Let’s say you’re out shopping and stumble across the perfect print. Or, you’re at an art fair and a beautiful canvas catches your eye. Maybe you’re sifting through old files and run across an old family photo? The point is, it’s extremely likely that sometime you’re going to run across something you’ll want in a frame. But once you’ve found it, how do you pick the frame it goes into? This is sometimes an overwhelming question to answer, due to how much there is to consider. But it really doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems!So, when deciding on your frame, what should you consider? When broken down, there are really only three questions you need to know the answer to in order to pick a frame. In the case of a gift, you really need to judge solely on the first.
1. What’s going to be framed?
2. Where is the frame going to be?
3. What does the room it’s going in look like?
If you’re anything like me, it may take a bit of thinking to decide where your piece will go, and if it should be on a wall or desk. But otherwise these questions can be relatively easy to answer. And once you've broken down the things you need to know, we can talk about how to decide on a frame based on that.
There are several different factors that determine a frame’s look, such as color, style, and thickness. And adding in the extra factor of matting, the options are seemingly endless! But with a little bit of work we can narrow the list of possibilities down into something achievable.
The very first thing you should do is to really look at your art/photo/document. What are the colors in the piece? What’s the most eye-catching part? What’s the tone of the piece?
The perfect frame should complement and add to your image. But the trick to an eye-catching frame usually isn’t to pick one with similar colors to the bulk of it. Oftentimes if you have, for example, a photo of the ocean, a blue that’s close to the most prominent shade won’t work because the frame wouldn’t add anything to the photo and could be hard to see. Instead, a white might compliment the seafoam, and give your photo a fun, light look. Is there a faint sunrise? Take a look at a soft yellow.If you want to stay blue, maybe consider something dark! That way the frame can stand out and potentially bring out the shadows in your picture. Usually a good frame choice comes from thinking more about the accent colors and shades rather than the main color of the piece. But before you decide anything, make sure you’re keeping in mind the room you’re putting it in. If that bright-and-bold look doesn’t work for the space it’s going in,neutral colors such as browns also work well for most pieces, especially if you want something a little classier that’s more likely to match most walls. Metallics are nice and very eye-catching, making them very good for expensive pieces, or works you really want to be a main attraction. They also work in most homes and can really pop in a place with dark walls. Black meanwhile, is a good, easy color, as it fits almost anything and can be put nearly anywhere.
The color of the frame is important, but so is the style. Let’s say you have a beautiful original canvas and have decided for it to go into a gold metallic frame to showcase its elegance. You know the color you want, but what style would you use? A flat metallic? Should it be brushed? Should it have engraving?When picking the style of frame, keep in mind the piece, of course! But you should also try to choose a style that will compliment the rest of the room it’s in.(Unless, of course, you want it to be entirely different, which is up to you!) You can always take a look at the furniture in the room. Do you have a golden lamp? What’s it like? Is it long and thin, or ornate?It’s not a rule that your frame has to match the accenting in your home, but it can help you make a firm decision.
And of course, there’s the question of whether you need a mat. A mat is technically optional. There are benefits to having one, but there are as many people who like theirs matted as those who don’t. We suggest it though! If you run across a good, acid-free mat, it’ll not only make your pictures look nice, but keep them extra safe for years and years to come. Mats can be found in every color of the rainbow if you look, though are most commonly seen in white. They’ll change the tone of a piece in an instant, so don’t be afraid to experiment with them, especially with different colors. The power of a nicely coordinated mat cannot be overstated.When it comes down to it, a frame is going to be in YOUR home. YOU are the only one who can decide on the kind you’ll use. Which means, listen to your gut! Only you know what’s best for you! But by basing your decisions on not only the piece itself but also the way you’ve decorated the rest of your home, you can make a much more informed decision, which should also make it a lot easier to decide!And by keeping these factors in mind, you’ll not only end up with a beautiful frame for your piece, but an essential part of your home décor.
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