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Past & Present: 24 Favorite Moments in Decorative Arts History, and 24 Modern DIY Projects Inspired by Them Paperback – March 5, 2013

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Amy Azzarito is the managing editor of the popular blog Design*Sponge. Formerly the digital producer at the New York Public Library, she graduated from Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt with a master’s degree in the history of decorative arts and design. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang; First Edition edition (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617690201
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617690204
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,093,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jennifer Martin on March 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
Amy is beloved as a Design*Sponge writer and general craft-whisperer, and this is a beautiful book that combines decorative arts history with practical hands-on craft projects to make at home. The book is beautifully designed with color photographs of the craft projects themselves, as well as beautiful historical furniture and other art objects. I'm especially excited to try building the home terrarium coffee table! This is essential reading for high-end home crafters and anyone who appreciates beautiful home design.
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The content of each historical essay is easy to understand for those unfamiliar with the that piece of history and rich enough for those who do have an understanding to still enjoy. The DIY are interesting for the most past and seem easy to make.
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I love Design*Sponge and was so excited to order this book from Amy Azzarito. I was unsure at first when I saw there were few photos, but as I read the book and also listened to her interview with Grace Bonney on After the Jump, I realized the illustrations in place of photos is to make the history accessible and relative. As someone who loves design and also has an interest in history, this is a really great introduction to decorative history. Each moment that is captured provides a thorough yet concise history which I think is what makes this so accessible to those of us who love design and Design*Sponge but are not in the field professionally or necessarily interested/have time to delve into a thick history book. It gives a taste of decorative history, something that makes me interested in learning more about the field and appreciative of all the items and decorations in my current, everyday life that have a long and rich history.
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Format: Paperback
This is a rather unusual book. On one level it provides a good basic introduction to many decorating and artistic styles over the years and
in many parts of the world. I enjoyed learning those historical elements. Azzarito shares some signature elements of each style. What got me to
buy the book, however, are the nifty Do It Yourself projects that are included that make modern day nods to the historical motifs. They were
clever, affordable, practical and charming. One of my favorites was on page 49, the Grotto Jewelry Box...which featured sea shells and bugs
sprayed gold, covering the top and inside of a lunch box. Its much prettier than it sounds!
There are quality templates provided and easy to follow instructions so you can make your own version of the various items. Its a step above ordinary crafting, and anyone who enjoys touring museums, formal gardens, places like that, should find this book inspiring. I think I'd have given it 5 stars if more of the projects were slightly more spectacular...but its a very solid 4.
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