“When someone says “French apartment” to me, [I think of] the Hausmannian buildings with very modern, toned-down decor, and lots of brown leather,” says Starcevic, a 25-year-old stylist and designer who is currently based in Brooklyn, but was born and raised in Paris. “My style comes through in dressing myself. It’s really not inspired by French homes at all.”
That decor style is difficult to define (“Funky, fun to touch, and colorful,” offers Starcevic) as just one thing. The 1,291-square-foot three bedroom apartment is playful, irreverent, and full of personality. There’s not so much as a boring corner in any part of the home—everything was placed there very intentionally.
“I took the lead on everything in the living room,” shares Starcevic, who has two roommates. “We’re all really good friends and they kind of let me do whatever I wanted!”
Topping her “want” list was a pink sofa, and she finally found one at Ikea. Being that the space was previously a blank canvas, she played off the beautiful natural light—perks of living on the top floor in an old factory-turned-loft building—and was able to create a space chock full of color and decorative touches. Starcevic comes from a family of artists: Her parents are in the theater, her grandfather was an abstract artist. As a result, the space definitely doesn’t lack creative finishes.
From a big colorful painting made by her grandfather, to great vintage finds like a $20 wicker chair from the Salvation Army to some of her own creations—the woven technicolor rug on the wall was created by Starcevic herself—there are plenty of sentimental touches in this vibrant home.
Her favorite one? “The storage bin full of yarn; I’ve had it for so long,” she says. “I found it at the Salvation Army, and it’s actually a cubby for shoes. It was hideous, painted yellow and red, but I painted it white, and it’s perfect for my yarn. I weave and knit, and I have a loom.”
Those woven pieces, scattered throughout, are the perfect cozy complement to another one of Starcevic’s hobbies: plants. “Plants are a must for me. Some people are plant killers, but my dad taught me how to take care of them when I was growing up,” she explains. “We had a house in Normandy, and he would teach me when we were out in the garden.”
Despite her French origins, the New York transplant has a hot take on the whole French girl style obsession (which we fully admit to falling victim to ourselves from time to time). “I get bored really easily, especially growing up in Paris. We say Paris is the capital of fashion, but people dress in black and follow trends, so you see a lot of repetition,” she says. Between her rainbow-colored home and equally fun Instagram feed—which, if you haven’t yet followed, you are missing out—it’s pretty obvious that no one can accuse Starcevic of falling into the category of cliché Parisian.
“Living in New York you see all kinds of people, and I had a great childhood,” she says of where her love of bold color originated. “Not to sound cliché, but my parents were not the typical Parisian family. They have a theater company, so I was around theater, music, dancing, and costumes my whole life—my whole family is in art. My parents were like, “live your passion! If you want to be a dancer, be a dancer! If you want to wear whatever you want, we’ll support you!” So [the support] was kind of a shield [for] showing personality through my clothes. And, I guess, through my apartment as well.”
It may not be the stereotypical image of French girl chic that comes to mind, but Starcevic’s fresh and vibrant decor is just as enviable. Feeling the same way? Here are her top tips on incorporating color in your own home—because if anyone knows how, it’s the girl with the giant display of rainbow-colored yarn.
Forget the Color Palette
“Every color that I like, I just put them together and either it works or it doesn’t, but it’s still going to be there. I can’t live without color—I hate black, and I don’t really like white. Any other color, I feel like everything goes together.”
Start With the Warmer Colors
“In my bedroom, everything that pops out is pink, orange, or red, and then I [went] from there.”
“I try to have a color that appears everywhere. I love monochromatic stuff! If I could have pink walls in my apartment, I would. I love repeating colors and going from there, because then it all makes sense.”
Start Very Small
“People are scared of color because they can get over it super quickly—that’s why we have white walls. It’s easier. Start small with a lamp or an art piece.”
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