottles and jars. That way, when you power down the computer for the evening, you don’t necessarily feel like you’re still surrounded by reminders of the work day.

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versatile desk

If you’re short on room but work from home (as I do), I’d recommend getting a desk that can also double as a buffet when guests come over for meals. (Try adding a BackPack for iMac behind your computer— it helps store portable scanners, cables and hard drives out of site. We love ours.)

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stovetop

Does your stove eat up most of your kitchen space? Try an over-the-burner cutting board or two to extend your countertop. Similarly, try repurposing your pots and pans when not in use to keep your everyday fruits and snacks handy.

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wall hangings

Hang items such as robes, hats and leashes from your wall to free up space in your closet.