3 Pasta Dishes That Are As Delicious As They Look

3 Pasta Dishes That Are As Delicious As They Look

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Growing up, my family ate pasta pretty much every day of the week. I’m not just talking spaghetti and red sauce. It was the mid-70s, during the heyday of Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, and my mom would drag me along on what seemed to be very long car rides just to find alfalfa sprouts, a sunchoke or a vegetarian restaurant. Our dinners were generally colorful pasta dishes filled with every bean and vegetable you can imagine.

My fondness for pasta lives on and these three recipes represent all I love in a good pasta dish — color, flavor and a little bite!

First up, Melissa Clark’s bacon, rosemary and tomato pasta! The rosemary-bacon combination is so popular in my house that on special “big breakfast” occasions like holidays and birthdays, we sprinkle the herb on our bacon and eggs and call it fancy. Melissa incorporates a twist that I especially love, balsamic vinegar! Get her recipe here and make it ASAP. (Vegetarians and vegans, all three of these recipes are easily converted, so add them to your menu!)

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Click through for two more tempting pasta dishes, including one that uses the absorption technique for a full-flavored, no-boil method! —Caitlin

Images above by Kristina Gill

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A House Finds Its Heart In Color in Edinburgh, Scotland

Classic Styles Are Made Fresh With Colors And Patterns On Design*Sponge

A House Finds Its Heart In Color in Edinburgh, Scotland

Emily Murray, creator of the interiors blog, The Pink House, and her husband Euan Murray live in The Pink House — which, in addition the name of Emily’s blog, is also their real-life Victorian home in Edinburgh, Scotland. Euan (CEO of The Sustainability Consortium, a global nonprofit group based in the U.S.) and Emily share their pink house with their two sons, Oscar, 7, and Zac, 4. We love Emily’s approach to the design of her home, which stemmed from the love of former less-than-kid-friendly haunts. “Since having kids, I haven’t been able to get out so much to the gorgeous bars, hotels etc. that I used to frequent before the small Pink House dwellers came along,” Emily shares. “So when it came to decorating my family home, I did so in a style that is intended to recreate the fabulous places I used to go. It’s a way of living my old, child-free London party life, but in Edinburgh, and while spending half my time picking Cheerios off the floor or emptying potties full of wee. I’m a firm believer that just because you have kids, doesn’t mean your house has to be drab, dull and simply functional — it can still be fabulous.”

The Pink House wasn’t always so fabulous; when Emily came down from England to house-hunt six years ago, the house’s exterior was a dirty white. While Emily was disappointed to be leaving their England home, both her and Euan’s parents lived in Edinburgh and the willing-and-available childcare helped soften the blow of leaving their London lifestyle behind. So much of finding this home had seemed somewhat meant to be. The Pink House was only the third Emily had seen on her very first day of house hunting and the moment she stepped through the door, she knew it was “the one.” While the colors on both the outside and inside were lackluster, and the open-plan kitchen Emily had on her must-have list was nonexistent, she knew she would “do anything” for this house. “I’m no fatalist or spiritualist, but its soul spoke to me in a way that meant all practicalities went out the badly-fitted sash window,” Emily admits. “So we bought it, and began its transformation into a colorful, fabulous family home.”

The renovations and transformation from the dirty-white Arts-And-Crafts style Victorian to the fabulous Pink House that it is today took six years. And naturally, just as it’s completely finished, the family has decided to place The Pink House on the market. The first step in the renovations was creating the open-plan kitchen Emily had dreamed of, which entailed knocking down the wall between the kitchen and living room, creating a big family room. Emily shares, “The rooms run north-south, so as well as gaining the opportunity to keep an eye on the kids (break up fights) while cooking (heating stuff up), the knock-through also means the north-facing kitchen area benefits from the daylight streaming through the south-facing living area windows.” While knocking down walls for the open-plan kitchen sounds like a big makeover, it was actually the bathroom that made the most radical transformation. The bathroom, like the exterior, was uninspired, but Emily saw to gutting it and creating her dream bathroom in its place. The latest project was taking their dingy basement and transforming it into “The Den” — which acts as their space for watching movies, the guest bedroom and home office, and where Emily’s vision — beginning with grasscloth walls — was brought to life by Jessica Buckley Interiors.

