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- Tips for painting your hardwood floors — Houzz
Ahhhhh! An entire day dedicated to love. What could be better? Finding a thoughtful present that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg, you say? That's just the kind of challenge that Laurie from Greenhouse Design Studio loves. "Valentine's Day doesn't have to be overpriced dinners or flowers that will only last a few days," she says. "The most precious thing that you can give is attention and time."
Greenhouse was founded by Laurie and her husband in 2011 to answer that nagging question "how do I know what I'm really putting in my home?" Everything in the Greenhouse collection is sustainable in some way: made from sustainable materials, artisan made, or vintage. Here are a few of Laurie's favorite ways to say "I love you."
- Build a library of great love stories to inspire your own
Your local bookstore is a treasure trove of romance, all you have to do is open a book! Start with Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen or The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles and grow it from there. Bonus points for reading them together!
- Put your feelings in writing
Write all the reasons you love your sweetheart on slips of paper and put them in a pretty bottle. Your honey can place it on a shelf and read your declarations of love over and over again.
- Host a private cocktail hour
Give your honey some homemade bitters, a bottle of scotch, and some pretty (eco friendly!) glasses, and plan a date at home! Mix and enjoy a delicious old-fashioned and some good conversation, just the two of you.
- Give a nice reminder of how you feel that will be used every day
It doesn't matter if your honey drinks coffee or tea, these mugs ($30) are a perfect reminder that you think that they are 'handsome" and that you love them. You could also slip a sweet note into their bag or pocket!
Aw, thank you for the good suggestions, Laurie! We are feeling more loving already.
This Chinese New Year celebrates the Year of the Snake, which is a perfect excuse for incorporating all things snake and snakeskin into your home decor. Snakeskin is surprisingly neutral and lends itself to many types of decor — so no excuses! Start small with frames or a throw pillow, and discover the statement this bold pattern can make. Happy New Year!
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So, you've decided to gift a beautiful bouquet of something for Valentine's Day. We applaud the choice, but you have more of them to make. There's technical considerations like color, fragrance, and form that can be sneakily stumping — especially if you aren't consulting a florist.
Luckily, we know a guy. Michael Gaffney's floral chops range from designing arrangements for movie sets (have you seen Black Swan?) to creating ambiance for New York fashion shows, but we're most excited about his teaching gig. As the founder of the American Schools of Flower Design, Michael has a tip (or five) up his sleeve for creating a Valentine's Day bouquet that hits the mark.
Take it away, Michael!
- A Floral Story
- Fragrant Flowers
- The Classic
- Focal Flowers
- Don't Skimp
"People love arrangements that create a floral story by mixing different types of flowers, like calla lilies, orchids and stock flowers. This classic American design works for many occasions, especially Valentine's Day. The arrangement also makes a great DIY project, since the flowers are readily available at farmers markets or grocery stores."
"Who doesn't love the lovely aroma of flowers? Fill bouquets with a variety of fragrant blooms including roses, stargazer lilies, wax flowers, and freesia. These arrangements will fill any space with wonderful scents long after the holiday is over."
"You can't go wrong with a classic rose bouquet. It's the number-one most requested arrangement in America. From a single rose to a full bouquet, the flower still stands for love. Just avoid purchasing 'bullet roses,' which have tight bulbs and will never open. Instead, choose a rose slightly 'unfurling.' These roses have been harvested later and will open and last longer."
"An arrangement that has tons of flowers is everyone's dream. Try combining mass flowers (full and round blooms) such as lilies, roses, sunflowers, hydrangeas, magnolias, and daisies into a grand arrangement to really make a statement and make the person you're giving them to feel special."
"A person will know when you skimp out on the good stuff. On Valentine's Day, try to avoid the overdone arrangements filled with carnations, baby's breath, lots of greenery, and other mass-produced fillers and flowers."
Thanks for sharing your tips, Michael! Wishing you a very happy Valentine's Day.
Smash is baaaaaaack! Last night was the premiere of season two, and it did not disappoint. There are plenty of new characters (goodbye, scheming Ellis; hello, Jennifer Hudson!), new musical numbers, and, of course, lots and lots of drama. Another new addition is set designer Kalina Ivanov. She joined the behind-the-scenes cast to create a slew of new sets including a restaurant hangout, two apartments, and one very glamorous dressing room. The spaces are a perfect foil for the escalating tension between Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty) as well as producer Eileen's (Anjelica Huston) continued fight to get their nascent show to Broadway. From the looks of it, they are going to be joined by tons of amazing guest stars this season (Sean Hayes, Jessie L. Martin, and . . . Liza Minnelli?!) and enough intrigue and fighting to keep everyone busy for a while.
We sat down with set designer Kalina to get the backstory and inspiration for a few of her sets this season. Read on to find out more about Kalina's process and how she gets the look!
— Additional reporting by Emily Bibb
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