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Buying the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the lady in your life comes with insurmountable pressure. You don’t want to settle for the usual flowers and chocolate (Although, I would never turn those down!), but you still want to give something from the heart. I’ve rounded up our top five creative yet practical gifts she’ll love and will be surprised to get.

 

HGTV Valentine's Day Gift Guide

 1. Society6 / 2. west elm / 3. / Silhouette Boutique / 4. minted. / 5. CitySlips

1. “I LIKE YOU.” Tote Bag. This is the perfect gift if your sweetheart is a dog lover. Bonus: She’ll always think of you anytime she carries it around.

2. Faceted Gold Terrarium. Put a little twist on the traditional bouquet of flowers with a terrarium filled with succulents that she will keep alive for much longer.

3. Cupcake Socks. Who wouldn’t love a pair of these? I may or may not have bought a pair for myself.

4. Custom Stationery. Help her keep in touch with her friends who live all over the world. Add a personal touch by customizing stationery with her name, favorite color and print.

5. Audio Earmuffs. She can plug these fuzzy headphones into her smart phone or MP3 player, so she can listen to her favorite tunes while staying warm.

What’s on your Valentine’s Day gift wish list? Tell us in the comments below.

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What are you flowers saying? Last year, my sweet, unassuming boyfriend came home with a vase of wilted alstroemeria and, although I still loved them as if they had been fresh garden roses, I later gave him a short lesson on what his flowers inadvertently told me: he had procrastinated.

In the Victorian Era, flowers had secret meanings that expressed sentiments of love, lust, adoration, and even rejection. This secret language still exists today, if somewhat subconsciously. So this Valentine’s Day, don’t let your flowers send the wrong message! Learn the past and present meanings of 8 of today’s most popular flowers below.

Behind the Bouquet

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Your favorite HGTV Magazine stories are better than ever in the latest issue on sale tomorrow. Curb Appeal heads to sunny Florida, Flea Market Flips is still turning tossed goods into look-at-me-now furniture, and let’s just say the house tours…those will leave you with more ideas than you know what to do with.

March cover

Pick up the latest March issue of HGTV Mag!

There’s lots more to explore, and you can be among the first to dig in to new content by subscribing here. For now, let’s take a look at some of what you’ll find when you head to the newsstand.

We started with the basics: a white dresser. Then added no-fail accessories that show off your personal style: a lamp, a vase, and a pretty object.

dresser

Mint green dresser, Chevron wall, and pretty flowers—we love.

We created four dresser looks, but it’s only online where can you find the instructions for painting two of the more intricate designs. Visit hgtv.com/dresser-formula to see how.

A brand new column in this issue included a recipe from a familiar HGTV star. One who is known for his colorful personality, but who can apparently also whip up a batch of gooey delicious Chocolate Chip Sea-Salt Cookies. Who do you think this mystery man is? Take a guess, then test the recipe for yourself.

cookies

Guess which star baked these bakery-size cookies?

Get more exciting HGTV Magazine news on Twitter by following us @HGTVMag.

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For this edition of HGTV Magazine‘s High/Low Challenge, we asked you to correctly identify the low and higher-priced product from a pair of stunning blue chests. Was this an easy one, or were you officially stumped? Those of you who correctly answered Left: low, Right: high, must have a knack for spotting a great deal. The lucky winner of an HGTV Magazine prize package will be notified by email.

high low answer

Were you right this time?

Both of these beauties have a similar curved design, but the slightly darker blue version on the left has less ornate hardware, helping to bring down the cost. The more intricate design on the right has a surprise inside! The drawers are lined with wallpaper—no DIYing required. Find shopping information for these and many other pairs in the The New High/Low List.

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We see a lot of stunning photography here at HGTV, which makes my job as photo editor not too shabby! I’m excited to start sharing with you my favorite photo discoveries each week.

