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Home & Garden

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.

Home & Garden

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:

Home & Garden

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.

Health & Fitness

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is a social and public health problem in the U.S. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey says nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives.

Travel

In these parts of France, the Great War will never be forgotten

The last time I saw the Picardie region of France was in 1978. I was visiting an old family friend, who suggested we take a road trip to see the chateaux and cathedrals that dot the landscape there and nearby in Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine, all of which are an easy drive from Paris. Off we went in her Peugeot 504 and at some point I became lost (this was in the days before GPS obviously) and decided to make an illegal U-turn through a break in the median. "Georgie don't!" Nan cried. "The gendarmes are very strict! It could be a big fine." (She still calls me Georgie, but she's known me since I was 4 so she gets a pass).

Travel

Florida towns' claims to fame: We're No. 1

Florida is known for making headlines – alligators end up in swimming pools, iguanas come out of toilets and people are always in the news for outrageous crimes. And with all the funny stories come interesting titles and nicknames for the cities within.

Home & Garden

Style at Home: Mix wood furniture for an evolved look

Upholstered furniture, like sofas and chairs, bring a lot of razzle-dazzle to our rooms, with their endless options to infuse our spaces with beautiful patterns and colors. But it's their quieter siblings that provide the backbone to our interior spaces. Wood furniture may not always be as fun as upholstered pieces, but it plays a gigantic role in the design of our rooms.

Home & Garden

Nate Berkus' 8 greatest tips for effortless home style

Nate Berkus' life has been a little bit chaotic – mostly in a good way – for the past few years. He married fellow designer and television personality Jeremiah Brent, relocated from New York to Los Angeles, started up a new television show with Brent (TLC's "Nate and Jeremiah By Design), and the couple welcomed two children, Poppy and Oskar (born this spring.) "I absolutely wanted all of this," he says. "It's all elective, and I love every minute of it. I really do, but I am tired."

Home & Garden

Design Recipes: Try these 8 summer cleaning hacks

Spring is the traditional time when homeowners may think of a cleanup, but summer is also an ideal time to cleanse and purge. With summer comes relaxed days and for some, days off from work and shorter work weeks, making it the ideal time to allocate time for sprucing up, clearing out clutter, and refreshing.

Home & Garden

Plumber: Hurricane season is also standby generator season

Q: Ed: Aside from plumbing issues, I enjoy your bonus columns about installing standby generators. I lost my electrical power for days earlier this year due to heavy snowstorms. Now that hurricane weather is here I want to have my own generator installed. Can you please repeat your famous five steps for standby generator installations?

Mayo Clinic Minute: Seeing Alzheimer's in a new way

The Mayo Clinic takes a look at new developments in Alzheimer's research, giving new ways to diagnose and treat the illness earlier.