One of the most special elements of their home is the “Centenary Scrapbook” they were given when they moved in. When their 15-house street celebrated its 100-year “birthday” (in 1999), the scrapbook was created to share information about why the houses were built, historical information about how they were built, a list of everyone who had lived in each house on the street and even what color their house was originally painted — white. If only every house purchase came with one of these! —Rebekah

Photography by Susie Lowe

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A Photographer’s Art Deco Beach Bungalow

A Photographer's Art Deco Beach Bungalow, Design*Sponge

A Photographer’s Art Deco Beach Bungalow

Photographer Mary Beth Koeth has traveled far and wide perfecting her craft. She’s spent months in Norway learning the ropes, trekked across Europe with Hallmark and interned with some of Los Angeles’ most stellar creatives. Mary Beth says Miami, FL, however, has inspired her and made her smile more than any other exotic location she’s visited. For that very reason, in 2010 she set up shop permanently in South Beach.

The art deco apartment she rents there is the epitome of South Beach style. Built in the 1930s, it features an original fireplace, an eye-catching retro facade and terrazzo tile throughout. Thanks to all these details and more, the right bones were there when Mary Beth moved in. Making the space feel current, though, now that was the challenge — and one she knew she couldn’t rush into. Instead of snagging any old thing she saw, Mary Beth slowly but surely gathered tables, chairs and accessories from her favorite secondhand shops in the city. This mix she’s put together gives the space both a touch of modernity and a touch of her own style: eclectic comfortability.

All in all, these additions create an interesting juxtaposition. Original floors and Mary Beth’s bold finds are surprising complements, and the space’s cheery style and neutral backdrop, while different, work in tandem beautifully. I think my favorite part of Mary Beth’s home, however, is how she’s managed to fill it without breaking the bank. Most of the decorations come from a local consignment shop, and only a select few things are brand-spankin’ new. You’d never know though, thanks to the stellar styling job she’s done. Click through to see exactly how she put it all together on a budget, and enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Mary Beth Koeth

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Cassandra Ott’s Rainbow Paintings + Best of the Web

Cassandra Ott’s Rainbow Paintings + Best of the Web

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After a difficult and divisive election season here in the United States, I’ve been gravitating towards imagery that celebrates unity, love and color. Rainbows are the ultimate symbol of that feeling for me, so it’s no surprise that Cassandra Ott‘s rainbow series is making me smile right now.

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Cassandra is based in Buffalo, NY, where she creates paintings and mixed media collages. Her “Rainbow Perspective” series is painted on found vintage photographs and creates these small moments of wonder and happiness in everyday scenes. And right now, I’m really enjoying looking for these small moments everywhere in life and celebrating them any way I can. You can check out more of Cassandra’s work here on her site and on her Instagram feed. xo, grace

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Giving Back: Julia and I made a series of recipe videos for our local food pantry to celebrate common pantry items turned into easy meals. Over 10k cards, letters and envelopes are about to be connected with groups across the country who want to send their story to their elected officials. Connecting creativity + activism makes my heart sing.

Yum: I’ve never been a big Dutch Baby person, but this chocolate version at Smitten Kitchen looks incredible.

Inked (for now): Want to get crafty and make your own temporary tattoos? The Beautiful Mess team is showing you how.

Balloon Hearts: Speaking of crafts, this balloon wall heart project at Oh Happy Day is funny and fun-looking.

Simple Chic: This is the sleek minimalist Japanese kitchen of my dreams.

Melbourne Pink: This pink bedroom from a Design Files home tour is heavenly.

