Home Look I Love: Rustic Neutrals

There’s nothing like a finding your perfect neutral shade when it comes to interior design. It anchors the whole space and from there you can build a color palette and design you love. Over the summer I shared my obsession with aqua accents, a tranquil color that looks great in splashes throughout a space. Next up, how to find the perfect neutral to inspire the rest of your décor.

Home Look I Love: Rustic Neutrals

Rustic wood mirror, Gale rustic 2-door console, 1 light pendant in natural, Relax wood sign, Ice crackle vase, Racing stripe pillow covers, Throw pillow, Rustic dinner plates, Wood bench, Distressed candlestick holders, Butler crawford end table

For this edition of Home Look I Love, I decided to go with rustic neutrals. These would be light ‘n bright tones that have a natural feel to them—think woodgrain, driftwood, jute, distressed paint, etc. They also have a coastal twist to them, with blue-grays and minty greens, which, if light enough, can definitely double as a neutral.

3 Tips for Choosing Neutrals

Choose 2-3 shades. You don’t need to stick to one neutral, like white or gray, but you don’t want to get too crazy. For example, if you love the rustic look, try a couple complementary neutrals like gray, ivory, and a pretty lightwood. Give them enough contrast so they don’t clash.

Consider the theme. Think of words that you will want to describe your home with, like rustic, modern, coastal, or even feelings like warm, cozy, chic. The shades you choose will need to evoke those feelings.

Pair with what your own. Unless you are starting from scratch, you probably already have furniture or décor that you plan to keep… Make sure the new color scheme you choose highlights what’s so great about those pieces.

Anyone in the midst of redecorating? Share your progress below!


10 Ways To Update Your Home Decor for $50 or Less

One of the biggest questions I get asked when it comes to interior design isn’t just how to design a space, but how to do it on a budget. No matter what that budget is, everyone has one – that amount set aside specifically for home projects – and it’s usually important to stick to it. So I wanted to address some of the things you can do when you don’t have a large budget, or you are just trying to save money in this area. Here are 10 ways to refresh and renew your home on a major budget:

How to Switch Up Your Home Decor

1. Add greenery. Fresh flowers/greenery add more to a space than you’d imagine. Instead of spending big bucks at the grocery store on bouquets that aren’t your fave, shop at local farmers markets. There’s more variety and you can get bigger bundles that can be divided among the shelves and tabletops in your home to create an inviting (and beautifully scented) space.

2. Deep clean fabrics and furniture to give it new life. This goes especially for those who have white or light colors throughout your home. Even if a fabric, rug, or surface doesn’t appear dirty to the naked eye, once you give it a deep clean it can actually look brand new again. It’s surprising simple yet effective this is.

3. Add curb appeal. Landscaping and paint projects can be spendy and time consuming, so if it’s curb appeal you’re going for, just focus on something small like the front door. Give it a fresh coat of paint in a new accent color or simply hang a DIY wreath on it to give it that welcoming feel.

4. Rearrange the furniture you already have. An old trick that never ceases to give a space new life, whether it’s your college dorm or first ever house! Let this be one of the first things you try. Often it seems like there aren’t other solutions, when in fact there are tons of ways to switch up a single room. Ask a friend who isn’t there too often for their opinion – you’re probably just too familiar with the current setup to imagine a new layout.  

5. Shop around. Fave shops out of budget? No problem – you can still gather inspiration for the style you love, and try to recreate the look with something in your price range. Like I’ve shared in my High & Low Home Décor series, you can usually find inspiration in one shop, and find a more affordable version in the next.

6. Start small. Accents like knobs, door pulls, and handles are all going to be much more affordable than replacing an entire dresser or cabinetry, and it will give them a whole new look.

7. Craft the décor. Read my post on finding unique artwork for the home to see how we have made or found our own custom décor from photographs and antique finds. 

8. Make your space look bigger with a mirror. When it comes to expanding space without actually knocking down walls, here’s a trick: Add a big mirror rather than artwork to a central wall to expand the depth of the room.

9. Add color and texture. Swap out towels and smaller linens in order to give a space a clean, fresh look without having to replace major items. When it comes to things we wash frequently, colors can fade and fabric can get worn, so swapping them out will actually make a huge difference.

10. Decorate with your kids’ art. Last but not least, find cute ways to display the art your little ones have made for you. Think outside the box – frame those pieces that have just been hanging on the fridge or get prints made in order to make it easier to display.

What do you do when your home décor needs a refresh?


Ask Tamera: What Are Your Hobbies?

Thanks to everyone who tuned into the Facebook chat I did earlier this summer. It was so fun to try out the live chat and actually get to connect with some of you! There were soo many questions I wanted to answer but didn’t get the chance to. Since I can’t do those chats everyday (as great as that would be), I thought it would be fun to start a new series here on TameraMowry.com called Ask Tamera. That way, I can answer some of the questions that are commented on my site and social media. And of course, I’ll try to do another chat ASAP!


