A picture of any kind only looks as good as the frame you put it in. A classy frame can turn a basic print into something stunning, whereas the wrong frame can end up making the most gorgeous piece of art look completely out of place. Before you put a picture on display in your home, office, or other location, you need to take the time to pick the right frame for it. Here are several questions to guide you through the decision-making process.
Will the Frame Be Hung or Standing?
Most people end up hanging picture frames on the wall, but another option is to stand the frame up on a table or shelf. This is common when decorating an office with a special photo or creating displays on bookshelves or wall shelves in the living room. When you want to stand a frame on a surface, you will need to choose a frame that includes a sturdy easel back.
How Big Will the Frame be Compared to the Room?
You don't want an imposing picture frame to take over a small room, so it's important to evaluate the space before making a purchase. Consider the size of the room and how much attention you want to draw to the picture or the frame. In a large room, it may be appropriate to choose an oversized frame and add a large mat around the picture to help fill a large wall. The frame presentation you choose becomes part of the décor, too.
What Dimensions Should the Frame Have?
In general, it's best to have a frame that exactly matches the size of the picture you're framing. If you're including a mat around your image, the dimensions are usually even on all four sides. A typical mat border is around 2 1/2", but on larger pieces it's common to see a 5" border or wider. Border size is a personal preference; the only "rule" is to create a balance of frame, mat and image that's pleasing to you! If you are framing an extra-large or very long piece, or if the focal point of the piece happens to be near the bottom, consider “weighting” your mat by opting for a wider border across the bottom. In other words, select a mat that's a little wider on the bottom than on the top and sides. This gives a feeling of support for the heavy piece, makes it more balanced and easier on the eyes.
If you have a picture that has unconventional dimensions, custom framing is the way to go so you get a frame that is the exact dimensions you need. If you're opting for custom canvas printing, choose your frame at the same time you select the dimensions for the canvas.
What Color Frame is Best?
The frame color you choose should fit in with the color scheme of the room. Wood picture frames bring a warmer feel and work well with more traditional decor schemes. Many people with more modern decor opt for simple, classic black picture frames, which tend to have a sleek and streamlined appearance. If you're trying to make a picture pop or draw out a particular color in it, then colored frames or mats are an excellent option.
How Much Attention Should the Frame Draw?
This last question can help you choose between several frames that might have caught your eye. If you're framing a picture you love, and you don't want to draw too much attention away from it, a simple frame is the best option. On the other hand, if you have a very simple photo or piece of art, an elaborate frame can add drama to the total composition.
The frame you choose for a picture has a huge impact on the overall effect when you're viewing it. Start with an open mind, consider the many available options, and narrow your choices based on your answers to these questions. Remember, custom framing is always available to get just the frame you're looking for!