There are few things more exciting than acquiring a great new piece of art. But whether it’s a newly discovered Kandinsky or an unexpected snapshot of the family, art isn’t finished until it’s framed and hung.
Professional framing is invaluable, but it can also be very expensive. Even when using professional framers, it’s important to have a good idea of what you want – of what type of frame
will work best for your piece of art.
When choosing a frame, the two big things to consider are what you’re framing and where you’re putting it. Frame options range from traditional to modern and simple to ornate, and mats can be enormous to nonexistent. No frame at all can even be cool.
There are no hard and fast rules, of course, but keeping these options, and your parameters, in mind, finding the right frame for your artwork
is a cinch.
What You’re Framing
1. Subject and style.
Modern art often works best with simple, clean frames (or no frame at all), while ornate frames complement more traditional works. The opposite is sometimes true, though – the contrast between a traditional frame
and modern art can be powerful.
The frame should not overpower or underpower the work of art itself. Sometimes a large makes a fantastic statement coupled with a small piece of art, but sometimes keeping the frame and mat small is best. This comes down to intuition – though the mat and frame
should not be the same width. That will create a “stripe” that doesn’t look quite right.
There’s no need to perfectly match the color of the frame to the colors in the artwork
, though they should complement one another and sometimes it’s fun to use unexpected frame colors. As Tim Gunn would say, just “make it work.”
Where It Is Going
1. Room décor.
In some rooms, one style dominates, so any frames should fit into this style. However, ornate frames in a modern room (or vice versa) can create a cool, eclectic feel.
2. The room itself.
The best frame for a nursery is different than the best frame for a basement
bar – even if the art itself is the same. Take the room’s use into account and work around that level of sophistication.
3. The wall.
What color is the wall? Are there architectural details? The frame needs to work not only with the art, but also with the wall surrounding it.
4. Alone vs. Grouped.
Groups of artwork look best when they’re framed totally consistently or with wild variety – pick one and commit to it. For lone works of art, the frame is especially important, as it will really be in the spotlight
Add your own tips in the comments, or take the discussion over to the buzz board – each month, the best design
tip or story (related to this or any other home design project) will win a $50 gift card to a one of several home design stores (check out the details here
). June’s contest runs for just a few more days, until the 30th. Good luck!