4 Ways to Take Your Nursery Walls from “Blah” to “Ahh!”

Happy Earth Day!

This is a guest blog post I wrote for Pish Posh Baby Blog that I think you will enjoy. You can apply these same tips to your master bedroom, family room or any space in your home that you want to quickly transform.

Is your nursery or kids space feeling unfinished or boring? Is it lacking warmth and personality? As a celebrity designer, I’m often hired—after someone has already spent thousands of dollars—to come in and makeover a space. If you feel that your nursery or kids room is missing that little something special and you want to turn it from “blah” to “ahh,” the best place to begin is with the walls. Many people feel intimidated by the thought of tackling the walls of any room, but there’s no need to fear. With the right products, tools, and a little know-how, you can make a big difference in your little one’s room no matter what your budget or skill level might be. Here are a few tips that will make you go gaga!


  1. 1. Color: Why not add a pop of color to your bare walls? When you walk into your nursery or kids room, what’s the one color that stands out the most? It may be a little blanket that inspires you, a colorful picture frame, or a cute pillow. Pick that one color that will tie in with your favorite nursery accessory and paint your walls to match. Be sure to take that item into the paint store, and they can match it for you. Easy peasy!
  2. 2. Stripes: If your space already has painted walls and you’re still not happy, then go with a striped wall. Pick the most prominent wall in the room that will get the most attention and paint stripes. Use a darker or lighter version of the color that already exists on the wall to create a tone-on-one striped wall. Or find a metallic color paint to fancy it up even more, as seen here. IMG_1034You can hire an experienced designer or painter to do this for you, or there are many great online tutorials that will show you exactly how to paint stripes using a level and high quality painter’s tape.
  3. 3. Decals: Placing an inexpensive personalized decal on the wall can add a custom feel to the nursery. Oftentimes my clients have no idea what to put on the wall above the crib. Decals are fantastic because they are lightweight and do not pose a safety hazard. They’re affordable and removable too. Here is one of my favorite decals: https://gagadesigns-com.3dcartstores.com/Princess-Personalized-Wall-Decal_p_3352.html
  4. 4. Wallpaper: I love that wallpaper has made a fierce comeback over the last few years and has made its way back into nurseries. Depending on your budget, you can wallpaper the entire room or just a single wall. Here is an example: (To purchase wallpaper visit Tempaper.) nursery wallpaper

Transforming the walls of your nursery or kids room takes just a little TLC from you. It’s truly the first step in turning the room from “blah” to “ahh!” In some cases it may also require patience as you shop around and find the perfect pieces that are within your budget. It may be a project that you have to do a little at a time or, if you’re lucky, all at once. Either way, just be patient, you’ll eventually get there. And whatever you do, be sure you enjoy the process!

Have fun!

Shalena Smith


Macy’s Distinct Decor with a Purpose!

I love turning the look of a space around or making a moment that much more special with simple decor and accents. It’s even more amazing when you know that what you’re purchasing is making a difference and changing lives. With that being said, I was thrilled when I was asked to collaborate with Macy’s to design a space using their exclusive Heart of Haiti and Rwanda Path to Peace collections. I love that both of these collections are Gifts That Give Hope!

Whether you need a room makeover or hosting an afternoon or evening tea with a friend, this collection has a unique and distinctive look that will definitely turn any space from Blah to AHHHH!!!

Like all my projects, I started off with a design board to select all the pieces that I needed to transform the space.


Is there a room in your house that needs a “space-lift”? Here’s an example of a living room that needed my help!

This living room needed more color, texture and more dimension. I knew immediately that I would build the design around the Heart of Haiti Vase with Neutral Floral.

Be creative with this unique collection, I was!!! I used their Tobacco Leaf Placemat as a center piece to add texture to the table and I used their Metal Bowls as candle holders because every space could use candles to create a soothing and peaceful environment. My favorite item in the photo below is the picture frame, which can also be a great Christmas gift this year!

I used the fireplace mantle to display their candle holders and the Heart of Haiti Nesting Trays. The trays made more of a statement to me when I used them as artwork verses flat trays, so think outside the box when purchasing your pieces from the collection.

You can also select inexpensive pieces from this collection to make your afternoon or evening tea more festive, while changing the look of the space at the same time. Below you’ll see how this simple, yet distinctive decor changes both an outdoor and indoor space.

I had so much fun collaborating with Macy’s to transforms these spaces, now it’s your turn! What space do you need to transform in your home and what are some of your favorite pieces from this collection?

I can’t wait to hear from you, contact me and lets decorate!!

Shalena xo

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with product for this post about Macy’s Heart of Haiti and Rwanda Path to Peace. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 


Glamorous Nursery without Breaking the Budget!

Get the look of a celebrity nursery without breaking the budget! Recently this non-celebrity nursery was featured on MommyNoire and I gave tips on how to create a budget friendly nursery! This particular client is located in Houston,Texas and purchased our virtual interior design package with a $3,000 budget. After creating a concept board, placing orders and lots of communication with my client we created her dream, Hollywood Glam nursery!