 

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Social Media Inspiration: 10 Designers and Artists Over 60 To Follow and Support, 10 Young Designers and Creatives to Follow on Instagram

Life & Business: How To Begin Again by Adam JK

Giveaway: The Classic Allure of Barn Lights + A $500 Giveaway

Interiors: In Vancouver, An Old-Timer With New Design, An Eclectic Retreat in Arizona Designed on a Dime, A Home in Central Iowa Full of Memories to Take to East Asia, A Jewelry Designer’s Serene Bungalow in Portland, OR, Peek Inside the Brooklyn Home of our Favorite Envelope Artist

Decorating: 10 Ways to Dress Up Your Shelves with Color, 11 Rooms with Gorgeous Winter Whites, The Sustainability of Natural Stone, 10 Throws to Warm Up Your Weekend

Before & After: A Country Home Gets A Powder Room & Living Room Update

Emily Jeffords’ Paint Palettes

Emily Jeffords’ Paint Palettes

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Sometimes when I need a little inspiration, I head over to Instagram and scroll through hashtags devoted to painter’s palettes. Seeing color palettes develop and getting to look at close-up brushstroke textures is such a joy. And artist Emily Jeffords realized that joy and turned it into a stunning new calendar that highlights some of her favorite palette prints. From deep colors and peaches to an ocean of grey, blue and green sea-tones, Emily’s detailed photos capture the beauty of palettes in a way that I have always wanted to see celebrated. Whether you’re looking for a new calendar or just wanting to relish in the lushness of these colorful palettes, click here to check out Emily’s new calendar and her work online. xo, grace

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10 Throw Blankets to Warm Up Your Weekend

Ah! My bright choice! I've had a thing for mohair ever since my Grandmother sported a bright green mohair sweater one year at Christmas. Mix in a lot of ink, and I'm sold. Avoca Plaid Mohair Throw at Anthropologie $178

10 Throw Blankets to Warm Up Your Weekend

After a few days of warm-ish weather for January here in West Virginia (50 degrees!), I’ve been gathering twigs for kindling and pulling out my throws in preparation for a chilly, grey weekend. That means I’ll be making this tasty soup recipe once again, snuggling in front of the wood stove with my dog, Rex, and watching as many movies as I can squeeze in. While I prefer sunny and 70˚, I’m not complaining. Any time under my favorite blanket is a good time! This comes from a woman who begged her mother not to thrown away her “binkie” when she found it in the Goodwill pile at age 32.

My “binkie” is a rather smelly (from age), twin sized lime green electric blanket from my 8th birthday. Has the synthetic material pilled beyond belief? Why, yes, that’s very, very true. Of course, I lost the heat controller/power cord long ago. I really do need to retire it to the basement soon, so I’m checking out some new options. These 10 throw blankets, some of which are on sale, are looking pretty good! I’ve even been eyeing a very cute baby blanket for my lap while I work. Hilarious, I know. Don’t judge.

Click through for the slideshow of the 10 finalists! Note there are NO lime green ones. Which one do you like the best? –Caitlin

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The Classic Allure of Barn Lights + A $500 Giveaway

The Classic Allure of Barn Lights + A $500 Giveaway

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The ability of barn lights to have a vintage and modern look all at once has always been a major part of their appeal. Whether hanging from a tall ceiling or lighting the way into a garage or barn, barn lights are definitely a star in our lighting lexicon. As the pendant light trend continues, the barn light is also rising once again and bringing its gooseneck sisters along for the ride. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met a gooseneck curve I haven’t loved.

Those bold curves, paired with a classic industrial shade profile, get me every time. As LED lighting becomes more and more successful in producing a warm color temperature, the use of barn lights indoors and out is quickly becoming “a thing” again.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite LED lights from the barn light genre from Cocoweb below, whose fixtures and finishes are right on. They’ve generously offered to gift one reader a $500 gift card for the perfect lighting upgrade! (P.S. They also have picture lights if you’re setting up entryway art or a salon wall! Or if you have a piano, their piano lamps might just help you get back to your practice schedule.)

