How to Pick Out the Perfect Frame for Your Art or Photographs: You Have Choices!

A clear acrylic frame: the perfect fit for black and white photography

A clear acrylic frame: the perfect fit for black and white photography

One great art expert once noted that it’s painfully pointless to spend weeks, months, or even years of your life chasing down the perfect piece of artwork or the perfect photograph to hang in your home and then spend a mere few minutes picking out the frame and/or matte for it. Think about it: you finally have a work of art you’ve coveted forever — now you’re going to spend 20 minutes with some random person who has no idea what your tastes are or what your home decor is like picking out a frame that’s simply sensible? To us, this seems like a poor choice. Here are some things to consider when picking out a frame for a work of art or epic photograph you plan on hanging in your home.

Consider the color palate of the room in which this art will hang

For rooms that are basic white or off-white that don’t have any other pieces of art that will compete for attention, you can go with a basic picture frame — but only if you want to. Consider that there may be other pieces of art in the room as you grow your art collection: do you want the frames to match or do you want an eclectic feel? If you’re going for the former, pick out something that will work well and not overwhelm the room with its intricate design or outrageous rococo gold veneer, for example. If you’re looking for the latter, pick a frame that will differentiate itself easily from other designs — something that will pop without overpowering the artwork it frames.

Don’t be scared of colored frames

van Gogh's "Branches of an Almond Tree in Blossom": whether the frame works or not is a matter of taste.

van Gogh's "Branches of an Almond Tree in Blossom": whether the frame works or not is a matter of taste.

Too often we see frames in gold, silver, black, and brown. While these classic frame colors and designs may work perfectly for some things, don’t fear venturing out toward territory unknown: colored frames from white to blue and even orange and red can be the perfect compliment to your artwork and your interior design, especially when you take the time to do it right and work with your framer. A frame that adds color can be the perfect way to make art pop right off the wall — that said, not all kinds of art are a good match for colored frames. For example, don’t take a classic deep, dark colored Goya and frame it in a fluorescent green acrylic frame. No matter how hip you think this might be, save the progressive, ultra modern frames for artists whose work is reminiscent of Warhol, Basquiat, Cavens, or Pendlebury. The great news is that for neo-expressionist works and surreal abstracts and landscapes painted from say 1970 to 1990, colored frames in a variety of materials work beautifully.

A classic piece of artwork mounted in a clear frame can still maintain a traditional look

If you have a reprint of a classic piece of artwork from one of the greats, one way to get away from the always-anticipated thick, brown wooden frame is to mount it inside a clear frame. These types of frames will never use matte, and are a great way to showcase the artwork very vividly. What’s more, the hardware that holds the art inside the clear frame actually become artistic embellishments, so be sure these visible screws and bolts are what you want, whether that’s silver, gold, chrome, black, or something else. Clear acrylic frames are also exceptional ways to display photos.

You must love it, that’s what matters most when you frame your artwork

Whether you’re dreading the frame you’ve picked will look totally pedestrian or you totally love the outrageous, thick, over-the-top frame you’ve selected for the latest addition to your wall but maintain a fear that others will find it repellent, what matters most is what you think of it. When you walk into your home each night after work, will you love that nutty frame and fearlessly brave the opinions of visitors? If so, go for it. If you really aren’t sure, you need to slow down and think about what you’re doing. After all, you’ve waited this long to obtain this piece of art or photograph — why rush framing it just to get it up on the wall as quickly as possible? You’re allowed to take your time, allowed to drive the people at the frame shop a little crazy, and allowed to continue to search until you find precisely what you’re looking for in a frame for an important piece of wall art. Follow your heart and your own sense of style for your home decor and interior design — you won’t regret taking the time to pick what works for your personal taste, for your home, and for your new, awesome wall hanging.