Gallerist Cynthia Corbett shows us the open-plan living space of her Wimbledon apartment
I used to be an economist, but it was my dream to study art history. My husband and I and our daughter downsized from a bigger house to this apartment in Wimbledon, in 1999, in order to fund my studies at Christie’s auction house. It’s in a converted Victorian convent. Our living space, on the ground and first floor, has a great flow to it, with large, interconnected rooms, lots of windows and amazing light.
This room is a “home gallery”, where I sometimes invite clients to view pieces in a home setting. Here, I will only exhibit work that I really love, pieces I would choose for myself. Years ago, my daughter Carmela and I visited Claude Monet’s house in Giverny. He had one room that was entirely yellow, and I was inspired to do the same. I was studying colour theory, and I liked the idea that the heart of the house would have a strong sense of well-being and positivity.
My taste is eclectic; our space needed to be able to take contemporary pieces while respecting the age of the building. I love a sense of history but I’ll never be a slave to it.
This is by Tom Leighton, a British photographer. The “Shh” silk screen print on the other wall is by Deborah Azzopardi. It sounds obvious, but the most important rule when buying art is only to buy what you love and connect with; that way, whatever happens with the artist’s career, whether he or she goes on to become a big name or not, you will never regret your investment
Painted wooden furniture like this is associated with French country style, but there’s also a tradition of it in New England, where I grew up. I drew these and a carpenter made them for me. They are a softer tone than the walls; I like the way the flashes of black and white stand out against them
I bought this in Zambia, when I was an economist and used to travel the world. I love music; I’ve played the piano and xylophone from the age of four, and more recently started singing jazz. Behind the xylophone is a signed photo of The Supremes: I met them in 1967 when I was a girl, when they stayed in a hotel where I worked as a summer chambermaid
When we were first married, we had no money but went around the country looking at beautiful things, buying the odd teacup. We bid for this Clarice Cliff tea set, which has its own tray, at an auction at Christie’s in the Eighties – my first auction experience, and I was hooked
via The Telegraph