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Recipe for Romance

True Romeos and Juliets know that love isn’t governed by the flip of a calendar page. And yet, February is when we celebrate the power of Cupid’s dart on the heart. So, now’s the time to do more than practice your pucker. Light the night with candles. Bloom and swoon. Pop a cork.  Turn a phrase. Read with passion.

In short, write a recipe for romance that’ll keep the home fires burning–both now and all year’ round.

Get in the Valentine’s Day Groove with Decor Designed for a Snuggle and a Cuddle.

Deep dive into the blues with the Nest Theory Jay upholstered bed. Photo: Hooker Furniture

Modernist design lovers will flock to the Nest Theory Jay upholstered bed with its clean, simple silhouette wrapped in soft velvet and embellished with plush button-tufting and gleaming pewter nailhead trim.

Jay and all bedroom furniture and leather recliners are on sale now through February 22, so now is a perfect time to refresh your “snuggling and cuddling” furniture. Find a participating retailer here.

With curves and cues in all the right places, the Antoinette Gilded Upholstered Bed lives up to its name. Photo: Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture.

In classic French salon style, the Antoinette Gilded King Upholstered Bed is both understated and unmistakably dramatic with a chic wood frame that’s beaded, gold-leafed, topped with a removable ribbon pediment and expertly tailored in luxe platinum velvet.

The Transcend King Platform Bed infuses interiors with a unique mix of contemporary, organic style. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

Because its’ headboard is crafted of 2-inch thick slabs of solid acacia wood whose interior edges are left in their natural form, each Transcend King Platform Bed is different in a subtle, yet distinct way.

Create a happy hour home zone with a bottle of bubbly and a pair of comfy Camber recliners. Photo: Hooker Furniture

Clean lines and luxe leather give Camber the look of a contemporary wing-back chair and yet, this is a luxe recliner. That’s toast-worthy.

Ultra comfortable Shasta recliners make kickin’ back at home something every couple will look forward to doing together. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

Sized right for reading, relaxing and spending time together, the Shasta leather recliners infuse interiors with a touch of transitional style that works well across the design spectrum. 

Hudson recliners add a rich pop of color and are perfect picks for couples relaxing together. Photos: bhg.com and Hooker Furniture

Make staying in more fun than going outHudson Recliners are comfy, cozy perches for enjoying a DIY “date night in a box” filled with romantic movies, favorite beverages and marshmallows for roasting with twigs.

The Declan recliner marries the best of his and hers: Durable and plush comfort + classic style. Photo: Hooker Furniture

Then, seal the deal with…Wee Chicken and Waffles with Jezebel-Maple SyrupQuick and easy to make, this delicious recipe is oh-so-right for breakfast in bed or a late-night snack by the fire.

The fastest way to your honey’s heart is with a scrumptious snack like this. Photo: Robert M. Peacock, Chronicle Books.

Wee Chicken & Waffles with Jezebel-Maple Syrup

from Southern Appetizers by Denise Gee

Serves 10 to 12, three or four waffles each

Sure, you can make your own bite-size waffles in a special waffle iron, and you can fry your own chicken tenders, but since good commercially available versions are easy to find, do yourself a favor: Pick up others’ handiwork to pair with this vivacious, easy-to-make syrup. The tiny treats always get a fun reception, especially as tailgate snacks. Prepared horseradish, a pungent mush of grated horseradish, vinegar, and salt, is most often found in small jars somewhere near a supermarket’s cheese case. It’s not to be confused with the “creamy horseradish” spread in the mustard aisle.

Jezebel- Maple Syrup:

2 cups maple syrup

¼ cup pineapple preserves

¼ cup apple jelly

1 ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

40 mini waffles from a 10.9-ounce package, lightly toasted

40 pieces cooked fried popcorn chicken

Finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley or green onion for garnish (optional)

Hot sauce for serving

To make the syrup: In a large microwave-safe glass measuring cup with pour spout (one holding at least 3 cups) or a bowl, add the maple syrup, pineapple preserves, apple jelly, horseradish, pepper, and salt; whisk to combine.

Microwave the mixture on high for 35 seconds. (You can also heat it in a small saucepan on low until the mixture is warm.) Stir and taste, adjusting the flavor if desired. Set the syrup aside.

Place the toasted waffles on a large serving platter. Top each waffle with a piece of chicken. Drizzle the chicken-waffle bites with about 1 teaspoon of the syrup. Garnish with the parsley, if desired, and serve with the remaining syrup and hot sauce.

Recipe and photo courtesy of “Southern Appetizers” by Denise Gee, Chronicle Books.” 


The passionate belief that an exceptional life begins at home is at the heart of the “Live an Exceptional Life” Blog. Photo: Hooker Furniture Archivist Collection

Helping you make connections between furnishings and decor and the life you want to create for your family at home — that’s always been the mission of theLive an Exceptional Life” Blog by Hooker Furniture.

