Tamera Mowry-Housley Spruce Up living room

How Tamera Mowry-Housley Made Her Living Room Feel Like a Hug

Making a space your own is something everyone aspires to—even our favorite stars. In our series, The Spruce Up, we chat with celebs to bring you behind the scenes of their design glow-ups. Whether they re-decorated a whole room or added a clever update to their tour bus, these spruce-ups prove any space can feel like home with smart design.

Tamera Mowry-Housley, the actor and Emmy-award winning former host of The Real is all about making her home feel welcoming. While decorating her Napa Valley abode, where she resides with her husband and two children, the author of You Should Sit Down For This soon realized that the flow of her dining room, kitchen, and living room just wasn't working.

There was a door leading outside in her casual dining space, which "felt invasive," she says, and her living room lacked the French doors she always wanted to the outdoors.

"I am a true believer of feng shui, so the flow of it felt off," Mowry-Housley says.

In the living room, she swapped out her windows for French doors leading to the backyard. In the dining area, she swapped out the door for windows and added in a built-in breakfast nook, instead of a full dining room, something she's wanted ever since she watched "family shows" where the characters gathered around a breakfast area for meals.

"I want everyone to be around each other," the former Sister, Sister star explains. "I love the whole family unit as far as all of us sitting down watching a family movie together, us sitting down having breakfast together, us sitting down trying to have dinner together."

Mowry-Housley says the nook feels the most like her in this space due to its approachability and welcoming feel.

I love the whole family unit as far as all of us sitting down watching a family movie together, us sitting down having breakfast together, us sitting down trying to have dinner together.

"It's inviting, it actually calls your name, and it's not just for eating," Mowry-Housley says. "It's to have a conversation. It's to have fun craft time with your kids. It's a place to connect when your kids are doing their homework."

tamera mowry-housley spruce up - breakfast nook and living room with stone wall

Photo: Courtesy of Tamera Mowry-Housley, Illustration: Amy Sheehan for The Spruce

In her home, Mowry-Housley champions the idea of the open-concept space, where her family and guests can move freely about, but everyone can still be together, as exemplified in her living room. Her vision of the room was to make it feel inviting and comfortable, which they did through cozy textiles, plenty of pillows, and a stunning stone accent wall, a perfect blend of her traditional style with her husband's more eclectic taste.

"I wanted it to feel like our couch was hugging you," Mowry-Housley says. "I wanted you to feel comfortable."

Leftover stone from Mowry-Housley's front yard ended up on her living room walls, thanks to a "happy little mistake" from ordering too much initially and an idea from her husband, Adam Housley.

"At first I was like, 'Eh, I don't know, it's going to close in the room,'" Mowry-Housley laughs. "But what it did was it gave that extra hug that we needed in the family room, and it works. Living in the Napa Valley area, what it did add was texture. In Napa Valley, you're going to see the linen, you're going to see the stone, you're going to see the metal. It definitely screams winery vibes."

I wanted it to feel like our couch was hugging you. I wanted you to feel comfortable.

Only fitting for a couple who co-owns Housley Napa Valley, a winery in the area. Though Mowry-Housley works with an interior designer on her home, she views it as a collaborative project, knowing exactly what she wants, thanks to plenty of practice creating Pinterest boards to find her vision.

"My style started to slowly but surely present itself to me," Mowry-Housley says. "I'm all about high-low too, so I'll have a custom couch, and you'll never know, I might have a little piece from HomeGoods that is a conversational piece that I bought for like $15 too."

Tamera Mowry-Housley spruce up - living room sectional with art on walls and open kitchen behind

Photo: Courtesy of Tamera Mowry-Housley, Illustration: Amy Sheehan for The Spruce

Mowry-Housley's new book,You Should Sit Down For This: A Memoir About Life, Wine, and Cookies, is a look back on her life in the industry with stories from motherhood and marriage. Plenty of wisdom, or what she calls, "Tameraisms." are sprinkled in those pages as well.

"Most of them are just little bite-sized pieces of wisdom that I have learned throughout my life through my experiences that kind of just helped me get through," Mowry-Housley says. "I talk about some of my challenges as a child star growing up in the business, how I got through, up to where I am now owning a winery and having two kids and just trying to live my best life."

And with wine and cookies in the title, it's clear Mowry-Housley knows how to entertain.

"There's always gonna be something on the stove or something in the oven," she shares. "We believe food is our love language, so it is our way of expressing our love to our family and to our friends. You're always gonna smell something amazing. You're gonna have something, either if it's a movie on or great music on, and you're always gonna have something amazing in your hand."

The actor, whose next projects include starring in the Hallmark film, Inventing the Christmas Prince on November 18 and hosting Amazon Studio's Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge on December 13, is used to being on the go. With long work days away from home while filming, Mowry-Housley has fool-proof ways to make any space feel like hers, starting with a candle.

"I will find a Target, a HomeGoods, Walmart, anywhere, and I will get some pillows," Mowry-Housley says. "I'll get a throw, I will get some plants, whether it's an orchid or just a cute little succulent. I'll get some white lights that I can put up. Sometimes I'll bring pictures of my family and get a candle and I'm set."