Design How-To: A Bedroom Makeover for a New Mom

July 26, 2017

When life got crazy for creative director, blogger, and first-time mom Whitney Leigh Morris, she did the only thing that seemed natural: She decided to redecorate — but just a “tiny” bit.

As a resident of the Tiny Canal Cottage (her gorgeous retreat in Venice Beach that she shares with her husband and son) she knows a thing or two about living big in small quarters. Here, Leigh shares her tips and tricks for making over that special room of your house for major results — because as she puts it, “we don’t need to ‘live large’ to live beautifully. 

First-time mamas spend so much time preparing for the arrival of their newborn that they often forget to take a moment to press pause and plan for their own well-being. Being a new parent is the most magical gift, but it’s demanding on the body and mind. Factor in work, relationships, and the ongoing realities and responsibilities of everyday life, and it can sometimes feel like there’s no opportunity to breathe.

For more than six years, I’ve lived in a very tiny house in Venice Beach, California. It’s under 400 square feet, and yet I live here with my husband, our nine-month-old son, and our two rescue beagles. Not only is this cottage our full-time home, but it’s also our full-time office. We love our “little” lifestyle, but it’s easy to let our schedules and routines shift us into auto-pilot, and steer us away from taking time to slow down and relax.

In order to encourage myself to pump the breaks and quietly reflect daily on the joys and delights of being a new mama, I gave our bedroom and nursery a mini-makeover. Here I share a few tips for creating your own perfect bedroom makeover for a new mom

Tiny Canal Cottage Bedroom Makeover for a New Mom

Bedding is the easiest way to completely alter the look and feel of a bedroom. We updated our cover to the Embroidered Pointillist Duvet and corresponding shams, and topped it off with my favorite blanket: the Elaria Fringed Throw. The Footed Wood Slab Tray sits soundly on top of the plush bedding, ensuring that pens, beverages, and phones stay put.

By swapping out our bedding, updating the decor on our walls, and making space for beautiful books that I can enjoy on my own time or with my son, I transformed our compact, functional space into a comfortable and serene escape.

Tiny Canal Cottage Bedroom Makeover for a New Mom

A slim wall library holds “Cut Flower Garden”— a stunning hardcover with instructions on how to create floral works of art. Mixed in with mama’s books are children’s books, as well, such as a gorgeous and interactive pop-up version of “The Little Prince” to enjoy with baby West. Behind the shelf is a black Fishing Hook, which holds a fan and bathrobe for summer days in the Cottage.

Tiny Canal Cottage Bedroom Makeover for a New Mom

The Wall Print Hanger holds a hand-drawn ink on paper alongside the Viteri Hanging Frame, which preserves and displays a large grape leaf from the cottage’s Concord vine.

Tiny Canal Cottage Bedroom Makeover for a New Mom

The bedroom closet was converted into our tiny house nursery. The Welcome Home Baby Set  blanket from a narrow set of drawers, and the Nautical Navigation Toddler Quilt hangs over the crib at the ready. A mix of Admiral Hanging Mirrors enlarge the space, and create an airy and calming ambiance.

Tiny Canal Cottage Bedroom Makeover for a New Mom

It doesn’t take much to convert your room into as simple or layered of a sanctuary as you desire. Regardless of your preferred style, bedding and lighting are your essential tools for a swift transformation, so start there. (Everything else is the icing on the cake.)

For all you hard-working, first time mamas out there: you got this. And if you can, carve out a beautiful and peaceful place for your own wellness— it will work wonders.

Shop Bedroom Essentials for you and Nursery Essentials for your babe.

Since 2011, The Tiny Canal Cottage™ has served as Whitney’s home, office, and small-space consulting studio. It is also the main subject of her blog, (, and Instagram, @whitneyleighmorris. Other residents of the Cottage include Morris’ husband and colleague, Adam Winkleman, their son West, and their two rescue beagles, Stanlee and Sophee. Morris also owns and operates a thriving boutique creative firm.