Matching up some styles for our bedroom.

One question I thought was intriguing was from Facebook user Teressa H. She wanted to know what my hobbies are when I’m not busy running around as a mom or spending time with Adam. Great question!


A favorite hobby of mine that those of you who have read my site for a while now will know about is interior design! I love to design and decorate. In my opinion, there are few hobbies more special than this because it’s all about making your house a home. Your home is where you spend your most precious moments – the ones with your family – and I don’t take it lightly! I love dreaming up new ways to make this look as special as it feels.

The design part of a house involves things like gathering a moodboard of photos on Pinterest and choosing a color palette. Then there’s picking out specific colors and types of things like paint, flooring, tile – all that fun stuff. And when it comes to home décor, you can REALLY have fun with it. I love that each of the rooms in our home is different and specific to who will spend time in it.


Aside from home décor, another hobby I’ve recently gotten into is this Fujifilm Polaroid camera. I’m obsessed! You know how I love taking and sharing photos of my kiddos. Now I have a whole new way of collecting them, and I’m creating a keepsake box. If you love taking pictures or printing photos of family and friends, doing a project with the prints is a must.

First of all, just taking photos is a fun hobby. Making something out of it is another way to keep those memories alive. As great as sharing on Instagram is, the process of creating something like a box or a scrapbook is a really therapeutic way to reflect on memories and get crafty. So next time you have an evening to yourself, why not grab a glass of wine, spread out all your photos on the table, and dig in?

Hope you liked this first edition of Ask Tamera! What other questions do you have? And what hobbies fill your precious free moments?


5 Ways To Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Spa

You know those bathrooms you see on Pinterest that look so inviting and tidy? I always find myself pinning them, but I believe you can actually make the most of any space as long as you aren’t afraid to get creative. Little décor fixes and a few spa-like products are all you need to create a bathroom oasis you’ll want to primp and relax in.

Tamera Mowry 5 Ways to Transform Your Bathroom into a Spa

How to Transform Your Bathroom into a Spa

1. Swap out the lights. Let’s start with one of the bigger fixes. Simply put, bathroom lighting can be very unflattering – which makes no sense! You obviously want to do your hair and makeup (not to mention step out of the shower) in at least somewhat flattering light. If you can, I’d suggest swapping out the vanity lights or overhead for something a little more luxurious. Wayfair, Overstock.com, and One Kings Lane all have unique lighting options at surprising prices.

2. Purge and replace textiles. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a lot less expensive to replace even ALL of your towels, washcloths, and bathmats than it is to say, install a claw-foot tub or turn a closet into a high end shower. When you weigh your options for improving a room like the bathroom, there are a lot of paths to take. And when you do replace those towels, make sure to keep only the new ones out. Having a nice, full set of soft cloths is what makes it spa status.

3. Next level caddy. Take that shower caddy (or whatever bathroom storage you use) to the next level with some grown-up products so you stop feeling like you’re in a dorm and start feeling like you’ve got a spa service! Even better if you’ve recently been to a hotel or spa and loved the products – treat yourself to a few skin savers you’d find at a fancy spa, like a face mask, hair products, extra luxurious lotions and bath salts.

4. Try a rug. If you have the floor space for it, a small rug instead of a standard bathmat really transforms a room. Sure you want a fabric that can withstand a little water and it might be a bit more high maintenance than a shaggy floor mat, but this simple swap makes it feel like you’re entering a day spa rather than bathroom. Trust me, when you’re looking for a place to snag even an hour of “me time”, you’ll be glad little tweaks like this came together to create that rejuvenating experience.

5. Focus on details. Lastly, it’s all in the details. Tools for relaxation such as some candles or essential oils and a diffuser make getting ready or taking a hot bath so much more enjoyable. Whenever I grab fresh flowers from the farmers market, I also love reserve some for the vase in my bathroom. Cute jewelry trays or makeup displays are nice too!

Tamera Mowry 5 Ways to Transform Your Bathroom into a Spa

/ Young Living diffuser / Herbivore Botanicals bath salts / Ombre bath mat / Brush organizer / Hydrocotton bath towels / Deep Comfort body butter / French pink clay sponge / Instant detox mask

What’s your ideal bathroom like? Will you be making any of these upgrades to the one you already have?


High & Low Home Décor: Stunning Bedroom Accents

Decorating a room is all about balance. I’m all about saving money on the little things and investing where it counts. But who doesn’t like their home to ooze happiness and warmth? Sometimes it takes a little shopping around, but these high-low lists really help when it comes down to making interior design decisions and sticking to a set budget. Today’s edition… The bedroom! Here are a few pieces I’ve found on both ends of the spectrum, now it’s up to you to decide.