When I’m not at work, I love spending time making a mess in my kitchen — my dark, dated, unstylish kitchen. I dream of the day when I have the budget to match my kitchen remodeling and redesign wish list. If that day ever comes, this design by Jeff Troyer Associates is at the top of my inspiration board:

Design by Jeff Troyer Associates

I mean, this kitchen has it all, right? A huge island with tons of workspace and a spot for the family and friends to gather, a built-in cutting board, a drink station, tons of storage, gorgeous hardwood floors and classic white subway tile. But what sets this kitchen apart is its use of color. Blue is a hot choice right now, and the mix of indigo and sky blue for the cabinetry is a great way to add color while still keeping the space close to neutral. Some brightly colored bowls and a red(!) oven at left add that bold pop of color that’s the cherry on the top of this sweet design.

And how about a bonus image this week? Jeff Troyer Associates not only remodeled the kitchen — they remodeled this whole Colonial home, adding a second story to the house and an addition to the back. Check out the backyard:

Design by Jeff Troyer Associates

After the cold, snowy weather this week, I would love a day by that pool. How about you?

Like these photos? Take a look at the rest of the home. Want more inspiration for your home? Head to the HGTV Photo Library.

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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I had to spotlight one of my favorite celebrity couples of the moment — model Chrissy Teigen and singer-songwriter John Legend. They’re so adorably cute and in love that it’s disgusting. (I LOVE THEM.)

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend being cute, as usual.

In case you missed it, the February cover story for Architectural Digest is a swoon-worthy tour through Chrissy and John’s beautifully renovated New York City home. Every room features strong vintage elements (those dark leather armchairs!), eye-catching artwork and natural textures and colors that balance each other as you move from room to room. Designer Don Stewart of Desiderata Design combined sophisticated jewel tones with mixed metallics for a contemporary yet classic look that completely seals the deal.

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen NYC Home

Living Room

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen NYC Home

Kitchen

Check out the full tour (and steal their look!) over at ArchitecturalDigest.com.

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It’s a new year, and a new chance to win! The first High/Low Challenge of the 2015 comes just in time for the release of the March issue of HGTV Magazine (on sale Tuesday), and shows off two blue chests worth a closer look.

From an entryway to a guest bedroom, these two pieces make just the right kind of statement. The shades of blue are saturated without being too bold, making it a truly versatile addition to your home. While it may be difficult to choose a favorite among the pair, let’s see if it’s easier to spot the difference in cost. One of these chests is nearly half the cost of the other, but which one is it?

Enter for a chance to win a prize package that includes a copy of the March issue, an HGTV Magazine iPhone 5 case and an HGTV Magazine tote bag. All you have to do is leave your guess in the comments below (i.e. Right: high, Left: low or vice versa). You must answer correctly to win. The answer will be revealed on the blog tomorrow, so come back to check if you’ve got a keen design eye.

high low blue chests

Which is more wallet-friendly?

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 2:00 p.m. ET on February 6, 2015. Full official rules are available here. Sponsored by Scripps Networks, LLC dba Home & Garden Television, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932.

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You guys, it’s freezing. Even my friends in Florida are freaking out (it was 40 degrees there yesterday!). And my pals up north are buried in several feet of snow, with more in the forecast. You know what they say…when life hands you snow, make snow cones.

Make Snow Cones + Snow Cone Syrup at Home - HGTV Crafternoon

Okay sure, eating something frosty may not sound super appealing, but this recipe for Hawaiian-style shaved ice is sure to transport you to the tropics, at least in your mind. Bonus: it’s a fun activity for cooped up kids and a healthy (vegan and dairy-free!) snack to boot. You can try using (clean, please!) snow from your own yard, or make like an ice queen and blitz your own in a blender. Either way, you’re going to want to make this. Trust.

Learn How to Make Your Own Snow Cones

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, CameronB!

Can you guess what type of lighting belongs in this vignette?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win a pouf from Zazzle.com. You don’t have to guess correctly to win.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on January 28, 2015 and 12:00 p.m. ET on January 29, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $100. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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If you’re a fan of the HGTV hit show Fixer Upper (who isn’t?), then you have undoubtedly coveted Joanna Gaines’ impeccable design taste. By mixing the rustic and repurposed with streamlined and modern elements, Joanna always creates beautiful, envy-inducing spaces. Check out five of her foolproof interior design rules below to bring Fixer Upper‘s timeless farmhouse-chic style to your home!

