Colorful calm resides in just about every corner of Stella Thomas's cozy & vibrant NYC abode. Step inside the home of one of our favorite content creators on TikTok.
Tell us about you! How did you get into TikTok?
Hi! My name is Stella, I’m 24 years old, and I was born and raised in NYC! I’ve lived in the city my entire life, and I’m fiercely proud to be a native. I come from a family of creatives—my dad’s passion is music and guitar, and my mom went to art school to study photography. I graduated college in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, and it took me a little while to find my footing, but I finally settled into a job that I love and an apartment to call my own.
I started posting on TikTok around a year ago, mostly as a creative outlet. While I love my job, I found myself needing a passion outside of work that I could channel my creative energy into. As a Gen-Z (a title I’ve learned to embrace), I spend a lot of my free time on social media—notably, TikTok. I figured, if I’m already scrolling on the app so much, why not start posting? What really ignited the spark was when I moved into my first apartment: I finally had a place of my own that I’d had so much fun decorating, and decided to showcase this newfound love for interior design. What I love about TikTok is that I get to be totally in control of what I post and curate my own "brand", in a sense. It’s such a freeing experience, and I’m grateful I’ll have these little moments to look back on.
In terms of my full-time job, I’m a copywriter for a growing haircare brand! I didn’t know I’d end up in the beauty space, but I’m so happy I did, and haircare ended up being the perfect niche. I got my degree in English, and it’s surreal that I get to write for work every single day. Part of my job involves conducting interviews for our blog posts—just like this one!
Tell us about your creative process. Where do you find inspiration?
Luckily, I mostly film around my home, so the space I live in is my biggest inspiration! I’ve curated it so that I’m able to feel constantly inspired by what’s around me. In addition to that, I draw a lot of inspiration from other creators on TikTok. There’s so much to absorb and so many people doing such cool, creative work that they’re able to share with the world. Also, Pinterest! I used it religiously for apartment inspo when I was moving, and just recently got back into it. It can definitely be overwhelming, but there are endless resources for pretty much anything you can think of.
What’s one piece of advice you always go back to when it comes to your career?
Something I always find myself coming back to regarding my career is to always ask questions. There’s no shame in not knowing something—we’re all learning along the way! It can be intimidating to admit uncertainty, but it will set you up for success later on.
I’ve also learned that, no matter how many years of experience someone has, everyone is there to learn from each other. Even if you’re super young in your career (like I am), you still have something to bring to the table, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way. It’s human!
What makes a space feel like home?
Home is truly what you make it! Beyond having aesthetically pleasing, pretty things in your space (which I am a huge advocate of), for it to truly feel like home you have to add in parts of yourself along the way. One of the first pieces I got was my huge David Shrigley tomato poster for my living room—tomatoes are my favorite food and I knew I needed a shrine to them somewhere. Keepsakes are super important too; my fridge is filled with postcards from my travels in Europe, and I’m reminded of that time in my life every time I look at it. I love having a colorful apartment, it makes the space that much more warm, inviting, and truly feels like my home.
As a creative, what’s your best tip for achieving a sense of balance in your home?
This is something I am still working on—I often feel like I can’t relax both physically and mentally if my space isn’t clean and organized. Once everything is put in its place, and the clutter is out of sight, I instantly feel like a weight is lifted off my chest. However, the reality is that 90% of the time, everything isn’t going to be perfectly arranged. And I’m learning to embrace the beauty in that, because your home is the place you live, and (to some degree) it should look lived in. There’s a sense of character you feel only when your couch cushions have an indent from sitting on them, or the pot you cleaned from dinner last night is still out on the counter. It’s all about balance.
What are some of your home essentials?
To start (and I’m not just saying this) - a good throw blanket. I’ve gotten by far the most compliments on my Clr Shop throws out of anything else in my home. It immediately adds a pop of color, texture, and is the perfect thing to reach for when you need something comfy to snuggle up with. I also love my HAY crates, they come in all sorts of fun colors and are perfect for organization and making clutter look pretty. I have one just to store all of my hair clips. A good pot and pan set is also essential if you do any sort of cooking. I have the Caraway Home ones and can confirm they are life changing, and make cooking a joy (I’m also obsessed with the marigold color).
What are you looking forward to in 2023?
There isn’t a single event in particular, but overall I’m looking forward to having new experiences! One of my goals for the year is to say yes to more things; whether it be a spontaneous trip, a concert of a band I’ve never heard of, exploring new neighborhoods, and simply opening myself up and making time for things I normally wouldn’t. Spending more time with myself is a big goal I have as well, going on more solo dates! Also, traveling. Since the pandemic, it hasn’t really felt the same, but I’m hopeful that this year will feel closer to normal, and I’m hoping to plan a trip out of the country this summer.