Trinket boxes. If you’re style is more high end, this elegant lacquered box by Kathy Kuo Home has a unique snakeskin-inspired pattern for a modern coa​stal vibe. OneKingsLane always has deals and flash sales, so it’s no surprise that they have a stunning lacquered jewelry box for less. Etsy also has similar boxes priced $40 and up.

Cozy rugs. Shag rugs are huge lately – though thankfully not the wall to wall carpeting reminiscent of the 70s. It definitely takes a good eye to pull off, but with these modern options for cream and white colored trellis-patterned nuLOOM rugs, any bedroom or living area can be cozied up. These 8×10 area rugs aren’t all that different looking, but the Nourison Amor version (which also comes in several shades) is $1400+, while you can snag a deal by opting for the Target design.

Nightstands. I love the shade and style of the slender Tommy Bahama night table from Houzz, but this similar single drawer version would probably look just as nice and the $165 price tag will save lots of room in the budget for smaller accents like lamps and pillows too.

Votive holders. Lastly, gotta give that room an ambience! Isn’t cozying up to candlelight after a long day ahh-mazing (on those rare occasions you have the time)?​ Mercury glass votives are perfect for a modern bedroom, and can be reused when setting up a romantic dinner or inviting guests over for celebrations. DwellStudio has a set of four for $60, which is a steal considering they’re normally $140, but you can also go the mix ‘n match route at stores like West Elm, which offers them up for $5 each or about $27 for 6.

Hope you enjoyed the latest high and low list! Check out my outdoor patio version if you’re planning for summer early.


Powerful in Pink: Ariah’s Nursery Reveal

And at last, the reveal of Ariah’s nursery in this feature post from my incredible designer, Shalena Smith. She’s been designing beautiful rooms for little ones for over 20 years and it shows. She’s also the the founder of Gaga Designs and Shalena Smith Interiors. See pics below and hear how final pieces were selected. This room is a little slice of girly heaven! 

All along this fun, creative journey, we’ve referred to this nursery as “Pretty In Pink”. It was the theme of Tamera’s amazing shower and made sense–but as I look at the finished product, I can’t help but think that while yes, it is “pretty”, what we really created for sweet little Ariah was a space that says “Power in Pink”.

Ariah Talea Housley Nursery

For months, Tamera and I have been preparing for her baby girl’s arrival and along the way I’ve been able to share with you how-to’s and tips based off of my design process. So today I’d rather share with you the part that doesn’t come with a how-to… the heart and spirit that went into it.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the sweetness of a little girl! We did tap into that, as it is almost impossible not to. However, as I know from experience with my own two beauties, it is so important to not just give our girls the idea that their power and worth is tied to their beauty and sweetness, but more so to their faith, heart and conviction.

Ariah Talea Housley Nursery

Ariah Talea Housley Nursery

A room fit for a queen.

When I look at the crown above the crib, I don’t see the crown of a princess, but of a future queen of creation and love. When I look at the angel wings on the wall, I don’t just see that they are there because Ariah herself is a heavenly, little angel (which let’s face it, she is), but that they are a reminder that all the heavenly angels above will be watching over Ariah as she plays, sleeps, and grows. They will protect and guide her spirit.

Ariah Talea Housley Nursery

Speaking strictly about the design elements, I would have to say that my most loved aspect of the room is the way the gold crown and the beautiful Bratt Décor crib look against the two-tone striped wall– it adds sophistication. And while the personalized ceiling medallion, pillow and gorgeous chandelier add a perfect hint of glamour, my most favorite touches came from the heart, with anticipation of love-filled moments of the future. Like the tiny stool in the corner that Tamera has had for years. She thought it was the perfect addition to the room, because one day, big brother Aden will sit there and read his baby sister stories. Or the soccer ball artwork hanging on the wall that was Daddy’s special addition to the room, because yes she’ll be Daddy’s little girl, but that only means he’ll be cheering her on that much louder from the sidelines when she scores the winning goal for her team.

Ariah Talea Housley Nursery

Adam’s pick!

Ariah Talea Housley Nursery

I know Tamera can’t wait to add a picture of Ariah to this frame.

No matter the project, or the client, the final step of my process is to stand in the finished labor of love that is the nursery and say a prayer asking for only the deepest, most profound love and protection be brought to the little soul whose cries and laughter will soon fill the four walls around me. I had that moment with Tamera. That moment, more than the nursery itself, is what keeps me coming back for more.

Little Ariah will surely be pretty in pink in this nursery for many years to come, but she will be powerful in purpose for all the years that follow.

– Shalena

For questions about products or services contact Shalena at info@shalenasmith.com or follow her on social media here: Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook Instagram Houzz Youtube