Past and Present by Design Sponge Managing Editor
Past and Present by Design Sponge Managing Editor

Past and Present column has come alive in a book form,  Design*Sponge managing editor and self-described bibliophile Amy Azzarito, that tackles the history behind household objects (everything from curtains to chandeliers to cast iron) and how those stories intersect with modern life join.

Amy’s new book and first book Past and Present, a name full of dinner party-worthy facts — things you might not know now, but will be glad you learned. For example, sofas and armchairs just didn’t exist until the early 18th century,  when Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour began to popularize private spaces made for comfort, not just display.

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Part history lesson and part DIY manual, she pairs 24 essays about interesting moments in decorative arts history with thoroughly modern projects developed alongside design trendsetters like Todd Oldham, David Stark and ConfettiSystem.

The book wrote in collaboration with many designers, challenged them to  to be inspired by a particular period.  Some designers were drawn to certain periods, while others had something in from the beginning. With ConfettiSystem, Amy’s knew that wanted to work with them on an art deco-inspired piece, so showed up at their New York office with 10 huge art books and said, “Let’s look at art deco and see what you make.

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Amy’s choose some of the cool moments in design history and worked hard to find little facts and nuggets about how we ended up with the parts and pieces of our home, like the sofa. In hope to inspired and help people developed this project, bring them a little history into their home.

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One of the big inspirations are the vintage pieces as well as Gustavian style and also the feminine but a little bit more reserved French neoclassical style, allways present in Amy1s daily life. One of the favorite things in her apartment is a huge neoclassical wall clock that was part of a Boston theater. It’s next to a vintage machinist bar cart. It’s all from the Brimfield Antique Market up in Massachusetts. A place attended by Martha Stewart.

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Order a copy of Past & Present now to learn more about design history’s best moments and add lots of projects to your to-make list.

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