Podcast, Ep. 191: Houston Week: art expert Illa Gaunt

Photo: Jenny Antill


We continue on Day 3 of Houston Week with a conversation with Texas native and art advisor Illa Gaunt. Illa holds several degrees and has over fifteen years of experience in the art world in both galleries and major auction houses. She has developed a following on Instagram for her fascinating mini art history lessons, which is how we found her! Illa’s goal is to help people not be intimidated by art and curating a personal collection. We talk about how and where to buy art, putting a contemporary spin on family portraits, inspiring art in children, and more.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Trials & Triumphs about dust jackets on books, a black cat on a white sofa, spring planting projects, and some funny decorating videos on designer Kevin Isbell’s Instagram.
  • More about Illa’s art history lessons on Instagram.
  • How Illa got into her field.
  • How does Illa know when art is “right” for her client?
  • Should we think of art as an investment when we buy it?
  • How does an emerging artist really catch Illa’s eye?
  • How to reframe and modernize family portraits.
  • What Illa says to people who think they can do contemporary art themselves.
  • What are some general guidelines to have for an art budget?
  • Tips for where to buy art and how to get a checklist from a gallery.
  • How is Illa instilling a love for art in children?
  • Does Illa save all of her children’s artwork?

Mentioned in This Episode: 

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

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Abbey Nolte

Abbey is a homegrown Georgia peach who loves a fresh take on Southern design. When she’s not working behind the scenes of the How to Decorate blog and podcast, you can find her cheering on the Appalachian State Mountaineers and spending time with her wheaten terrier, Charlie.