Living

House & Home

Design Recipes: The best colors for fun, festive rooms

Whether for a children's room, family room or a space you're looking to incorporate bold, vivid looks, a fun and festive color scheme can be a welcomed pick-me-up. Full, bright colors can make a statement and work well blended with neutral colors such as taupe, brown, black and gray.

Travel

Getting the royal treatment at Los Cabos spa resort

With what limited time we have for vacationing, when we run off, we want our romantic voyages to exceed our wildest imaginations. We want the best of the best, with everything as soothing and simple as can be. Le Blanc Spa Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico, has already been awarded the AAA 5-star status. That's the pinnacle of luxury destinations, with many strict requirements to qualify for your best vacation ever, assuring your pleasure and enjoyment.

House & Home

Style at Home: Iceland melted my heart

To tell the truth, I wasn't super excited when Dan told me where he wanted us to travel on our next vacation: Iceland. Dan is the adventurer in our family, always game to zip off to a brand-new place and explore. Any country with the word "ice" in its name made me dubious.

Travel

His musical movements jazz up the thrill ride

Michael Giacchino has won Oscar, Emmy and Grammy statuettes throughout his career, but there's one brag-worthy feat that likely won't be found on his resume: The composer has the ability to ride roller coasters nearly a dozen times back to back without getting motion sickness.

House & Home

Ask Angie’s List: Should I add a mudroom to my house?

A mudroom is one of those household additions that delivers exactly what it promises, but it's more than just a spot to keep outside dirt and mud from getting into your home. Mudrooms were originally envisioned as a place for those in cold climates to shed their heavy winter gear. But given the right organization, you can create a convenient staging area for coats, backpacks and more. Consider these elements to combine form and function when designing your mudroom.

Travel

Taking a new, ‘non-lazy’ way to old Machu Picchu

On a ceaselessly scenic rail line that flowed like a vein toward the heart of the Inca mountain empire, Kilometer Marker 104 did not look like anything special. There wasn't even an actual station there; just a ditch, where we stood all of 30 seconds before the train pulled away from us.

House & Home

Tips for tackling the grossest parts of your home

Many of us spend our weekends chasing dirt and grime in our homes – vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing and washing. And no matter what we do, we're suspicious that we didn't and will never get it all. The truth is: We're right. Here's a look at some of the grossest parts of your home and what you can do to address them.

House & Home

Design Smarts: Remodelista’s Julie Carlson on changing it up

You can Pinterest, you can Instagram, you can even Houzz. But if you're looking for rock-solid renovation inspo online, you're going to want to check out the site that has the most tightly edited look on the internet – Remodelista. The pared down, sometimes minimal aesthetic manages to stay true to its look, yet always timeless and even on trend. Blame it on founder Julie Carlson, who now has the original site and sister sites Gardenista and The Organized Home to her credit, in addition to design and garden books. Carlson's staying power secret? Her instinct for curated classic designs, unimpeachable quality and a healthy dose of practical advice. Here's what she had to say about renovation, limited space, and that pile of papers on your desk.

House & Home

Alessandra Branca on the classics, the curiosity and the choices that hone her style edge

Ask Chicago's chicest designer what keeps the rooms she creates looking of-the-moment, and she'll tell you: "What I care about," says Alessandra Branca, "is comfort in a home. I am not worried about what is trendy. I design for my clients and nothing else." Sounds strictly sensible. Yet she's been known to pair racy steel stools with flamboyant red walls. And there's the Branca puzzle: Is she the glossy Ferragamo driving moc of interior design, or the stone-cold statement Prada heel? Answer: Both. Branca continues to build on – and blow up – her aesthetic. Which explains her new collection for Schumacher, including a classic floral so saturated it skews surreal. Keeping her style fresh, she says, is simply a matter of playing gorgeous favorites against a constant flow of new inspiration – and making absolutely everything personal. Here's how:

House & Home

On Gardening: Sun Parasol mandevillas celebrate fifteen years of stunning tropical flower color

Fifteen years ago, the Sun Parasol mandevilla made its debut in the country and those of us who were present knew this tropical climber was here to stay. What we didn't know was that this series giving a tropical magic to the garden would one day feature 21 varieties. We could not have imagined a red and white striped selection, like Stars and Stripes, a soft orange like the Sun Parasol Apricot or a Giant Red Emperor with the ability to climb 10 to 15 feet and produce flowers 3 to 5-inches wide.

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