Sexy style for him & her

Your master bedroom — ideally, it's a haven for relaxation and romance. But agreeing on how to create that perfect environment can make you feel anything but relaxed and romantic. Try these tips for melding your styles into the perfect couple's retreat.

Do your homework

Before you try to tackle merging your romantic, traditional style with his sleek, masculine preferences, for example, talk about what you like and what your husband likes, advises Alana Taylor, blogger at domesticblissdiaries.com.

"Get to know what colors, style of furniture and wood tones he likes," she says. "Then get visuals of those things — Pinterest is a good place to start."

Simple, dark, clean-lined masculine pieces can blend well with more decorative, feminine pieces in the same room, Taylor says, especially when the colors are neutral or complementary. She likes the example of this stack of masculine crates as a bedside table on one side of the room; the more feminine frames and dresser add balance on the other side.

Product picks
Photo credit:
Alana Taylor, domesticblissdiaries.com

Product picks: Stria nightstand (West Elm, $349), Elsa mirrors, set of 3 (Pottery Barn, $149), heirloom frames, set of 3 (Pottery Barn, $149)

Shop with compromise in mind

The shopping trip, Taylor says, does not have to be a 50-50 compromise. But, she explains, neither person has to absolutely love every element of the room.

"I've stopped asking 'Do you like this?' of him, because that often generates a flat-out 'No.' Instead, I say, 'Can you live with this?' He'll ask the same of me. That keeps variations in our taste from being deal-breakers every time," Taylor says. "If you can each say, 'Well, I don't love it, but I can live with it' about a few things, you're both likely to end up with a room that makes you happy overall."

Master bedroom
Photo credit: Jessie Kok, mixandchic.com

Meld styles with a common thread

Combining your tastes doesn't have to have a jarring effect, says Jessie Kok, designer and blogger at mixandchic.com.

"Having furniture pieces and accessories from a combination of style and era will work as long as you repeat your colors, shapes and patterns throughout the room," Kok says. Her own master bedroom is a good example of this, with its mix of dark, masculine wood and lighter, more feminine accessories, grounded in greens and golds.

Get the look

Product picks: 1. Curtains (PB Teen, $39-$49), 2. Lamp (West Elm, $129), 3. Rug (West Elm, $49-$799)

Product picks: 1. Rug (Ikea, $199), 2. Coffee table  (CB2, $279, 3. Storage box (The Container Store, $10), 4. Pillow (Overstock.com, $49)

Coming together in harmony

Once the two of you can find the balance in blending your tastes — by deciding what you like, what you can live with and what you might consider that is outside both of your typical choices — it's time to enjoy the process. Coming together as a team will make the resulting master bedroom a place you can't get enough of, just the way newlyweds can't get enough of each other.

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Mich. and the in Chapel Hill NC Low-income African American children were randomly selected for high-quality preschool programs and then their school performance jobs and other life events were tracked over the years The initial expenditure was high $90000 in todays dollars in the case of Abecedarian () but studies indicated that the investment paid off over time: The children who received intervention earned more money and committed fewer crimes than those who did not receive preschool education These studies carry weight because they were started decades ago in the 1960s and 1970s respectively and the outcomes have been carefully tracked But they were also relatively small programs with only about 100 children participating in each Another program known as the has plotted the lives of some 1500 students with similar results but it did not involve random selection The big question is whether these results would carry over into larger less costly state-run programs The federal government already offers Head Start for low-income children at a cost of about $8 billion a year and the results have been mixed "There were initial positive impacts from having access to Head Start but by the end of 3rd grade there were very few impacts found for either cohort in any of the four domains of cognitive social-emotional health and parenting practices" concluded that tracked children in Head Start over time "The few impacts that were found did not show a clear pattern of favorable or unfavorable impacts for children" Lets look again at Obamas State of the Union statement: "In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children like Georgia or Oklahoma studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level graduate high school hold a job form more stable families of their own"The Georgia program for instance began in 1996 and the in 1998 meaning the oldest participants are now only 20 So how does the president know such state programs mean these children will be able to hold a job or have stable marriages He doesnt The White House could provide no studies backing up his claim so we can only assume he is jumping to the conclusion that the results in Perry and Abecedarian would be easily replicatedBut that may be a risky assumption "Generalizations to state pre-K programs from research findings on Perry and Abecedarian are prodigious leaps of faith" director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution last month "Perry and Abecedarian were multi-year intensive interventions whereas state pre-K programs are overwhelmingly one-year programs for four-year-olds" He also noted that todays students face different the circumstances than those of 30 to 40 years ago The Oklahoma program has been by Georgetown Universitys Center for Research on Children in the United States (CROCUS) co-director of CROCUS agreed that the presidents statement went too far: "If I had been crafting this sentence I would have worded it differently Our Oklahoma research to date shows some persistence of cognitive gains through at least 3rd grade This is cause for celebration Extrapolations that link the Oklahoma data set (kindergarten test scores) to other data sets (adult earnings as a function of kindergarten test scores in other sites) also suggest that long-term economic gains are highly likely This is encouraging but not definitive "Other reputable studies of the Perry Preschool Project and the Chicago Parent Centers for example have documented precisely the kinds of positive long-term changes that President Obama referred to in his State of the Union message "That said the premise of your question is correct: we do not yet know for sure whether the phenomenal short-term gains from a high-quality preschool program that we have documented in Tulsa will translate into equally phenomenal long-term gains"Bentley D Ponder director of research and evaluation at the agreed that the president could not be 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