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How to Design a Home That Makes Your Friends Say, ‘Wow, That’s So You’

updated Mar 1, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Stephanie Bohn Philpott

Are you moving into your first-ever apartment and wondering how to even begin to fill it with furniture and decor you love (and won’t regret a few months from now)? Make your way through our starter pack. This content was created in partnership with the Toyota Corolla Cross.

One of the best things about moving into your first apartment is having a home that really feels like yours: a well-curated ode to all the style and personality that only you possess. But much like Rome or a fine wheel of Parmesan, your dream home can’t be built in a day. You’ll feel much more at home when you take your time, reflecting on what you want your space to be and then bringing in only the decor that speaks to you.

That’s what blogger and content creator Nazy Farnoosh has been doing since she left her hometown of Los Angeles for Dallas. After years of living with roommates (and hand-me-down furniture), Nazy was excited to move to a new city — and a bright, airy apartment that she could make fully her own. “I decided that this move was gonna be all me,” she said.

One of her first big projects in her first solo space? Sprucing up an unused corner of her living room with the help of the first-ever Toyota Corolla Cross. With a sleek design and exceptional cargo space, it can handle all the purchases and projects that will make your first home feel complete — and completely yours.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Stephanie Bohn Philpott

Bring Your First Apartment to Life as Only You Can

When Nazy thought about her new space, she wanted it to reflect not just her personality but also where she is in this moment of her life: a new phase of adulthood where she’s balancing personal freedom with personal responsibility. Before she tackled that empty corner, she sat down in front of the blank wall, did a mini meditation, and contemplated what she wanted the space to accomplish — an important first step when decorating your first apartment. After all, the result will be 100 percent yours (and not just because your name is on the lease).

“Just like my space, I’m put together of beautiful buildable pieces that create a fun story, one that’s exciting to be immersed in!” Nazy said. “My space shows that I’m not afraid of a challenge and I enjoy new experiences.”

Hint: You Know More About Your Design Style Than You Think

Exciting as your first apartment is, it can also feel a little intimidating if you don’t know your design style. If you feel stuck, look around: You’ve already made style choices in other parts of your life, like the clothes in your closet and the car in your driveway. Be open to surprising yourself and discovering that as you grow, your tastes grow with you.

In her new space, Nazy has followed her instincts even when they went in unexpected directions. “I thought I would build on my apartment’s modern vibe and keep everything clean and structured,” Nazy said. “But once I started hunting for furniture and decor, I gravitated toward mid-century modern vibes and warm bright colors like — to my surprise — pink.”

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Stephanie Bohn Philpott

Even though the shift was a surprise, she realized that the colors in her home reflect the colors in her wardrobe, too. “If you walked through my closet and then my living room, you’d notice the same colors. It feels cohesive and organic.”

“I don’t want to fill the space just to fill it,” she said. “I want to find the pieces that make people say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s you.'”

Nazy Farnoosh
Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Stephanie Bohn Philpott

Do What Makes YOU Happy

When you decorate with intention, even the pieces that don’t “match” in a traditional sense all have one important thing in common: you. Your unique eye will tie together the thrifted wall art, the family heirloom furniture, and the lamp you scored on sale into one cohesive style that’s only yours. For Nazy, that means beloved decor, like a mannequin she’s had since her days working retail, mixed with pieces she picks up everywhere from flea markets to big stores.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Stephanie Bohn Philpott

Ready to style your own space? Start with the Toyota Corolla Cross.