One of the nice things about collecting old magazines is that I have a treasure trove of inspiration. One of the bad things about collecting old magazines is that I often forget which ones I own. Over the weekend, I found a May 1939 issue of the French magazine L'Illustration, an issue about which I had completely forgotten. The issue's theme was houses and design, and it contains photos of all kinds of wonderful Parisian apartments and country villas.
While reading the magazine, it dawned on me that this issue was published just a few months before Hitler's invasion of Poland, an event that ultimately embroiled Europe in World War II. That's not to say that in May, 1939, Europeans were ignorant of the troubling brewing around them; most were in fact aware of the Nazis' growing threat. But, I suppose that in the spirit of "business as usual" (or perhaps "sticking one's head in the sand"), European magazines continued to promote the high style fashion and interiors that were the rage in the 1930s.
The interiors seen here were done by Jansen, Ramsay, Eugène Printz, and a firm with which I'm not familiar, Porteneuve. I don't know if these photos show actual residential interiors or showroom vignettes. Still, I think it's interesting (and rather sad, too) to look at these interiors with the knowledge that Europe was about to change forever.
Image at top: Salon by Ramsay
Room by Jansen
Dining Room by Eugène Printz
Salon by Porteneuve
Bedroom by Eugène Printz