Five Tips for Mixing His and Her Style

His style is dark and rugged while her style is light and airy. Is it possible to design a home that suits them both? Yes! The trick is to combine the best of both worlds of his and her style through balance, texture, color and lines. Here are five things to consider when you’re sharing a home with the opposite sex:

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1. Think about lines

The shape and scale of your furniture can be considered masculine or feminine. Feminine furniture focuses on curves, details and embellishment. It’s smaller in scale and lighter in style. Masculine pieces, however, focus on function. They tend to be larger and more angular in design. Marry both looks with clever combination. For example, choose a round ottoman to soften the feel of furnishings with masculine patterns.

2. Color and textures count

Another consideration when it comes to striking balance with his and her style is color and texture. Dark colors and heavy materials are masculine, while light colors and materials are feminine. Complement a light sofa, for example, by pairing it with dark draperies. Or make a masculine leather sofa feel more feminine by choosing one a light color, such as ivory.

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3. Strive for equality

Keep his and her style in harmony by balancing masculine pieces with feminine furnishings that complement. In the dining room, for example, an industrial-look steel table can be paired with upholstered chairs.

4. Choose rooms

Strike a balance by using masculine and feminine styles in the right rooms. The bedroom, for example, is an area that often leans toward feminine. While you might want to forego an overwhelming amount of floral and curves, you can compromise and create an elegant look in simple patterns or light solids. The family room or den, however, tends to lean toward masculine style, but wood paneling and too much plaid can overwhelm. Instead, choose darker colors in smaller scale furnishings or soften with accessories, such as a floral rug in dark tones.

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5. Accessorize

Accessories are often called the “woman’s touch,” and they can quickly offset too many masculine furnishings. Place a vase of flowers on a reclaimed wood end table, for example. Use damask toss pillows on a leather sofa. Or drape a soft blanket on the arm of a leather chair. While it’s easier to add feminine elements to a more masculine room, you can do the reverse, as well. A feminine room can find balance through masculine accessories, such as metal, wooden or natural items.

Valentine’s Day Dessert Ideas

Valentine’s Day and sweets go hand in hand. You could enjoy that heart-shaped box filled with truffles or you can score extra points by making a tasty dessert for your sweetheart. Here are two Valentine’s Day dessert ideas that are super easy to make and sure to impress:

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Marshmallow Treats

Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to turn marshmallow treats into hearts, then embellish them with frosting, chocolate, peanut butter or candy.

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Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

These are super easy to make, but they look and taste so good. If you’ve never dipped strawberries before, here’s an easy recipe.

Pair one of these desserts with a love letter written from the heart, and you’ll show your loved one how much you care. Do you have any favorite Valentine’s Day dessert ideas? Let us know in the comments.

How To Write a Love Letter

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Instead of letting a greeting card company craft your sentiment, why not write a love letter from the heart? Take a seat at your writing desk and let the words flow. We promise it will be cherished forever. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are five love letter writing tips from the folks at Hallmark.

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1. Start off Right

Instead of “Dear,” why not try “My Darling…” Get creative. Nicknames are definitely allowed.

2. Offer Affirmations

What are your beloved’s best qualities? Has he or she done something lately that you’re grateful for? Mention this!

3. Look into the Future

Are you looking forward to something? Seeing him tonight? Going on that romantic vacation? Growing old together? Yep, mention that, too.

4. Finish Strong

Scrap “Sincerely,” and go all in with something like “All my love,” or “Forever yours.” XOXOXO is good, too.

5. Make it Special Delivery

Leave the love letter somewhere you know he or she will find it – like on a pillow or car seat. The element of surprise will make it more special.

I’m In the Mood for Loveseats

The coziest piece of furniture is definitely the loveseat. Its diminutive scale is more inviting than a long sofa and its unique size is more charming than a simple chair. So how much do you know about this home favorite? Made in the U.S. since the early 1800s, the loveseat wasn’t originally created as a courtship aid; instead, it provided a seat that would fit the large dresses worn by the ladies of the period. Luckily fashions have changed and the oversized accommodation became the perfect spot for two. In the 19th Century, the design was named “loveseat” (an early example of the power of marketing?) and the rest is history. If you’re looking to add seating to your room here’s what you need to know about buying a loveseat.

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Find the Perfect Spot

A loveseat is small enough to be used in a variety of settings. Place one with a sofa to create a more intimate-looking grouping. Use one in a master bedroom to fashion a comfortable sitting area. Put one in an oversized foyer to provide guest with a place to sit. And use one in a kitchen to turn dinner into a leisurely event.

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Find Your Style

Loveseats also add a sense of balance to the seating arrangement of larger rooms. Choose one that blends with your existing décor; styles range from traditional to contemporary to casual. Or add one that serves as an interesting accent piece – especially if you custom-order the upholstery. Buying a loveseat is fun!

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Find the Right Scale

As you would with any piece of furniture, measure your space to determine the correct size for your home before buying a loveseat. Loveseats can be overstuffed and large, or petite and streamlined, with sizes ranging from 50- to 76-inches in length.

Then get ready to fall in love. The perfect loveseat will transform your space into an intimate gathering – no matter if your room is large or small.

How to Throw a Game Day Party

Any football fan knows that the biggest event of the year is Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a fabulous excuse to get your favorite fans together, so make sure you kick-off the big game right with a winning playbook. Here are some tips for throwing a game day party that’s more memorable than the half-time show.

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Get Your Room Ready

Go on the offense with your game day party seating with options that let everyone catch each play in comfortable style. Start with a roomy piece, like a reclining sofa. Spacious enough to accommodate all your fellow fans, power recline options allow you and your guests to get into the perfect position at the touch of a button.

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With primo seating in place, make sure you have the goods to watch the game in true sports-lover style. A wall media center provides a spot for everything, from the big-screen TV and surround-sound speakers to the DVR for replaying the winning play.

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Let the Games Begin: Party Details

Fans are going to get famished, so make sure you serve up something tasty during your game day party. Finger foods that guests can grab are a great fit for this casual party. You could also make it a potluck and ask guests to bring a favorite dish, adding variety to the menu and taking some of the stress off you.

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Keep fully loaded trays on tables nearby, so no one has to miss a moment of the action (or legendary commercials) by running to the kitchen for refills. Ask guests to don apparel of their favorite sports team (although this will probably happen on its own!) then divide them into two teams, and have a quiz to get a little friendly competition going before kick-off. Losers have to plan next year’s party!

With these tips, you be able to throw a memorable game day party your friends will love. Stop by your local Art Van Furniture or shop online to check out even more ideas to make this Super Bowl party a touchdown celebration.