Here at The Socialite Family we love to show you home interiors whose stories are as different as the people who live in them. For Darya and Grégoire Kopp, this story of is one of an ‘intermediate’ stage in their life as a family of three. It begins just a year ago with the birth of their son; the couple, natives of Strasbourg, always wanted to move to the clear light of Marseille. Their move is already planned. For when Cyrus starts school! Until the young parents find the perfect house “preferably one to do up completely“, it’s in the Parisian Gare de l’Est district — an arrondissement we know well — that we visit them. The apartment is everything that Darya could have dreamed of; she wanted, before leaving, to enjoy the beauty of the vast Haussmann rooms. After some updating work — changing the kitchen tiling and taking up a few metres of old purple carpet — their rental was ready for them to decorate. A subtle blend of classic design pieces and others, more reasonably-priced, bought from major retailers. Although Darya, unlike her husband, has not inherited any family pieces of furniture, she likes to express her oriental origins through a warm, bright colour palette. From the golden velvet of the sofa to the deep blue of our round Bombolini cushion, taking in the camel-coloured patina of the sitting room armchairs and the pink of those in the dining room… Darya puts all her joy and energy into customising the places that become her homes.
Darya, Grégoire: what is your story? Why did you come to live in Paris?
We are from Strasbourg, and we met 16 years ago. We married after 13 years together, and our son Cyrus was born last year. We’ve taken the time to enjoy life together! We came to Paris to finish our studies. Grégoire came first, as I had gone to live in London, then I joined him. We have evolved a lot professionally over the past 10 years. He was a lawyer who has moved into influencing strategies. I was a “marketer”, and now I operate independently, organising events for companies. Paris is the perfect city for people between the ages of 20 and 35. We will continue to come here regularly, but we are planning to move to Marseille within two years, for Cyrus to start school.
How did you find this apartment? Was the arrondissement a determining factor?
At the time, we were living in a two-room apartment in Le Marais, and when we learned that we were going to become parents, we looked for a larger apartment (intending to stay in Le Marais). As we plan to move to Marseille, we want to remain tenants, and the Parisian rental market in these areas is very competitive (few apartments and very high demand. It should also be pointed out that I had quite precise criteria: I wanted to enjoy the beauty of a Haussmanian apartment during these last few years in Paris! After six months, we still hadn’t found anything, and I was starting to feel a bit stressed with the baby’s arrival approaching. We then extended our search to the 9th and 10th arrondissements and an agent offered us this apartment, which is much larger than we had imagined, towards the Gare de l’Est. I was extremely excited when we viewed it. We couldn’t have felt more Parisian! So the neighbourhood was not the one we were looking for initially, but we quickly got used to it, and we’re very comfortable here! We also enjoy being close to the Gare de l’Est which makes it easy for us to see our families who live down that way.
Did you need to do any building work? How did you change to suit you?
As we are tenants, we were not going to undertake any major work. But I still convinced my husband to replace the old purple carpets that were in the hallways and to change the kitchen floor to modernise its appearance a little.
My parents arrived in France during the Iranian revolution in 1979. I don't have any family items on my side, but we have a lot of my husband's family furniture in our home!
What did you want to achieve when you furnished it?
We had a strong desire for colour, and we still wanted to highlight the nature of the apartment which is absolutely beautiful, even when it is empty, The decoration began with the golden sofa which brings in a lot of light. Then I continued with the pieces I found as I went along.
Small designers, family souvenirs, signature designs, antique pieces and even accessories from The Socialite Family collection: where do you like to go to find the things you like best in decoration?
My parents arrived in France during the Iranian revolution in 1979. Unfortunately, I don’t have any family items on my side, but we have a lot of my husband’s family furniture in our home. I think it’s great to have objects that have lasted through the generations. For the rest, Instagram is very handy for finding small designers or vintage furniture. When we moved in, I was about to give birth and trying to stay in the district, which is full of incredible shops like Pompom Bazar, General Store and Bensimon. I also like to go back to my old neighbourhood, to Kaolin and Fleux. But I don’t really have a specific supplier, I just wait until I fall across the right piece. This is how I came to find the Togo corner chair on leboncoin, negotiating a price of 200 euros on the day of my delivery! We also invested in some very classic pieces such as the Vertigo pendant because it was just perfect in this large, very high-ceilinged living room, the floor lamp from Flos that I had long dreamed of owning, and the Pumpkin seat from Pierre Paulin which is available from Ligne Roset. On the other hand, I have lots of very affordable items such as the carpet I found on Vente Privée, the dining chairs from Søstrene Grene, our Ikea bookcases and so on. I love designer pieces, but I don’t want to live in a gallery!
As an online lifestyle magazine, has The Socialite Family inspired you while you have been designing your own interior?
Colour is omnipresent in your home. Why is that? What is your current favourite shade?
Colour is what gives life and personality to a decorative scheme. For me, it is essential to have some at home, especially with the Parisian greyness. As a self-employed person, I work from home. So my everyday environment is very important to me. I need it to be like me: if everything was very neutral, I would feel as if I was in an Airbnb! I don’t really have a favourite colour at the moment, but I’ve always liked pink, touches of gold (it’s my Persian side) and warm shades like camel and mustard, which immediately warm up a room with white walls.
What is your favourite part of the apartment where you like to be alone – with your family?
I love my golden sofa, on which I can do a thousand things, but I think my favourite room is the dining room because that’s where we come together in the evening for dinner. We also have a great time there with our friends because we love to entertain. That’s why we invested in a huge dining table. And officially, during the day, it’s also my “office”, so it’s really the room where I spend the most time.
Which room did you most enjoy decorating?
The living room! I really enjoyed myself – my husband gives me almost carte blanche, reserving only a right of veto, so I am very lucky. I chose each piece one by one, put in plenty of seating for guests, trays on the footstools to put glasses down, and lots of dried flowers to brighten it up.
Is there any acquisition (or several) that you would like to make?
A piece from India Mahdavi – I’m a total fan of her work – I think I like everything she does.
What does 2019 mean to you?
It’s been quite a new life since Cyrus arrived. After 15 years of going out together or separately, almost every night, we are learning to re-structure our lives as parents both professionally and personally. And this has a substantial impact on our interior since we spend much more time here than before. Otherwise, more generally, I would say that in 2019 we will try to find our balance as a threesome!
Photography: Eve Campestrini – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily