How to Handle the Holidays in a Small Space

The Tiny Canal Cottage’s Whitney Leigh Morris shares her creative approaches to guests, gifts, decor and more

If you live in a 362-square-foot cottage with your husband, toddler and two beagles, do you have to gather with the clan around someone else’s table every Thanksgiving and instantly regift everything you get for Christmas? As a mother of three grown children who is thinking about drastically downsizing with the hubby from a suburban house 10 times that size (and crammed with 20 years of memories) to a small city condo, I wanted to know.

So I asked small-space lifestyle blogger and consultant Whitney Leigh Morris — who lives and works in the aforementioned cottage, aka The Tiny Canal Cottage in the Venice area of Los Angeles — how she navigates the holidays with husband Adam Winkleman and their son, West. Her first book, Small Space Style, comes out Nov. 13.

Why a Sofa Makes a Room and How to Find the One for You

With TV and movie season ramping up and cozy weather coming, here’s what to consider as you pick your perfect couch

Football season kicks into high gear, your favorite shows return for fall sweeps, and chilly weather takes your cocktail party from the patio to the family room. It’s the humble sofa’s time to shine.

“From the very beginning [the sofa] was a synonym of relaxation,” says Agata Toromanoff, author of the new book, Sofas: 340 Iconic Designs.“Just like the preceding piece of furniture, the daybed, sofas allowed positioning the body comfortably and obviously enjoying the company of others who could join you,” she says. “Today, due to our sitting lifestyle, the sofa is, in many homes, the center of family life.”

But when a piece of furniture plays such a vital role in your everyday life, choosing the right one can be daunting. There’s a lot to consider.

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8 Pieces of Furniture You’ll Keep Forever

If you’re just starting out in a new place, consider these furniture options that you can take with you to any new home

Investing in furniture for your first home, or anywhere you don’t expect to stay forever, can almost seem like a waste. Why spend money on pieces that might not fit in or go with your dream home down the road? Well, there are some pieces worth investing in as early as you can — furniture that will suit your home right now and that will easily find a place in your next house. Here are eight pieces you shouldn’t hesitate to add to even the smallest starter home.

How long do household items last

Credit: Simply Self Storage

10 Inspiring Setups for Outdoor Dining

These alfresco dining arrangements will have you eager to dust off the patio set and get outside this season

With the arrival of spring, we’re ready to throw open the doors and take dining outside. You don’t need much to create an inviting setup for outdoor dining. All it really takes is clear skies, warm weather — or a cozy blanket — and something tasty to eat. The addition of twinkling lights, comfortable furnishings and options for creating shade or adding heat makes outdoor dining all the more enjoyable. Take a look at these 10 inspired outdoor dining arrangements, from Melbourne to Milan, that all take eating outdoors to new heights.

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8 Ways to Bring Modern Design to Any Outdoor Space

Break out of the box with these creative ideas for contemporary plantings and hardscapes

You don’t need a modern home to embrace modern and contemporary design ideas in your garden. In fact, many principles of modern garden design — clean lines, structural plant forms and restrained color palettes — and the peaceful atmosphere they create, can work especially well in more traditional-style landscapes, which emphasize structure and uniformity.

If you’re looking to revamp your garden this spring, take a look at these eight ideas from contemporary gardens for some out-of-the-box inspiration.

How to Refresh Your Dining Room on a Budget

See ideas for updating this sometimes-neglected space, whether you have $100 or $10,000

Perhaps you’re dreaming of giving your dining room a complete overhaul (but it’s not going to happen anytime soon), or maybe you like your dining room the way it is but want to change a few components. Whether you work with a designer on a long-range plan to redecorate the space over time or want a quick perk-up now, a dining room refresh is doable.

Even without knocking out walls or making other layout changes, there’s a lot of potential for rejuvenation, including small swaps like new linens and lighting or more substantial changes such as a new table and refinished floors. Here are some ideas to help you prioritize, whether your budget is $100 or $10,000.