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Images above: 1. via Remodelista. Renovation by Lisa Collins of Studio One|San Francisco Interiors & Design. Photography by Mark Adams. 2. Cocoweb Barn Light Collage by Design*Sponge

Click through for some more barn light inspiration and to enter the giveaway! –Caitlin

This post & giveaway is brought to you by Cocoweb. Cocoweb specializes in warm LED technology for their stylish collection of barn lights, picture lights and piano lamps. Visit their site here to learn more.

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Interior Design Choices: Natural Stone

Kelly Wearstler

Interior Design Choices: Natural Stone

Stone is making its way back into homes in a big way in 2017. Rustic looks and reclaimed wood continue to be used to create a modern farmhouse look and feel, but they’re now sharing the limelight with this dramatic, organic material integrated into interiors in a much bigger way than granite countertops. Stone, like travertine, marble and limestone, is making appearances on wall surfaces as seen above in interior designer Kelly Wearstler’s beach house in the Fall 2016 edition of InStyle Home & Design.

While the the luxe appeal of of gold and copper metallics in interiors is still going strong, we’ve noticed that, in some new builds and remodels, those tones are being replaced with the softer sheen, but harder surfaces, of organic materials like stone. The grey paints that rose to fame in the last year perhaps opened the door to the rebirth of stone’s interior inclusion. Of course, we’ve also been speculating that the long-standing geode trend is simply moving onto larger surfaces. Regardless of the trend’s origin, stone has been a preferred building material for ages, and, with advancements in quarrying technology and the demand for green buildings, natural stone is the new go-to material.

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As the owner of a home built in the 1970s, I can attest to the warming benefits of my own massive stone wall that holds a large fireplace. I’ve added a wood stove insert in place of the original fireplace because it’s way more efficient and heats most of the house. The wall, constructed with mostly 12″ by 12″ stones, heats up nicely and makes the wall-length hearth bench choice seating in the wintertime. Natural stone has beneficial thermal mass (the ability of a material to store heat and slowly release it), which creates a higher indoor ambient air temperature. Energy efficiency has never looked so good!

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Because of the high demand for green building practices and materials, architects and designers are harnessing everything from the obvious aesthetic appeal to the solar reflectance benefits of natural stone. Adding in regionally sourced materials, as well as recycled stone from century-old barns and other structures, architects and builders are able to provide homeowners with the green building materials and practices they’re looking for.

Click through for more beautiful stone features in interiors and how I used the home buying process as a tool for learning more about sustainability! —Caitlin

This post is brought to you in collaboration with MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute. Visit their website here to learn more about the sustainability of natural stone. 

Images above: 1. InStyle Magazine (Marble) | 2. Steven Graver  (Limestone)| 3. Minimalisti (Sandstone)

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Before & After: A Country Home Gets A Powder Room & Living Room Update

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Before & After: A Country Home Gets A Powder Room & Living Room Update

Marcella DiLonardo is a freelance lifestyle photographer and her husband, Justin Jones, works in insurance — together they have the lifestyle blog Hey Modest Marce. They recently swapped the city life of Toronto for the more slowly-paced country life of Fonthill, Ontario (outside of Niagara). The couple had fallen in love with this home when they first saw the listing last spring, but it was just out of their budget. As luck would have it, it was still on the market by the summer, when the couple had saved more for their down payment, and they were able to make an offer. Their first home just happened to be their dream home. The house, although in the country, is still close to markets, and they’re lucky enough to have a hiking trail at the back of the property that they hike every weekend. The downtown, which Marcella admits is a little different from what she would have referred to as the downtown area in Toronto, is just a few steps away, as is an apple orchard. If the description of the outside sounds charming, the inside is equally so.

