Interior Designer Shalena Smith Dishes on Tamera's Napa Nursery
Parents-to-be Tamera Mowry-Housley and hubby Adam turned to interior designer-to-the-stars Shalena Smith of Gaga Designs to create their vintage Americana-themed nursery in their gorgeous home in Napa. Now their son just needs to get here! (Smith also designed the vintage baseball-themed nursery in the L.A. condo. We'll have more on that next month!) Read on for the scoop on all of the little details and how you can get the celebrity baby room on a budget.
What was your approach in designing Tamera and Adam's Napa nursery?
I always title my nurseries. This one is called "It's kind of fun to do the impossible," which is a Walt Disney quote that both Tamera and Adam came up with and love. I also designed a graphic for it and put it over the crib. The theme of the Napa nursery is vintage Americana. The reason why it's a vintage Americana theme is because I used Adam's vintage antiques as a jumping point. When I saw that the color combination ended up being blues and reds, I incorporated a flag artwork and striped wallpaper. I also put in star sconces and a beautiful chandelier that hangs from a star medallion on the ceiling to pull the room together.
What pieces did you use from Adam's personal vintage antique collection?
When decorating a room in your home, it's always great to look around and see what you already have. Sometimes, people just have a bunch of stuff lying around that aren't necessarily being used to their full potential. I was looking in the loft area and saw this big chest that Adam's parents had given him a couple years ago. It wasn't the best placement, so I asked Tamera and Adam how they felt about me moving it into the nursery. It saved us from having to get something else to put in there. They can use the chest as storage or a toy box. Other pieces I used in the room that are Adam's were his baby shoes that his parents dipped in copper and a handcarved airplane.
What direction did Tamera and Adam give you?
Adam was very much against bringing a designer in. He didn't want someone to just come in and stage the room. So, I tried to make the nursery feel very homey and very familiar for them. While interviewing Tamera, she said she wanted the room to be traditional, but not super "baby boy." The vintage Americana theme is subtle; it's not overdone. The splashes of blues and reds pop against neutral browns and creams. The look was very complementary to the rest of their house. Also, I incorporated Tamera and Adam's engagement photos into the nursery to really just bring it all together and have their love be apparent in the room. They're still newlyweds, which is fresh and exciting. They have such a beautiful relationship, and that's what spoke a lot to me as their nursery designer.
How does the Napa nursery compare to the one in the L.A. condo?
The color palettes are kind of the same. I would say that I had much more space and light in the Napa nursery. I did more creams and caramels in Napa, whereas I did more white and very dark coffee colors in the L.A. condo. The Napa nursery is very light and fresh. I kept the room very open and airy. Tamera and Adam have more space in the Napa home, so the nursery didn't have to encompass every single facet of all their needs. It didn't matter if there was storage. I was just able to create a nursery. If the nanny is tired, she can just go in her own room. I didn't have to incorporate a day bed. There's still a great changing table and we got a really comfy chair for Tamera to feed the baby in. Also, there's a beautiful, custom crib that fulfills one purpose—it doesn't convert into a toddler or day bed. Again, the Napa home is spacious.
What did Tamera and Adam think of how everything turned out?
They were so happy! They saw it for the first time on the day of their baby shower in Napa, which was really special. Tamera kept telling me, "Shalena, you did exactly what we talked about. There's not that many people who can give me exactly what I want!" Adam was just so excited about it. I had never seen a dad who was so enthusiastic about showing everyone the nursery. They really loved how I was able to personalize the space and put their art on the wall. I even created these little blocks that said, "Baby Housley." It's important to customize your nursery.
What are your budget-friendly tips for fans who want to recreate the room?
Definitely look around your house and figure out what you have and what you can incorporate. That brings your personality into the space, but it also saves money. Similarly, I don't just shop in baby stores. There could be a great piece on sale at a home goods store ot Target that I'll get. No one is ever going to know if you mix good quality with some less expensive items.
Do the walls cream with one wall of striped wallpaper, which is a budget fix. As a design tip, it makes that one wall pop out and makes it be the focus. That wallpapered wall is where I put the "A" initial plaque. Again, it's very subtle and clean—nothing is overdone.
Artwork can be duplicated by just doing it yourself or using photos that you already have. Then, tie that in with unique things, like a chandelier and wallpaper.
If there's a design element fans should splurge on, what would that be?
I would suggest investing in a really good dresser. The dresser I got for Tamera is sturdy, well-built, has adult-sized drawers and it's American made, which is really important to me. The same dresser I ordered for Tamera, I order it for teenager rooms that I do, so it can grow up with her son. That's a practical splurge. As far as an aesthetic splurge, I always say a chandelier. Aesthetically, you could put a chandelier in the most boring of rooms and it will look really incredible.
Shop exact items from Tamera and Adam's Napa nursery on Smith's GaGa Designs website.
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