Joanna at her Waco, Texas boutique

NATURAL ACCENTS


When decorating in the farmhouse-chic style, it’s important to incorporate natural elements with modern. In this office area, Joanna complemented the sleek, grey color palette of the rug and walls with rustic preserved boxwood topiaries and a rough finished wood desk. Add natural elements to your space with fresh flowers, exposed wood beams, stone countertops, indoor plants and potted dried herbs.

SEE THE FULL MAKEOVER >>

4 More Tips to Try

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We wrote about the growing micro-house movement back in 2011, and it has only gained momentum since our conversation. I thought when I moved into my 620-square-foot studio loft that turning a single room into a house’s worth of rooms would be a challenge. A kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom, bathroom and office all in one square? Now, imagine a fully-functional home in 400, 200 and even less than 100 square feet! If you think you don’t have room for an office (me!), then take a cue from these teeny-tiny homeowners who have squeezed in a workspace and made the most of every. single. inch.

Tiny House Kitchen and Home Officevia Dwell

Tiny House Bedroom, Home Office and Deckvia HGTV’s FrontDoor

Narrow Tiny House Bedroom With Home Officevia Dezeen Magazine

Tiny House With Workspacevia DIY House Building

Tiny House on Wheels With Home Officevia Bob Vila

Tiny House With Loftvia OregonLive.com

Let’s ask the question again almost four years later — could you live in a tiny house? Let us know in the comments below.

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From Boston to Seattle and everywhere in between, Super Bowl Sunday will have parties filled with fans, football, and oh yeah, food. Many of the traditional game-day dips are high in calories, high in fat, and highly likely to put you in a food coma.

That’s why we rounded up some simple swaps that are still delicious but better for you. There’s no need to “cheat” on any diet to enjoy these dips. Let’s leave that kind of controversy to the NFL.

Skip: Spinach Artichoke Dip
Get: Creamy Avocado, Artichoke and Kale Dip

artichoke dip

Image courtesy of Blissful Basil

Gooey cheese, though delicious, is one of the easiest ways to add saturated fat and calories to a recipe, and it’s the star of most spinach and artichoke dips. When superfood spinach and antioxidant-rich artichokes are mere sidekicks, though, the health benefits get overshadowed. Not the case in this recipe for Creamy Avocado, Artichoke and Kale Dip. The veggies take the spotlight, and not a cheese is in sight. It’s the avocados, loaded with good-for-you fats, that create the creamy texture we love so much. We bet you’ll never be able to look at the classic version the same way again.

Get the full recipe over at Blissful Basil

4 More Skinny Dips

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You answered correctly if you chose option A. The HGTV Dream Home 2015 guest bedroom has a classic nautical theme with a modern twist. An anchor wall sculpture, a statement piece, ties the room together.

HGTV Dream Home 2015 Guest Bedroom

We randomly chose one person from the comments, and Shannon is the winner of an HGTV swag bag and the current issue of HGTV Magazine. Congrats!

Check back next Wednesday to decorate a new space, and don’t forget to enter twice daily for a chance to win this year’s HGTV Dream Home.

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How to Start a Collection

Have piles of cash laying around the house and an insatiable love for snow globes? Then, congratulations! You’re ready to start a collection.

Kidding about the cash (mostly), but by far, the trickiest thing about starting a collection is…figuring out what in the world to collect. Can I get an “amen!?” So if you *do* love snow globes, you’re already ahead of the game. However, if you’re ready to expand your snow globe horizons or want to figure out something else that would be fun to collect, I’ve got some tips for you!

1. “Sherlock Holmes” your Pinterest boards. If you’ve been pinning pretty pics for any length of time, chances are there are some patterns hiding among all of your boards. Start looking through your interiors/home decor boards and see if you have been inadvertently pinning spaces that feature 179 variations of elephant garden stools or 1970s needlepoint canvases. If you look hard, you’re likely to uncover some of your collection crushes.

2. Visit some thrift stores or flea markets. Walk around and let your eyes be your guide. Try to pay attention to the types of things that you’re drawn to or want to pick up. You may even surprise yourself: just because you don’t drink tea, that doesn’t mean you can’t love a teacup.

