Nostalgia meets contemporary flair in this 1970s-inspired apartment located on a former cabaret site, a stone’s throw away from the famous Moulin Rouge theatre in Paris. Home to architect Jean-Malo Le Clerc and his partner Victor, the apartment is a tribute to his favourite design era and the ideal stage to house the couple’s treasured collection of furniture from their favourite designers.

For his home, Le Clerc had a vision of “an escape from the agitation of the city”, where comfort, uniqueness, and simplicity were paramount. When he found the apartment, it was dark and cramped and hadn’t been renovated since the 1990s.

To make the apartment brighter and more functional, Le Clerc’s first interventions were to remove the walls that separated the kitchen from the main living area and tweak the space to allow for both the bedroom and bathroom to squeeze a bathtub into the latter.

A “big fan of music and movies from the 70s”, Le Clerc considers himself heavily inspired by this period in his design work. Given this building was built within the same decade and still features hallmarks of design from this time, his home was an obvious canvas for a colour and materials palette typical of the 1970s.

The entrance to the apartment immediately sets the tone with a series of dark wooden beams that not only serve to demarcate this area within the apartment but also conceal a concrete beam above.

Immediately to the left of the entrance, Le Clerc has expanded a former storage space to house some hooks to hang coats and a compact powder room, all complete with on-theme details such as curved joinery, a vintage-style door handle, and a mustard yellow paint job. If you’re a fan of vibrant yellow details, take a look at Casa Gialla, Madrid.

The kitchen, dining, and living space, with the welcoming terrace beyond, make for an open and bright space to relax and entertain. A storage closet at the end of the entrance hallway conceals a washing machine, general storage, and a generous hanging space for coats and jackets.

The double doors of this closet are clad in stainless steel, but ingeniously, its other two exposed sides are clad in floor-to-ceiling mirrors—a device that both expands the sense of space in the room while also reflecting light, and adding yet another nod to 70s era glamour.

The main living space is flanked by a pair of slightly offset curved white walls—one painted and one (rather unexpectedly and dramatically) tiled from floor to ceiling. Le Clerc selected these specific small, white, glossy tiles for their similarity to those found in swimming pools in the 70s.

Mounted within this tiled wall is another pair of stainless steel doors, this time housing a retractable desk for when either Le Clerc or his partner work from home. The floor in the living space is finished in beige polished concrete, with this used throughout the kitchen and entrance area in order to visually enhance the sense of space.

Rather than opting for a kitchen that quietly resides in the space, Le Clerc has leaned heavily into his source of inspiration. The kitchen cabinetry is a dark panelled wood and the cabinetry frames a glass splashback and a sink set in a luxurious grey ceramic benchtop. The whole effect is very reminiscent of a 1970s cocktail bar.

The grey ceramic benchtop is replicated across the adjacent kitchen island, which houses the kitchen’s oven, further storage, and an induction cooktop with an integrated exhaust fan to reduce visual clutter above.

The terrace beyond continues to evoke 70s glamour—this time with a Mediterranean flair—with orange and white striped blinds and furniture, a bountiful citrus tree, and other creeping and trailing greenery. A “summer kitchen” at one end of the terrace transforms it into a natural extension of the couple’s living area in the warmer months.

Luxury hotel suites of the era heavily inspired the bedroom in the apartment. Its opulent orange carpet is an homage to the original carpet, and vertically striped wallpaper has been used to elongate the walls. Le Clerc added dark timber veneer IKEA kitchen cabinets across one side of the bedroom, beneath the window, and topped them with a custom marble benchtop for an added touch of luxury.

The wardrobe opposite is also an adapted set of IKEA kitchen cabinets, which Le Clerc modified with cut-out-style handles that he has tinted with a walnut finish. The handles (a style typically used in boats) were purchased in Brittany where Le Clerc and his partner both grew up.

The bathroom, which Le Clerc describes as a “blue dream”, is tiled from floor to ceiling in square baby blue tiles. Angles have been rounded and fluted glass added for a truly vintage effect. A discreet, slimline fluted glass window has also been inserted in the bathroom to share the natural light from the bedroom.

One of Le Clerc’s motives when undertaking a new project is to “always imagine what it used to be or what it could have been…”.

This ethos, combined with his passion for 1970s design has revived and transformed a once tired and unwelcoming apartment into a luxurious and highly functional home for two that is at once confidently contemporary and assuredly at home with its roots.

For another of our favourite places in a 1970s complex (that’s a little closer to home), check out Park St, Brunswick.

Images by NeverTooSmall & Juan Jerez Studio