"How often do you think about furniture? If you're like most people, probably never. When you need to decorate a space, you choose items that look appealing and that fit in your budget-and that's it. And yet, as Dan Ostroff's Eames+Valastro demonstrates, design can have radical implications for how we interact with objects, with other people, even with ourselves. Ostroff offers a fascinating interview with the sons of Sal Valastro, the noted photographer, and Gladys Valastro, designer of the first practical kitchen for people in wheelchairs. With Eames furniture as their building blocks, the Valastros created an entirely new and exciting way to think of the arrangement of domestic space. After you read this gem of a book, you will never take your favorite living room chair for granted ever again." LEORA TANENBAUM, author of Slut!, Catfight, Taking Back God, and Bad Shoes
"It's sometimes hard to remember a time when Eames furniture wasn't a museum piece, so iconic are its shapes, and so famous its designers. Eames + Valastro: Design in the Life of an American Family offers a different kind of Eames history via an interview about and amateur photographs of nine pieces of Eames, bought by Gladys and Sal Valastro in 1954. Sons James and Kenneth Valastro reminisce about turning a fiberglass rocker into a turtle, surfing a molded plywood coffee table, and sleeping as babies in the drawer of an ESU. Their memories put Eames furniture back into context, as a well-made, forward-looking alternative for a young creative couple and their rambunctious boys. The history that emerges suggests that an interest in design can start with your parents' choice of a cradle." ALEXANDRA LANGE, author of Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes and Writing about Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities.