Decorating using Cathedral Picture Frames

Tired of the usual oval or rectangular frames? Why not try something new? You can use differently shaped picture frames such as cathedral picture frames? Cathedral picture frames are uniquely shaped frames that mimic the shape of a cathedral window – with a flat end at the bottom and a half-circle curve at the top. These also feature curved corners. This type of picture frame is also called a single boiler frame.

Cathedral frames usually features elaborate carving at the curved end. There are also frames that have pearl beadings at the inside edge, the outside edge or on both edges. There are also contemporary designs with simple lines and curves, with some frames having metallic lip ornamentation on the inside edge. The width of the moldings usually ranges from 1 inch to 3 ¾ inches.

Here are some uses of cathedral picture frames:

  • Matting with windows. Mimic the look of window panes by having the matting board have window cutouts. By fitting your family photos in each “pane”, you are giving the viewer a window into your treasured family memories.
  • Bouquet display. Cathedral-shaped frames are popular with florists since the shape is ideal for bouquets. You can preserve your wedding bouquet or other treasured flower arrangements in a cathedral-shaped shadow box frame or display case. A shadow box frame provides the right depth for the flowers. Another option is to use a convex lens or glass dome with a cathedral-shaped base. The raised glass provides a 180-decree view of the bouquet. Be sure to have the flowers chemically treated by a professional so that they are properly preserved.
  • Vintage portrait. The cathedral frame can be an alternative to an oval picture frame for your antique portrait. Since the lower end of the frame is wider in a cathedral frame, you can include more details on the portrait. For instance, you can include your well-loved pets in your portrait and have them standing or sitting in front of you or beside you. To have a more vintage feel, you can have your portrait printed in sepia or black and white and have the frame fitted with convex glass.
  • Mirror. Adorn your bathroom wall or the foyer wall with a mirror in an antique cathedral frame. You can also place the frame over the mantel. The shape is ideal for faces, with its curved ends and soft corners. The mirror can add warmth and a welcoming atmosphere to the room. A variation will be to have lattice woodwork overlay to add more visual interest to the mirror.
  • Stained glass window. You can install decorative stained glass to mimic an actual cathedral window. You can remove the backing and place the frame in a strategic spot to allow light to get through the stained glass.
  • Framed needlework. Showcase your needlework prowess with a cathedral picture frame. You can attach the cloth that holds the needlework securely on the backing to prevent creases.
  • Empty cathedral frames. Create “windows” in an otherwise drab wall. Use at least 3 medium or large-sized cathedral picture frames with the backing removed. Hang these side by side. 
22nd Dec 2015 Eric Morgan

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