You might say 28-year-old Britt Bass Turner is living the dream, turning a fine arts degree from UGA into a successful career as a painter—complete with a historic Roswell studio/store, which is full of her original abstracts plus a line of accessories that includes stationery and iPhone covers. Another of her creative passions is transforming the home she recently bought with her husband, Render, who was her teenage sweetheart at Milton High School. Previous owners had already knocked down walls and modernized the ranch house, allowing Britt and Ren to concentrate on the fun part.
Where did you two meet?
We met in middle school! We were great friends and started dating in high school but broke up for a while when we went to different colleges [Ren was at Ole Miss]. I always knew I wanted to marry Ren, and we’ve now been married four years.
Why did you choose Roswell?
We love to be outside, so we wanted to have some outdoor space at home as well as close proximity to North Georgia lakes and rivers, hiking spots, biking lanes, walking trails, and the Chattahoochee River. Roswell doesn’t feel like a typical suburb due to its thriving and quaint downtown, so it’s sort of the best of a city and the outdoors.
How did you find this house?
Ren found it while I was out of town, and it was under construction by the previous owners (who were flipping the house), still a couple months out from completion. Luckily, he met the Realtor, and, next thing you know, we’re the first people to walk through it. We were able to submit an offer before it ever hit the market. I immediately loved the open floor plan, all of the natural light, and the mix of old and new in our little ranch. It’s only 2,600 square feet, but it’s perfect for us.
What neighborhood are you in?
We live in the Azalea Park neighborhood of historic Roswell, and we absolutely love it. It’s great for walking, super close to downtown and to the river, and a quiet neighborhood with lots of young families mixed with older couples.
How do you choose what art goes where, and what are some of the interesting pieces you have?
I love to barter with my artist friends. Most of the artwork in my home is from trading. It’s so special and nice to know they have a piece of mine, too. Some of my favorite barters are: the giant framed Sally King Benedict in the living room, many pieces by fellow art school student Meredith Mejerle Rush, and the seagull painting in the entry by Andrea Costa. The floral painting by Lulie Wallace [above the bar cart in the dining area] is of my wedding bouquet. In terms of placement, I really like to bring all my artwork into one room and then move it around the house in various spots until it just feels right.
What do you call your decorating style?
I’m my designer mom’s favorite and worst client combined because while I want it all, I don’t want all of just one style. I like to throw electric green and peach, bright red, and black into my calm, neutral rooms just to spice it up. We started with some classic neutral pieces like the living room sofa, which helps round out all of my eclectic and collected pieces and creates such a great base.
Any tips for others buying their first homes?
Be patient. We saw dozens of homes and even put offers on several before getting this one. Keep in mind it’s your first home, not necessarily your forever home, so it doesn’t have to match everything on your list—just enough for the next few years.
What is your favorite house from the movies and why?
I immediately think of Diane Keaton’s dreamy beach house in the Hamptons from Something’s Gotta Give. I love that house! Oh, and the Tenenbaum house from The Royal Tenenbaums or really any Wes Anderson film—classic and quirky and so, so collected.
Celebrities you’d most like to have over for cocktails?
I’m all about variety, so I would thoroughly enjoy cocktails with Katy Perry, Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Kristen Bell, and Owen Wilson.
This article originally appeared in our Summer 2017 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.