If I could go back in time to any place or any era, I would have to say that France (or Paris in particular) in the 30's & 40's would by my choice. They had such style, such grace, such elegance in that era, in a way that I don't think has ever been replicated by anyone, anywhere since. I've long admired the work of Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann (more prolific in the decades previous) and Jean-Michel Frank who, despite sitting at polar opposites of the decoration scale, both worked with luxurious materials and who created such grand interiors and furniture that they are still inspiring designers today. I more recently discovered the work of another genius of that time, Andrè Arbus, who also had a talent for refining furniture designs to their absolute finest detail that they still look modern, yet classic at the same time, today. Since then, I've made another discovery....Jacques Quinet. Quinet worked in this era also, but was also producing furniture and interiors into the 60's and 70's. I was so taken with the images that I'd found on the internet that I bought a book about him (below) as soon as I stumbled upon it. The book is full of lovely images, and as its the 4th book I've purchased recently that has French text it's inspiring me to learn the language.
"Jacques Quinet" by Guitemie Maldonado. Published by Editions de l'amateur (September 1, 2000). Unfortunately both Amazon and Stout Books are both out of stock of this item at the moment.
Two interiors featured the book that still look as current today, despite a few minor details, as they did in the 60's when they were created. The book is full of photographs, some colour but mostly black & white, so if you like the style, I highly recommend the book (if you can get a hold of a copy). If you read French it's a bonus!
Just two of the pieces that are currently available on 1st Dibs and Artnet.