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Valentine’s Day: Gifts for the home

Why stick to the usual Valentine’s Day fare of flowers and heart-shaped boxes of candy when you can give a gift that will be treasured all year long? Buying a gift for the home can represent your love for someone special — or to yourself — in a much more fabulous and forever way.

Judy Hawthorne makes a trip to furniture stores every February for a Valentine’s gift for her home.

“I work a lot,” said Hawthorne, a nurse practitioner. “So when I come home, I want to feel comfortable. Every little thing in my home makes me feel welcome.”

She plans and saves all year to purchase a gift for herself that will add to her home. Last year she bought a porch swing in honor of her husband, who died in 2014.

“I love Valentine’s Day and, since my husband died, I buy things for myself that make my home feel more like home,” Hawthorne said. “It also helps me enjoy the holiday. I look forward to something that I get to love all year.”

This year she is replacing her husband’s comfy chair that they bought more than 15 years ago. She is looking for a floral lounge chair that her grandchildren can also enjoy.

“It’s going to leave a big hole” in the room, Hawthorne said. “But I’m getting flowers in a chair this year for Valentine’s Day. And the kids can spill, and it won’t show so much. It’s a nice way to remember him and move on.”

Giving a Valentine’s Day gift that’s from the heart and for the home is a wonderful and practical gift for home decor enthusiasts, said Libby Hartman, marketing manager for Kalco Lighting.

“Personally, I find our Loveland Collection to have this sexy, bohemian vibe with a splash of sophistication,” Hartman said. “The gold-silver leaf finish is warm and inviting, a little like love.”

Kalco’s hand-painted finishes have a handcrafted appeal. Like a framed piece of art, each has its own personalized feel, texture and quality, Hartman said.

“When you share a home with someone or just spend time together in a single spot, any small or large token that you enjoy daily has so much more staying power than something that gets stuffed in a dresser or jewelry box,” Hartman said. “It’s something a couple can look at every day as a reminder of their bond to one another.”

Going big or small, in the bathroom or on a wall, giving a gift for the home is a lasting way to say you care, said Margaret Walters, owner of Lucas-Hill Art &Design based in Orinda, California, who recently showed her work to buyers at the Las Vegas Market trade show.

“Hand-painted silk pillows add a touch of warmth and color to any decor,” Walters said. “With the large selection of images available at (the shop), you are sure to find something that will be a meaningful remembrance.”

Founded in 1993, Lucas-Hill Art &Design began selling its handmade original artworks painted on silk to area shops. It has since moved into the home accessories market with pillows, handmade ornaments and more. All of Walters’ products are made in the U.S. and can be customized with names, places or dates for any occasion.

“Silk coasters are a miniature piece of art which can be framed but are also functional for everyday use,” Walters said.

This lovely Hallmark holiday is also a wonderful opportunity to give a lasting token of your forever feelings to someone special. Walters’ hand-painted music coasters are a popular item around Valentine’s Day.

“They come as a set with Adagio, Allegro, Allegretto and Con Moto,” she said. “They make a great memento because they acknowledge a love of music and are a nice reminder of that special time.”

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