With a passionate belief that exceptional living begins at home, we’ve written here since 2010 about the latest home design and color trends, and given you ideas about how to make your home more inviting, functional, comfortable and beautiful.

We’re gratified to share with you an important affirmation of the Live an Exceptional Life Blog, which was just ranked 5th on the list of “The World’s Top 50 Furniture Blogs” by Feedspot.

“The guiding principle of thHooker Furniture blog is to help you set a tone for gracious living in the space you create at home,” said Kim D. Shaver, editorial director of the blog. “The blog gives a voice to our brand and provides engaging ideas and inspirations for shoppers and furniture retailers. It’s rewarding to see the blog affirmed by a top online editorial authority like Feedspot.”

Melange is a one of a kind collection of artistic pieces meant to inspire you and fuel a renaissance in your home. Photo: Hooker Furniture

Live an Exceptional Life earned the top blog distinction from Feedspot based on its robust Google search ranking, social media popularity and “quality and consistency of editorial content” according to Feedspot’s editorial review, the company said.

The Hill Country Collection is inspired by the American countryside and imparts an authentic American character. Photo: Hooker Furniture

Skyline embodies high-style drama that captures the big-city excitement and energy of Manhattan, LA and Chicago. Photo: Hooker Furniture

It’s been a privilege to meet you here in this online space with the desire to help you make home a happier, more beautiful place.

The spirit of the American West inspires the rustic yet refined Vintage West Collection. The striking masculine collection features a dark charcoal finish with silver accents and decorative nail head trim and celebrates the courageous frontier spirit. Photo: Hooker Furniture

Thank you for listening and for all your feedback over the years. It’s our desire to speak to what matters most to you.

Don’t want to miss a blog article? Subscribe to the blog in seconds at this link to have the latest blog arrive in your email mailbox a few times per month!

The Hill Country Collection is inspired by the American countryside and imparts an authentic American character. Photo: Hooker Furniture

Let us know in your comments topics you’d like to hear more about on the Live an Exceptional Life Blog. 

 Subscribe here to our award-winning blog to help make your home a happier, more beautiful place.


Nature’s Neutral: Green Takes the Lead

A blue-green wood frame with rich brown rub-through is both youthfully fresh and serene. Classic print pillows in blue and green like this ikat, take this sleek chair in whatever direction pleases you. Photo: Sam Moore Furniture.

Spring comes early this year with “Greenery,” a fresh and zesty yellow-green that Pantone has chosen as 2017 Color of the Year.

Selected in recognition of our fast-growing awareness of nature’s essential value in our lives, Greenery invites consumers to “take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”

To which we would add, “Decorate!”

Greenery can evoke a tropical ocean or an English garden, depending on what other colors are in the scheme, but the feeling is always crisp and nature-loving. Photos: Sam Moore Furniture.

Greenery, Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017, is youthful, versatile and a reflection of our growing appreciation for the natural world. Photo: Pantone.com

Greenery can add a pop of zest within the room, regardless of the overall color scheme, as seen with the green painting in this room using black and white in the furnishings and soft rose walls. Photo: Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture.

In view of science that shows a host of mental ills are eased by the great outdoors, Leatrice Eiseman of Pantone says, “The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world.” 

Here, Greenery plays well with bright coral-red, kumquat, lime, poppy and Jacobean. Fabric: Sam Moore Furniture

Verdigris blue-green, such as the finish on this Sanctuary Box-on-Stand, is way to bring spring green indoors. Keep things cool with accents like this pale blue throw–or add a print pillow with warm and cool hues for extra comfort and dash. Photo: Hooker Furniture

The craving for nature is reflected by “the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally,” Pantone’s Eiseman said.  “A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront — it is an omnipresent hue around the world.”

Warm gray/taupe is always elegant. Paired with ice blue and spring green, it’s surprising and chic. Photo: Sam Moore Furniture.

The Twirl Sofa in a spring green leather energizes a room in a way that’s sophisticated as well as fresh. Photo: Bradington-Young Furniture.

The beautiful thing about green is that its neutral but lively. A simple switch of pillows creates a whole new look. Pillows: Overstock.com

From a design perspective, green is nature’s neutral, so even a lively shade like “Greenery” works and plays well with others. Sandi Teague, vice president of upholstery at Hooker Furniture, says, “Greenery blends beautifully with many hues. It pairs well with multiple shades of blue, from aqua to turquoise to navy. It also looks great with warm gray hues for a more neutral approach.”

Blue and white may be the world’s most popular color scheme, and when the blue is brilliant aqua, warmed with a touch of spring green, the feeling is irresistible. Photo: Sam Moore Furniture.

The Sheridan Chest pairs an upbeat green finish over highly-figured sycamore veneers and interlocking hardware for an inspired design. Photo: Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture.

The message for 2017 is clear and clean: It’s all about the green — and whatever you pair with it. Heart-lifting as an accent, calming as a neutral, the message of green is what we need now and for the future.