Perfect Twosome: Matching Pictures and Frames

Decorating your home with photos and artwork will require you to make a statement about your sense of style. What you display on your walls will naturally say a lot about you, your aesthetic sensibilities and your passions. To effectively display these, you need to make the right combination of pictures and picture frames.

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Focus on the item to be displayed first. What photo or artwork do you want to display? Look at the photo or artwork’s theme and mood –is it contemporary, formal, playful or classic? If you desire to display a number of pictures, try to choose a central theme that will tie everything together. Choose the photos based on the story they will tell.
  • Choose a frame that will suit the photo/s. You need to choose a frame that will complement and bring out the beauty of the artwork being displayed. A picture frame can do a lot to enhance the overall look of the item on display. For instance, you can draw the eye to a muted, tranquil picture by pairing it with a stronger-toned frame or a neutral colored frame with bold-colored matting. Similarly, paring a strong-colored frame with intricate woodworking with a photo or artwork with predominantly muted tones will only dwarf the image. If you are not sure, use cream or white matting in a simple mid-tone or black frame. This invariably works with most photos or artwork.

The medium of the image will also need a well-chosen frame to highlight its beauty. A sepia or a black and white portrait will look great in an antique picture frame. A bold acrylic painting with a modern theme works well with a glossy black frame or a glass frame. A landscape painting can be perfectly set off with a white picture frame with elaborate wood molding. You can also showcase favorite family portraits with a silver picture frame.

If you want to display a scarf, a sports jersey, a portrait, a watercolor, needlework or an acrylic painting, note that these different mediums will exude different moods and feels. Use your judgment to choose which picture frame will best suit the item you are displaying.

  • Choose the place where you will hang the photo or artwork. The environment or the setting in the room will also help you determine what kind of frame to choose – on that will complement the overall look of the room. An industrial theme will call for glossy black-finished frame. A rustic look can be matched with cherry or birch-wood-finished frames. Your choice of frames will also depend on whether the item on display is to be the focal point of the wall or just one of the pieces in a gallery display.
  • Consider the other elements in the room – the finish of the furniture, the color of the upholstery, the rugs and the drapes. The frame (and the items inside them) should tie up with these to create one cohesive look for the room.
  • When in doubt, check. You can always order color samples if you are not sure about how your color choice will mesh with the photo and the setting. The Victorian Company can send you three color samples for free.
  • Consider other aspects of the frame. Other factors you need to consider include:
    • The rabbet depth. This is the depth by which you can put items into the frame. If you are adding layers of matting or framing something thicker than paper, check to see that you have enough depth in your picture frame.
    • Durability. How long will your picture frame last? A well-selected frame should be durable enough so that you can opt to display your selected photo for an extended period or to change the photo to show new precious memories.
    • Archival materials. How long will your photo last in the picture frame? Go for acid-free materials for your backing and matting. This has no acids that will seep into the photo and cause it to be brittle and discolored.
    • Glazing. Another factor to extending the life of your photograph is the glazing. Ordinary glazing protects the photo from dust, oils and other pollutants. Glazing fitted with UV-protective abilities goes one more level by shielding the photo from the harmful rays of the sun or even artificial light.

Choosing the perfect pair of photos and picture frames can take practice in exercising your aesthetic sensibilities. But it will be worth it once you hang those well-selected frames and see the effect they have on a room.

8th Nov 2015 Eric Morgan

Recent Posts