Tips on how to buy art for your home

Charlotte Hardings picks up some advice from a Brighton gallery manager on how to buy art for your home.

Saturday, 20th May 2017, 7:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 5:32 am

Investing in artwork for your home can be very daunting, while it can add another dimension to an interior making sure you don’t waste your money can leave you in cold sweats.

With this in mind Holly Loader, general manager at Two Kats and a Cow based in Brighton, offers up her tips on what you should do.

“Talk to a gallerist we are here to help,” she begins.

“We don’t just have a vast knowledge of art but also know about interiors as well, we are on hand to help you.

“If we can’t find exactly what you want we will offer up alternatives.”

Holly’s first piece of advice to anyone heading out is to take a tape measure.

“When you go to a gallery it can be a very different set up to your home,” she explains.

“Galleries can have high ceilings or larger walls so a tape measure is a great way for you to know what size you can accommodate and buy it there and then.

“I have seen it in the past where people have gone home to measure up a space and the painting they want has gone.”

She adds that you should trust your instincts and that if you fall in love with something you should get it.

“Go with that you love as at the end of the day it will be in your home,” she explains.

Having recently renovated her own home Holly adds that it is easier if you design a room around an artwork rather than the other way around.

“Sometimes people fall in love with something but then can’t incorporate it into a room,” she says.

“If you have a painting you love you can pick out colours and have those in your colour palette.”

Other areas you should consider include if you want the piece to be the focal point in the room something with the ‘wow factor’, also if you want an investment piece or something you enjoy.

If you see the work as a inheritance fund for your children there are some things you should keep in mind.

“Make sure it is signed and look at the gallery and the artist and their background,” she advises.

“Look at the collections the artist has done in the past and keep an eye on their work especially if you want a return in the future but many people will just buy something they want in their home rather than something they want to sell later n.”

Buying a piece of art for your home doesn’t just have to include paintings at the gallery Holly says that due to programmes like BBC’s ‘The Great Pottery Throw Down’ ceramics are proving more and more popular as it is tactile, can be moved around the home to other rooms and can compliment any prints or oil paintings you already have.

“Whereas an oil painting can add a warmth to a room as there is not glass,” adds Holly.

“But a print can be an affordable way to bring pieces of art into your home.

“However we have had people who have had a lot of prints which in total is the same amount as one oil painting so just think what you would prefer one oil painting or a lot of prints.”

Proud to offer a personal service Holly says that people shouldn’t feel daunted walking into a gallery and that she is there to help, adding that at the end of the day they want people to be ‘happy with their purchases’.

The gallery was officially opened in 2006 by three painters Katty McMurray, Kathryn Matthews and John Marshall.

In 2001 they took on a studio in Brighton beach’s Victorian seafront arches, after exhibiting at a number of galleries throughout the UK and internationally they decided to transform their studio into the Two Kats and a Cow gallery.

The name comes from the two ‘Kats’ - Katty and Kathryn and the cow refers to the work of John.

In April 2014 the gallery re-opened under the directorship of the ‘Two Kats’ Katty and Kathryn, introducing a roster of new talent from some of the UK’s best jewellers, ceramicists and sculptors.

Two Kats and A Cow gallery, 167 Kings Road Arches, Brighton. For details, visit or follow

on Instagram at @twokatsandacow

This first featured in the May edition of etc Magazine pick up your copy now.