3. Make a list of all the things you love. Are you sports obsessed, dog obsessed or Canadian holiday obsessed? In this case, obsessions are kind of a good thing. Let all the things you love inspire you to think about what you might like to collect. When it comes to collections, anything goes.

42 Items You Could Start Collecting Now

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It’s no secret: when it comes to weather, I am all about the heat. Give me a warm summer day poolside and you won’t hear a peep from me. All of that said, I have to admit I’m a *little* bit envious of all the snow that winter storm Juno just dumped on our northern neighbors. As much as I love the sun, a cozy snow day sounds kind of fun. For a day or two.

But there’s one thing I can’t stand about winter weather, and that’s the puddles of salt and grime drug in by hard-working snow and rain boots. Nothing puts me in a mood faster than a wet, soggy entryway and a messy pile of discarded footwear. My solution is both simple and stylish: turn a tired cookie sheet and a river rock tile into a chic and practical boot tray. Not only does it dress up your entryway, you’ll be relieved of that unsightly boot meltoff.

Make Your Own River Rock Boot Tray - HGTV Crafternoon

Keep reading to see how to make your own.

MAKE YOUR OWN DIY BOOT TRAY

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With controversial commercials already in the headlines and the Patriots’ alleged scandal, Super Bowl 49 is one for the books so far. Well, we’re here to lighten things up. We’ve teamed up with NFL Homegating to share our favorite recipe ideas for your Super Bowl party no matter what team you’re rooting for.

Honey Sesame Chicken Wings

Honey Sesame WingsRecipe courtesy of NFL Homegating

  • 8 to 12 chicken wings
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 4 cups canola oil for deep frying
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a medium bowl, add flour, salt and pepper. Coat chicken wings with flour mixture.

2. In a deep skillet or fryer, cook wings for about 10 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, add honey and sesame oil. Whisk together and let rest. Drain chicken wings, and toss in the bowl with honey and sesame oil. Add sesame seeds, and serve.

More Super Bowl-Inspired Recipes

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Can you guess what type of wall decor belongs in this bedroom? Hint: This room could be yours if you enter twice daily.

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win an HGTV swag bag and the current issue of HGTV Magazine. You don’t have to answer correctly for a chance to win.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on January 28, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on January 29, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $50. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.  

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Brrrr! We woke up to a dusting of snow here at HGTV Headquarters, but it’s certainly nothing compared to our team in the Northeast. (Stay safe and warm, you guys!) If you’re spending the day hunkered down indoors, we’ve got some resourceful ways to overcome cabin fever. First, stay in your PJs all day. Take advantage of this, people.

Snow Day IdeasPhotos: PJs / Cocoa / Blanket / Fort / S’mores / Jewelry

1. Again, wear pajamas all. day. long. We suggest flannel or fleece-lined sets to keep you nice and cozy during single-digit temps.

2. If the kiddos are out of school (or even if they’re not), now’s the perfect time to get creative with the guest linens by building an indoor fort. Bring in the laptop or iPad for a special movie screening, and don’t forget the twinkle lights.

3. Warm up in seconds with sweet, spicy and boozy hot chocolate recipes.

4. Break open one of this month’s must-reads. (Download it on your e-reader or iPad to start right away.)

5. Break for a warm, indoor campfire treat: oven-baked s’mores.

6. Feeling productive? Tackle some household to-dos while stuck indoors, like accessory organizing or getting those shoes in order. HGTV’s Genevieve Gorder spent part of her snow day getting her kitchen knife drawer arranged. (Those Laguiole knives — swoon!)

 

Feeling crafty? Try these winter-inspired crafts.

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After a spirited battle between Merlot and Blue Paisley for January’s Color of the Month, 67 percent of you all chose Blue Paisley over its competitor. While I voted for Merlot, I have to agree that the Caribbean blue is especially refreshing during the winter. I typically let furnishings do the talking when it comes to color, but I could actually see myself painting an accent wall this beautiful shade of blue. Nice pick, D-Happers.

Mood Board Monday: Blue PaisleyPhotos: Stairs, Fashion, Headboard, Accent Wall, Sign, Wallpaper, Blender, Cocktail

Did you miss a mood board? Catch up here.

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