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Olli Ella Folk | Whitney Leigh Morris

Olli Ella Folk | Whitney Leigh Morris

Sustainability warrior, interiors guru and long-time friend of Olli Ella, Whitney Leigh Morris is setting the example for everyday folks who hope to lead a fuller life, with less. Whitney's now famous Venice Beach cottage (which measures in at 400sqft) is loved by people near and far for it's clever use of space and her blog and Instagram have become a constant source of inspiration for many thanks to her small space styling hacks, incredible eye for design and the environmentally fuelled ethos by which she lives; you don't need to live large, to live beautifully. We chatted with Whitney about her family, her home and her growing passion for Tiny Living. 


Tell us about yourself, your family and where you live…
I’m a Small Space Lifestyle Consultant, blogger and author. I refer to my company and house by the same name: The Tiny Canal Cottage. Our little live-work space is home to my husband, our 3 year old child, our 2 rescue beagles, and myself, along with my small business. It’s a 1924 Craftsman located by the Venice Beach Canals in Southern California. The interior measures under 400 sqft, and includes space-maximising features such as built-in furnishings, pocket doors, ample windows and skylights, and vaulted ceilings. 


The merging of interior design and styling with your passion for sustainability has really become the heart of your brand. Is this passion a result of owning The Tiny Canal Cottage, or is this an area that you have always been interested in?
I’ll admit that the focus on sustainability is newer to me, and is a direct result of living in the Cottage. I wish I'd been dedicated to leading a greener existence much, much sooner, and I still have so much to learn. Being in this small space as a family, coupled with reading more environmental impact reports and studies, sparked our awareness about the amount of waste around us, and our determination to get more involved in finding and sharing solutions for individuals and families in this time of climate crisis. Tiny Living can significantly reduce the environmental impact of a home - from the amount of materials used in crafting the structure, to its daily operations once occupied, which is one of the reasons why we love publishing images and stories about the routines we share here in under 400 sqft.


Something you often say is "you don't need to live large, to live beautifully". Tell us a little more about this sentiment and what it means to you…
For me, the key to living in a small home or apartment is not figuring out how to puzzle together a life’s worth of stuff into limited square footage. It’s about understanding what you truly need — and don’t need— in order to live practically and happily, day by day. Living in— and with— a smaller footprint can be immensely fulfilling, comfortable and stylish.
We LOVE baskets, and we love that you do too! What are your top five favourite uses for baskets in your home?

We use a diverse basket collection throughout our home-office to reduce visual clutter and increase functionality. Top uses include: Utilising the Strolley for library books (it’s just the right size, and so easy for our little one to move around!), using Luggys for storage when home and for market and library trips when on-the-go. Using lidded baskets for miscellaneous toys, creating drawers on our shelves/built-ins with shallow bins, and keeping our Mosey open for versatile, last-minute use during the day (whether when picking grapes, harvesting lettuce, corralling games and blocks, play fishing with our son, or sorting through paperwork to be scanned or recycled).


When it comes to storage, nothing seems to be more daunting than tackling the wardrobe. Living in The Tiny Canal Cottage, what are some handy storage hacks you have come across to make wardrobe organisation a breeze?

Rarely do folks enjoy this reply, but if I’m being honest, the “hack” is simply to own less stuff. The fewer belongings we have, the fewer storage solutions and space we require. In my mind, that’s a positive thing, as it lessens both our physical and environmental footprint. Having shared that, we all have stuff, of course, and we need a place to put it. I think that versatile and adaptable baskets and shelving are key, so that we can always adapt our space (such as a closet) to suit our current and evolving needs. For example, our single closet has changed over the years from a wardrobe for 2 people, to a nursery for one child, back to a closet again… this time for 3 people!



You are a longtime friend and lover of Olli Ella and we adore seeing our products styled throughout your home. Over the years, what would you say is the Olli Ella item you have used the most?
That’s a tough question— we legitimately use Olli Ella items constantly here in our tiny home. Currently, the role of MVP is a toss up between the Strolley and the Mosey. Personally, I find myself reaching for the Mosey multiple times every day to use it for a variety of activities. But we also constantly use the Strolley with our son. If we’re lucky enough to be able to have a second child, perhaps the Changing Basket will become our next Olli Ella necessity!



Blog tinycanalcottage.com 
Instagram @whitneyleighmorris



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