Despite the fact that Marcella and Justin have only lived in their home for a handful of months, they’ve already begun making it their own. They were lucky to have found a home (dream home, no less!) that was move-in ready — all that was left to do was make it feel personalized. Marcella immediately got to work putting her stamp on the powder and living rooms. As someone who appreciates the charm that comes with an older home, Marcella wanted to be sure to keep all of that intact — and, in fact, add as much back in as she could.

Marcella has mostly kept to a grey-with-white-accents palette that allows the beautiful original trim and details to stand out while still making the home feel warm and inviting. She shares her inspiration behind the palette, “I love how the mix of white, greys and wood [looks] together. It is so homey, but still elegant.”

The powder room was where she felt like she could have a little more fun with color; it was a previous add-on, meaning she could be less precious about updates she wanted to make as she wouldn’t be losing any original details. The wallpaper she chose for the powder room, called “Apothecary Garden” by Trust Worth, is actually a print from 1926, which goes amazingly well with their 1928 home. Trying to add in more of those original details that were left out in the addition, she added Delta’s Victorian line of fixtures and faucets to create a more seamless continuation of the home’s age. While the home was already one-of-a-kind, adding vintage-inspired wallpaper and light fixtures was a top priority to give the home its due and revel in its history.

The projects will continue for a while, something the couple embraces. Next on the docket in the new year is taking on the two-and-a-half/third floor loft with exposed beams and angled ceilings. We can’t wait to see what else this couple creates in their beautiful new home. —Rebekah

Photography by Marcella DiLonardo

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11 Rooms with Gorgeous Winter Whites

11 Rooms with Gorgeous Winter Whites | Design*Sponge

11 Rooms with Gorgeous Winter Whites

We do our best at Design*Sponge to feature spaces full of color and pattern. White rooms aren’t usually the most interesting, and we like to push for designs that step out of what is comfortable to what is inspiring. It’s reasonable to assume, then, that white rooms layered with white furniture and accessories would be extra bland, but there can be something so beautiful and serene about monochrome palettes in the winter. Texture, light, art and smaller objects can bring these neutral spaces to life. Today we’ve rounded up 11 stunning rooms featuring winter whites to match the cloudy skies and snowy weather of the season. –Lauren

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How To Begin Again

How To Begin Again

How To Begin Again – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge

With each new year comes a wave of emotional energy encouraging us to look inward to acknowledge changes we can make. Things feel possible and necessary, and that energy can push us through to February, at least. This is generally a good thing, but change is also terrifying and sneaking this s**t in literally six days after the pure joy and stress of the holidays is just plain rude.

A fresh start can come at any time, in any way. It might be a nagging feeling that you can’t ignore anymore, or a major life event may force you to rethink things all at once. Regardless of when, how or why, it’s never too late to begin again. You can embark on a new challenge, redirect an existing focus or come back to a passion that you abandoned years ago. It won’t be easy, and (did I mention?) it will be a little terrifying, but you can do it. Here are some tips on how. –Adam J. Kurtz

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10 Designers and Artists Over 60 To Follow and Support

Wise Words with Nike Davies Okundaye on Design*Sponge

10 Designers and Artists Over 60 To Follow and Support

Writing this roundup of incredible designers over 60 was really exciting for a lot of reasons. I wasn’t familiar with most of these people, so finding new (to me) artists to discover and enjoy is always refreshing. I loved seeing the strong aesthetic voices they all have. Social media trends and pressures don’t play into their work, which stands proudly with a clear and refined style, honed over the past few decades.

Writing this piece presented more challenges than I expected, because many artists over 60 aren’t broadcasting their ages or popping up in my social media feeds. But the great thing about our work here at Design*Sponge is that it’s our job to look harder find untold stories and help those voices to be heard.

We’d love to hear from you on how we can make this a space that celebrates creatives of all ages and a resource for those that might just be joining the online design world for the first time. Have a look, and I hope you enjoy what they bring to the conversation as much as I do. —Erin

All photography found via the artists’ sites unless noted. 

