Finally settling in! Fresh off their $1 million win on The Amazing Race, winners Derek Xiao and Claire Rehfuss are revealing the newly furnished apartment they share together in Los Angeles.
The reality TV couple, who originally met and started dating after they both competed on Big Brother 23 during summer 2021, are exclusively sharing the details and photos with Us Weekly.
After making the move from New York City to California, Derek and Claire had “zero furniture, nothing with us because we moved across the country. So we were really starting from scratch,” they tell Us. “All the furniture we had had basically been found on the streets of New York because it’s New York – people leave furniture outside and you’re like, ‘Yeah, I just graduated college, I have no money, I’m just gonna hoard this.’ It was definitely a combination of we couldn’t bring it and I didn’t want to bring it.”
“My apartment previously was really a hodgepodge of me and my roommate’s furniture, and there wasn’t really a cohesive look,” Claire, 26, says of her previous abode. “There weren’t any furniture pieces that really felt like me or really felt like her. It was just what’s available and what can we just throw in there.”
It was a similiar case for Derek, 25, who also experienced just about the worst thing you can experience when getting furniture. “Me and my roommates were like, ‘We want to go couch shopping’ one weekend,” he explains. “And when we stepped out of our apartment door, we just found this couch laying out on the street, and I was like, ‘Perfect, we don’t even need to shop anymore.’ And we bring it back and all of a sudden I’m like, ‘Man, I’m so itchy. Is anyone else?’ So then we had to get the entire apartment deep cleaned and deep fumigated [because of] the entire bed bug situation. So I’m very happy to not have to go through that again.”
Claire, 26, jokes, “We’re leaving the flea ridden couches. We were in our early twenties. We’re entering our late twenties now, so it’s to actually get beautiful furniture.”
So, the pair teamed up with Article to design and furnish their space, which proved to be tough as they initially had very different aesthetics in mind. “When Claire and I started thinking about this space and getting this one together, we were like, ‘OK, let’s go through Pinterest and bookmark the things that we like.’ So we’re both looking at it and scrolling through, and Claire’s like, ‘Oh, I like that one. That’s cute.’ And I was like, ‘OK, yeah, let, let’s mark it.’ And I’d be like, ‘Oh, I really like this one, Claire.’ She’s like, ‘OK, yeah. I guess we can mark that too.’ So we have this Pinterest board and it’s, like, two completely separate themes. Claire is more of boho chic … muted, natural colors,” Derek explains, with Claire adding, “simple.”
“I definitely like more color,” he continues. “I like a more street, retro [vibe]. I was, like, hoarding things, like, ’Oh, I love that.’ And she’s like, ‘They graffitied the wall.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, but that’s so cool.’ So it was funny because we had to talk with the Article designer and she was like, ‘So what’s your inspiration?’ And we’re like, ‘OK, this is gonna sound weird, but imagine ‘70s chic meets Japanese streetwear culture.’ That was literally the guiding statement that we said to her.”
It worked because within weeks, the social media influencers had a space they could call their own: “This place has finally started to feel like an actual home now. It’s not just an apartment. It’s actually started to feel like a home in a place that we can be in for a while, and I don’t wanna leave.”
Scroll down to tour Derek and Claire’s beautiful new apartment.
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