Valentine’s candy started showing up on store shelves in November, so you don’t need us to remind you the holiday is just around the corner. It is cause for celebration, but after the candy is gone and the flowers are thrown out, the process just starts over – and how are you going to top this year?

Why not give something that will last and add value to your lives?

Our homes are a source of security, comfort and also love. Updating your home’s features can add a private getaway or create an atmosphere for your entire family to enjoy. Take a look at these five ways to turn the house you like into a home you love.

A Bathroom for Two In most homes, the master suite comes standard with two sinks but can leave much to be desired when it comes to the rest of the area. What many home owners don’t realize is that the amazing bathrooms seen in resorts and hotels are accessible for homes.

Tubs like the one pictured can be inviting for you and your spouse. Take some time to relax with a loved one, enjoy a book or movie on your tablet, or just drift off to the sounds of your favorite music. You can easily revisit this tranquility without having to pay resort prices.

Can’t spend all day soaking? Spacious showers can do the trick as well. Multiple shower heads and jet streams add a modern touch to a home regardless of its age. Open entry platforms provide easy access and add depth.

Private Escape

Women may call these their oases, men call them their man caves, and kids call them hideouts – or maybe they’re something different all together. Whatever you call it, this part of your home can be an opportunity for you to escape into a world that is your own.

Andrea Riley of Happy Chaos has mastered this. Her home has four hidden rooms that act as play rooms for her children. But the house isn’t all about secret gateways – the remodeled attic hosts her husband’s own area.Ever dreamed of having a hidden passage way behind a bookcase? A company called Creative Home Engineering specializes in making this a reality for their clients. Their designs incorporate a variety of building materials that can open up your home in imaginative ways.

What’s for Dinner?

If your family is like most, the kitchen is more than a place to eat. Of course, a lot of that does happen! But it’s also a meeting, study, crafts, planning and entertaining space. With so much that can go on, the kitchen is a place near and dear to all of us.

Creating your dream kitchen is all about working your concept into a real space. Plentiful and sleek counter tops, backsplashes with touches of color, and expansive storage spaces are just a few touches that can add value to your home. Trends for 2012 are focusing on personality. This will, of course, depend on the homeowner, but consider using contrasting colors and unique fixtures to depict the character of the home and the people who live there.

So, buy something sweet this year and flowers always freshen up a home, but consider making a real Valentine’s Day investment. Make your house your dream home with designs you’ll love.