Brittany Terry was done with the Bay Area. She went to college there. She had stayed for almost a decade. "It was the perfect place to become an adult," says the founder of Effortless Composition. But, four years ago, she was ready to come home to South Central Los Angeles. It was where she was born and raised. It's where her mom was, and her "thousands" of nieces and nephews. "It came to the point, I said, I gotta go back," Terry says.
And so she did. She met someone new. Started a business. And then, in the middle of the pandemic, she took life one step further — buying her first home, near Inglewood.
"My personality is, once the idea is in my head, I'm going to go for it," says Terry. So in a matter of months, she had found a home in an area she knew, at her price point. She had been living with her boyfriend of two years. "Really, it was me, with a little push, who decided, It's time."
That was August. In the brief months of the pandemic since closing, she's set up a mini fulfillment center in the garage for her home decor business, which works with artisans and community-based organizations to lift up talent in LA's inner city communities. "On the weekend or in the morning, I'll go out there and get in my zone," she says. The rest of the place has been a work in progress.
HUNKER: Where is that space, or spot, in your home that is uniquely your own … where you feel your most you?
Brittany Terry: Right now, the office.
HUNKER: And what do you do there?
BT: The office is my safe space now. We just redid it and designed it. I was really struggling. I can't live in flux. I hate when things aren't done. And so much of the house wasn't done. We had a couch — but no coffee table. The bedroom is done, but that's not enough for me.
This weekend, I said, Hey, let's be conscious of money, and I know we have bigger fish to fry, but this is important to me. I'm going to go out and do the office
Now, this is my vision. This is my style. I like to be here.
HUNKER: Why does this particular space have meaning for you?
BT: It's mine. It feels like me. I come in here, look around, and I'm happy now. It gives me hope as well — I know this is what the rest of the house is going to look like.
What is something you like to do in that space that might surprise people?
BT: I am true to my personality in all forms. During the day, I have to close the door, and I'm full on karaoking. My boyfriend will come in and [I'll] say, I'm working. I'm in here, in my groove.
HUNKER: What do you like to surround yourself with in this space? And why is it important?
BT: I have lots of artwork and purposeful decor.
HUNKER: What are three things in your home that hold the most value to you? ****
BT: I got this picture set from Target, maybe four years ago. I had it in my first apartment when I first moved here, and my favorite piece of artwork. It's funny, I know — it's Target. But this is my most prized piece of artwork, and I always think, when I look at it, I think back to when I started here. It was the first piece I put on the wall. I always think about how I've come. No one would know, they're just pictures, but they mean so much to me.
There is a photo of me and my mom when I graduated college that is on my desk. I always try and keep a photo of my parents around. It's important to me.
And then, maybe this is shallow, but I really pride myself on my vintage side. I have these three vases that are all thrifted and they're all amazing. They've cured me. They're unique. I got them dirt cheap — maybe a dollar. I'm looking at them right now.
HUNKER: Finish this sentence, "Home is where …"
BT: I find peace.
Being Home is a series that focuses on spaces in people's homes that genuinely reflect who they are — a dedicated spot where they go to recharge or to "tune in" — where they feel their most creative, safe, joyful, or true. Where they settle into the act of "be-ing."
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.