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Peek Inside the Brooklyn Home of our Favorite Envelope Artist

Peek Inside the Brooklyn Home of our Favorite Envelope Artist

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Scrolling through artist Lucy Halcomb’s Instagram feed is one of my favorite pastimes. From her sunny Boerum Hill, Brooklyn apartment, Lucy creates the daintiest of paintings on the backs (and sometimes fronts) of colorful envelopes. Flipping through her tiny artworks dedicated to coffee cups, cornbread and cakes, feels like catching a glimpse of what Wayne Thiebaud would be doing if he had been on Instagram as a young artist. But Lucy, of course, has her own unique style and feel to her work, the majority of which celebrates the bright, bold colors that I am so craving right now, combined with actual cravings of mine like s’mores, mille-feuille and soft serve with sprinkles.

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I was curious to see where all of these mini masterpieces are made, and today we’re getting a peek inside Lucy’s home, where she also creates larger illustrations and does freelance art direction work for clients. Lucy first saw her home when her friends were living there three years ago, but after they decided to move west to Seattle, WA, she knew she had to take the chance to move into this space — with its tall windows and abundant natural light (just a short walk from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade). I love imagining all of the teeny confections that come to life at this kitchen table and seeing how Lucy’s trademark sunny color palette finds its way into other areas of her home. xo, grace

Image above: Lucy’s sunny living room features a large painting (right side) by Kristin Texeira. “She paints these beautiful memory maps,” Lucy explains, “and this one is about the vacations I took with my family to the Alabama Gulf Coast as a child.” The pink and red image to the right of Kristin’s painting is a print by Lucy’s youngest brother, Will, from his Cowboy series. Below that is an etching by Nall, another Alabama artist. Lucy’s uncle gave her this Nall piece for her 30th birthday this year. It’s one of Nall’s earlier works from the 1970s and shows a man that her Uncle Dan knows.

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10 Young Designers and Creatives to Follow on Instagram

10 Young Designers and Creatives to Follow on Instagram via Design*Sponge

10 Young Designers and Creatives to Follow on Instagram

Recently, I had to sort through several Rubbermaid containers filled with tokens from my childhood. One of the keepers was a small photo album filled with film photos (!) of purses and pillows I had sewn and sold — a portfolio, if you will. Fast forward to the post-college years, when I wanted to showcase my work via the Internet, but creating a website required intimidating black screens and a second language. So I waited.

Today, the gates are wide open to young creatives. With so many portfolio platforms and Instagram, the next generation not only has a platform for showcasing their talent, but they have a world of inspiration at their fingertips. They’re connecting with each other across oceans and creating safe, artistic spaces.

Fittingly, I am writing this roundup on the eve of my birthday, a time to reflect on age, where I’ve been and where I’m headed. Some of these inspirational young ‘grammers take me back to my Alma Mater, some take me back to my early computer classes, some take me straight to Google… because for the life of me, I have no idea who they are referencing or what their slang means.

Though I may not be getting any younger (and certainly not any cooler), I can at least keep one finger on the pulse and try to soak up some of their youthful creativity one like at a time. —Quelcy

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10 Ways to Dress Up Your Shelves with Color

10 Ways to Dress Up Your Shelves with Color | Design*Sponge

10 Ways to Dress Up Your Shelves with Color

Whenever I visit someone’s home for the first time, I always get drawn to their shelves. Whether they’re filled with books, keepsakes, pictures or art, shelves are the one piece of furniture that tell the story of their owner. Just like no two memories, interests or aspirations are ever identical, neither are the contents of shelves that represent them.

There’s no reason for personality to be portrayed only by the contents of a bookshelf or cabinet, though. Sometimes a shelf itself can be the perfect representation of personality and style. Lately, we’ve been really inspired by how color and pattern create inspiring and one-of-a-kind statements in homes. There are so many great ways to turn your shelves into unique pieces that not only frame their content, but represent your unique style at large. I hope that these 10 Ways to Dress Up Your Shelves with Color will inspire you as much as they inspired me! —Sofia

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