When I first heard that I’d be sitting down for a chit-chat with the lovely and talented talk show host and former Sister Sister
actress, Tamera Mowry-Housley, I was a bundle of nerves and excitement. After all, I had been a huge fan of hers (and her twin sister, Tia) for many years in my adolescence.
Fast-forward two decades later, and we’re sitting at her kitchen table, conversing like old friends. We quickly realize we have much in common. We’re close to the same age, and with kids nearly the same ages (each of us with a boy and a girl). And we’re both busy, full-time working moms. She just happens to have the much
I wanted to glean a little insight into her life. Her home. Motherhood. How she consistently manages a full plate. And the role that smart tech plays in it all. How would you explain your home?
I see it as my beach cottage. I wanted it to be airy, cozy, and bright. And definitely practical—because we have two children under the age of five. Tell us what made you choose this house.
Well, we chose the area because it was close to the beach. My husband has asthma, so he has to be particular about air quality, and the air is usually much better near the ocean. It’s in Los Angeles but “away” enough from Los Angeles, as well. Since he’s a correspondent and I’m a talk show host, when we come home we like to get away from that and live like a normal family. What would you consider to be the most important space?
The kitchen, because it’s truly where the heart is. We love to cook and gather here. What’s your favorite feature?
Just to feel safe. That’s the reason why Control4 is perfect for us. We have everything at the tip of our fingers, wherever we are. We travel a lot, and when you feel safe, you feel more comfortable. Do you use the remote access part of Control4?
Yes, I do. Oftentimes, I’ll check in on the cameras around the house while I’m away. Another cool thing is, say I hear a noise while in bed, I’ll just open the app and see all of the camera locations to be sure it’s nothing to be concerned with. It puts my mind at ease. As a working mom, tell me about how your smart home aids your day-to-day life.
We have assistants and caretakers to help with the children, and it has helped tremendously that we haven’t needed to make copies of keys. Instead, they use personalized codes to arrive or leave, and I’m alerted each time. We know if someone comes on time or if they don’t—we have it, all right here on our phones. And we even know if there is a visitor at the door that isn’t supposed to be there.
Oh! Here’s another feature I love. I’m one of those people who always get cold, so my husband will adjust the temperature from his phone before we get home. The moment we walk into the house, we never have the uncomfortable feeling that it’s too cold or too hot. 15-30 minutes before we get home, he puts on the air conditioner or the heat and it’s ready for us so that we can walk into a comfortable home. Where does your family spend most of their time?
I would have to say the playroom upstairs. I love it because the kids have everything they could ever need up there—a desk, a chalkboard, games, a television—Apple TV is huge in our home. The kids always want to watch Disney. When we wake up on the weekends, we live there and it’s perfect. They can have breakfast up there, my husband and I have breakfast up there, we have a couch, a table and chairs…and we just watch TV. It’s great. It’s a great way to wind down—it’s really a family oasis. I absolutely love it. What would you say is your favorite part of your smart home system?
Whole-home audio. The coolest thing is that we can have music in any area of our home. Say I’m downstairs cooking and then I have to get ready really quick. If the music is playing one of my favorite songs, I can just go upstairs, click on Control4 and connect to whatever we were listening to downstairs, and it’s like I never left. Do you have a favorite Control4 “scene”?
My husband always gets on me for not turning off all of the lights in the house. I’ve been doing it for years. So it’s really cool to have our “Goodbye” button when we leave the house that all I have to do is press that one button and it turns everything off. So we’re not wasting any money or electricity. He really taught me how to go “green” in that sense. His pet peeve is seeing things plugged in when we’re not home. He’ll say, “Tamera, you’re not only wasting money, you’re wasting energy which then is not good for our planet.” And I’m like, “You know what, you’ve got a point there.” But it’s our mom-brains; we’re always thinking and moving in so many different directions at once, we tend to forget. So it’s cool to have a button that when pressed, it’s done for you. How did he “sell” you on it?
I’ve known him for 12 years, I’ve never doubted him when it comes to technology. He knows his stuff. He has a segment online, has his own show, and just knows gadgets and tech. It’s his world. It’s what makes him happy. He just said “Tamera, trust me. It’s going to be awesome and make our lives easier. You’re going to love it.” And I was like, fine, go ahead. Let’s do it. What do your kids think of their smart home?
The benefit of our smart home for them—since they don’t really understand the concept yet—is that they can say “mommy, I want to watch this
”, and I don’t have four remotes that I have to say to myself, OK—wait a minute—I’ve got Hulu, I’ve got Apple TV, I got this or that. I press that one button and BAM it all comes up, I scroll to what they want, click, done, and they’re happy. And that’s great for me, so I don’t have a toddler screaming because Moana isn’t up yet. Is there anything else you want us to know?
My husband is a tech nerd. I wasn’t into technology like I am now before I met him. So he taught me about the benefits of having all of these cool things in the house. I don’t even know how to use my iPhone sometimes. But because of his intelligence—and the great installers at Malibu Wired
—I’ve reaped amazing benefits from Control4. I didn’t think I took it for granted, but I kind of did. Now if I didn’t have all of these really great things at my disposal, I would probably freak out.
In a way, it makes life easier. It just does. Especially when you’re a family of four, have a lifestyle like we have, and you live in two different places. It just makes life easier. You know you’re safe and have everything at the tip of your fingertips. We can see what’s going on in the house while we’re away. When we want to entertain, we have really cool speakers. Sometimes I put on toddler music for the kids when I’m cooking and every which way they go, they hear the music and it helps them express themselves. I love that. I don’t go to the movies a lot because of time, but when you have a great system like this, you feel like the movies come to you. And it just makes life easier as a whole—and more enjoyable. I just love it.
READ MORE ABOUT TAMERA'S SMART HOME JOURNEY ON HER PERSONAL BLOG:
"Smartening Up My Home Simplified Our Family Life"
AND SEE WHY SHE SAYS IT WAS THE BEST DECISION EVER!
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