Five underrated ways to expand your art collection

Five underrated ways to expand your art collection

Kate Anniss is an art consultant and the curator at our newest building, The Gessner. Here, she shares some pointers on how to build an affordable - and personal - art collection at home.

Kate Anniss's career in the art world has taken her everywhere from leading design studios in London, to cruise ships, to her own gallery in the leafy south west. An art consultant and curator, she jumps between nurturing young, independent artists and sourcing artworks for sizeable interior design projects.

"Having a small art consultancy and just working with a few artists has been hugely rewarding," she tells us as we sit together in her home studio, "but I also enjoy the process of curating art for sizeable spaces." With this in mind, Kate has chosen all the art we've installed in our newest building, The Gessner, working with local and little known artists. " Art should always be personal, and evoke personal connections - especially when you're at home," she says.

With the personal touch in mind, Kate also took some time out to share five tips on curating an art collection at home with us. Here's hoping these pointers inspire you to try something new in your own space.

1 — Play with genres

For me, art is all about mixing it up. A gallery wall can be achieved in a really intelligent way if you experiment with the genres you display at home, and choose pieces that demonstrate different techniques. Textile art pieces are often unexpected, for example, and it's very on-trend to blur the lines between art and craft.

2 — Paint your frames

There are a lot of references to Charleston and the work of the Bloomsbury Set out there at the moment, who were keen on painted picture frames. If you're of a mind to get your own paints out and have a go, refreshing a frame can totally change the character of an artwork. Either you can repaint some frames you've held onto for a while, or grab something at a local flea market , sand it down and paint it as new.

3 — Don't fear auctions

So many people never try auctions and they're missing a trick. You don't need to go straight to Sothebys. Find a local auction house, or take a drive out of town for the day. Choose a few lots in the auction catalogue that you're interested in. I tend to leave sealed bids on pieces I really like to avoid a bidding war. If the auction house phones up after the sale and says 'you've won,' you'll be delighted that you got something for the price you did, but if you don't win, you can keep in mind that you didn't want to pay that price, anyway.

4 — Go down rabbit holes

When shopping for art you'll often have a very specific idea of what you want. I try to avoid doing that. If you can browse a gallery or an auction with an open mind, you'll fall in love with something completely unexpected. It's a mistake to fixate over finding the one and only piece that can go above the fireplace. Don't be too rigid about what you are looking for.

5 — Parents know best

The art world always says 'don't just hang on what your parents give you,' but I disagree. Go to your parents' house and get up in the attic. What they might be thinking about throwing away could be your very own must-have. Plus, there's always an authentic family link when you have something from your parents. Go find at least one piece - your family might just surprise you.

Explore Kate's online shop and gallery at

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