A 538-Square-Foot Attic Apartment With 1970s Style and Notre-Dame Views

The story of how Doris Perin and Carl Hollmann found a small apartment in the Latin Quarter in Paris in 2019 sounds almost old-fashioned: It begins with an advertisement in a French newspaper. From the description, they knew even before they saw the attic apartment in a historic half-timbered building from the 14th century that it would have stunning views of Notre-Dame. However, Doris, founder of the vintage store Ohne Butter and a passionate furniture collector, could never have dreamed that the apartment would also be a treasure chest of original pieces from the 1970s. “To be honest, Carl fell in love with the apartment and the view of Notre-Dame and I fell in love with the bright orange leather sofa, an original from the ’70s that was part of the apartment’s inventory,” Doris says.

According to Doris Perin, an original Zanotta sofa like the orange one seen here is almost impossible to find today.

Thomas Skroch

When they are not spending time in Paris, Doris and Carl live in Vienna and Carinthia, in southern Austria. That also just happens to be where they sourced the apartment’s new wooden floors. For everything else, they used local suppliers. An upholsterer from the neighborhood installed the typically Parisian fabric wallpaper and matching curtains.

The principal challenge of the renovation, which took three years to complete due to the pandemic, was to gut the apartment in such a way that its unique 1970s elements could be preserved. “The apartment originally had red carpeting and red walls. The wood paneling was a pale shade of green, and the walls in the kitchen, including the cupboards, were all painted beige,” says Doris. Her favorite ’70s items that were included with the purchase were two built-in cupboards with smoked glass mirrors, the round orange tiles in the kitchen, and the leather sofa and dining set from Zanotta. She was also taken with the wood paneling in the living area, which just needed a new coat of paint.

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