We’re not just for celebrities, we want everyone to go Gaga! xo SS

P.S. ProjectNursery also picked this nursery as one of their favorites of the week!

Hollywood Glam Concept Board by Shalena Smith


Modernized Circus Themed Nursery

“Lion, and tigers and bears! Oh my!…”

I couldn’t be more pleased with how this nursery came out! You have to be careful to not overdo it when creating a circus themed nursery. To accomplish a modernize look we stayed away from the traditional primary colors and used soft neutral tones. I customized the furniture with a grey paint blended with a carmel stain to tie in the clients windows. The roman shades I designed also tied in with the accent color. I love how the rug by Surya added a pop of color with the orange stripe. We personalized it with a custom canvas centered with the crib, adding a monkey and elephant on each size to complement the subtle theme. Last but not least, we went over the top with the life size giraffe!! Mr. Giraffe was a total hit at the baby shower by the way when I delivered it. (Ask us about our exclusive Baby Registry Concierge.) So much fun!!!

There was also an unexpected little nook in the corner of this nursery. I used that space to put our Gaga Designs custom chair, side table and sconces. Oh, and did you see the navy blue trim out on the ceiling? It highlights the chandelier and it adds a nice surprise without having to paint the entire ceiling.

I loved creating this space. Email us at info@gagadesigns.com or call us at 818-366-8787 to purchase any of the items you see in this awesome nursery.

I love my job!! xoxo


ET Interviews Shalena Smith about Celeb Favorite Items for their Babies

Watch Entertainment Tonight this evening at 7:00pm PST to see Baby Concierge, Shalena Smith’s segment on celebs favorite items for their babies!

It’s always such a blessing to be called upon as the expert in all things baby and nursery design. I never have much time to prepare for these interviews, they are always unexpected and I usually only have a few days notice, but that’s what fun about the whole experience.

Stylist and actress Aonika Laurent ran to my rescue to help me find the perfect look for the interview. I fell in love with the dress and the ladies at DVF Los Angeles. In past after my TV segments air, I’m overwhelmed with emails about what designer I’m wearing. This time, I’d thought I’d share with you in advance pictures and information about the dress.

Be sure to watch my segment this evening on Entertainment Tonight!


Entertainment Tonight July 23

Shalena Smith on Entertainment Tonight segment July 23, 2013

Here are a few pictures that were taken during the ET interview last week!

Shalena Smith wearing DVF.

Shalena Smith with Bill Horn at Bel Bambini Los Angeles.

Shalena Smith demonstrating a 4moms strollers on ET.

Lighting for your Nursery or Child’s Room

I hope everyone had an amazing Easter!

The one single item that I would say you need to make your nursery, child’s room or playroom fabulous is a chandelier!! As you’ll see from my photos below, chandeliers are available in many different shapes and sizes. These range from $338 to $2250, but the price all depends on how custom you want your lighting to be. Whatever you do, promise to keep it fun and whimsical!

Three of the four chandeliers below are in the homes of my celebrity clients. Can you guess which ones?

Oh and before I sign off, don’t forget to checkout the 3 Arm Pear Chandelier that’s under $200.

Enjoy the Spring season!




Tamera Napa Nursery Chandelier

Transitional-Modern Nursery on a Budget


I’m often asked if I can create one-of-a-kind nurseries on a budget and the answer is always, YES!! Here is a very cute Grey and Yellow nursery that we just designed with the affordable modern Mercer Crib.  I love the stripe wall with the simple bedding and the yellow sheet to tie in the pop of color.

Above the changing table the client built their own shelving and reframed their childhood artwork with a yellow matte to personalize the nursery.  The adorable 123 wall organizer adds a unique look to what would have been a bare corner. The cute stuffed animals and books add more colors and a little whimsy to the room!

Best of all, you can create this nursery on your own by visiting Gaga Designs or hire Shalena Smith for an in-home or telephone consultations to create your special nursery. Various design packages are available to meet your budget and needs.

Go Gaga!!

Eastern Europe Installation of a Layered Bed Skirt

I wanted to tag this as “comedy” due to the amateur video, I must admit it’s pretty funny. I promise that as I start to video blog more the quality will get better. I didn’t want my need for perfection to get in the way of sharing with you a quick and easy way to create the look of a two-tiered dust ruffle in just a few minutes. This video was taken while I was working in Eastern Europe with one of my amazing clients. This is how quickly you can change the look of a simple single tier dust ruffle into a fun layered look!
This is an example of a layered bed skirt on a full-size bed, but you can also create the same look with your crib skirt. I wish the lighting was better, however in a few weeks the finished room with be in my portfolio for you to enjoy!

Have a good laugh, on me! More to come.. 🙂 xo SS